This article argues that the chorus of elders in Sophocles' Oedipus Coloneus is far from ineffectual, as some scholars assume choruses of elders generally are, but exceptionally authoritative in its role as a chorus. The exceptional authority of the Elders of Colonus derives from their old age, wherefrom their sympathy for Oedipus obtains, and from the fact that they are Athenian and thus have the capacity to enact their sympathy for Oedipus by granting him special rights of residency as an heroic protector of Athens. Detailed analysis of this particular chorus's speech, song, and action is helpful not only to our understanding of Oedipus Coloneus but also, more broadly, to our understanding of the ongoing, if not increasing, importance that the chorus will have maintained in ancient Greek tragedy.


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pp. 333-362
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