Oedipus at Colonus and King Lear: Classical and Early Modern Intersections


Silvia Bigliazzi, English Literature, Verona; Stephen Orgel, Stanford University; Carlo Maria Bajetta, University of Valle D'Aosta; Laura Slatkin, New York University; Gherardo Ugolini, University of Verona; Guido Avezzù, University of Verona; Francesco Lupi, University of Verona; Anton Bierl, University of Basel; Robert S. Miola, Loyola University Maryland; Sheila Murnaghan, University of Pennsylvania; Seth L. Schein, University of California, Davis; Annamaria Beltrametti, University of Pavia; Silvia Bigliazzi, University of Verona; David Lucking, University of Salento; Nicola Pasqualicchio, University of Verona; Barry A. Spence, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Tamas Dobozy, Wlfrid Lauriel University; Eric Nicholson, New York University (Florence); Avra Sidiropoulou, Open University of Cyprus


Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus, Shakespeare's King Lear, Classical and Early Modern Intersections


 The story of King Lear seems to fill in the blank space separating the end of Oedipus Tyrannus and the beginning of Oedipus at Colonus. In both Oedipus at Colonus and the latter part of King Lear we are presented with an old man who was once a King and, following his expulsion from his kingdom on account of a crime or of an error, is turned into a ‘no-thing’. This happens in the time of the division of the kingdom, which is also the time of the genesis of intraspecific conflict and, consequently, of the end of the dynasty. This collection of essays offers a range of perspectives on the many common concerns of these two plays, from the relation between fathers and sons/daughters to madness and wisdom, from sinning and suffering to ‘being’ and ‘non-being’ in human and divine time. It also offers an overarching critical frame that interrogates questions of ‘source’ and ‘reception’, probing into the possible exchangeability of perspectives in a game of mirrors that challenges ideas of origin.

ISBN 979-12-200-6185-8

See Book Review:

Victoria Bladen. 2020. "Oedipus at Colonus and King Lear: Classical and Early Modern Intersections." Cahiers Élisabéthains: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies 103 (1): 94-7. 2020doi.org/10.1177/0184767820954964c

Fabio Ciambella. 2021."Oedipus at Colonus and King Lear: Classical and Early Modern Intersections." Memoria di Shakespeare 8: 396- 401. 10.13133/2283-8759/17653



  • Introduction
    Silvia Bigliazzi
  • How to Be Classical
    Stephen Orgel
  • Elizabeth I and Sir Walter Ralegh's Classics:
    The Case of Sophocles
    Carlo Maria Bajetta
  • Revisiting Oedipus at Colonus
    Laura Slatkin
  • A Wise and Irascible Hero:
    Oedipus from Thebes to Colonus
    Gherardo Ugolini
  • Some Notes on Oedipus and Time
    Guido Avezzù
  • Liminality, (In)accessibility, and Negative Characterization in Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus
    Francesco Lupi
  • Oedipus at Colonus as a Reflection on the Oresteia:
    The Abomination from Thebes as an Athenian Hero in the Making
    Anton Bierl
  • Lost and Found in Translation:
    Early Modern Receptions of Oedipus at Colonus
    Robert S. Miola
  • "More sinned against than sinning":
    Acting and Suffering in Oedipus at Colonus and King Lear
    Sheila Murnaghan
  • Fathers Cursing Children:
    Anger and Justice in Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus and Shakespeare's King Lear
    Seth L. Schein
  • Oedipus'ειδωλον, "Lear's shadow"
    (OC 110, King Lear 1.4.222)
    Annamaria Beltrametti
  • Time and Nothingness: King Lear
    Silvia Bigliazzi
  • 'More than two tens to a score':
    Disquantification in King Lear
    David Lucking
  • Happy Endings for Old Kings:
    Jean-François Ducis’ Œdipe and Léar
    Nicola Pasqualicchio
  • Shades of King Lear in Beckett's Theatre and Late Work
    Barry A. Spence
  • Sam Shepard's 'Body' of Tragedy:
    A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations)
    Tamas Dobozy
  • Opening up Discoveries through Promised Endings:
    An Experimental Work in Progress on Oedipus at Colonus and King Lear
    Eric Nicholson, Avra Sidiropoulou
  • The Authors
    Silvia Bigliazzi
  • Index
    Silvia Bigliazzi

Author Biography

Silvia Bigliazzi, English Literature, Verona

General Editor



December 30, 2019

Online ISSN



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