Classical Studies Publications

Title

The Poet at Colonus: Nightingales in Sophocles

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2001

Journal

Mnemosyne

Volume

54

Issue

6

First Page

646

Last Page

658

Abstract

The presence of the nightingales in Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus evokes
associations of a long mythico-poetic tradition in which the nightingale is
known not only for her sweet song, but also for her association with lament,
arising from the tragic myth of Procne and Tereus. These associations
make the nightingale an important symbol of tragic poetry and its transformative
function, and their presence at Colonus reminds us that Sophocles
himself was born there.

Notes

Dr. Aara Suksi is currently a faculty member at The University of Western Ontario.