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The Publius Enigma

By Nicholas Palffy

Oedipus and the Sphinx

IACHIMO. [Aside] All of her that is out of door most rich! If she be furnish'd with a mind so rare,She is alone th' Arabian bird, and I Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend! Arm me, audacity, from head to foot! Or, like the Parthian, I shall flying fight; Rather, directly fly. (Cymbeline, Act I, Scene 6, William Shakespeare)


GAOLER. What an infinite mock is this, that a man should have the best use of eyes to see the way of blindness! I am sure hanging's the way of winking. (Cymbeline)

BLINDNESS! If there's a theme that matches The Division Bell Album, it's definitively this one. But what sort of blindness are we talking about? If, as the gaoler says, "hanging's the way of winking", then let's look at the hanged man!

JOCASTA and ANTIGONE hang themselves in the Oedipus trilogy (yes, it was originally a TETRALOGY, but we've lost the last part, which was supposed to be a comedy...)

The myth of Oedipus as told by Sophocles is a reflection on LIFE and FATE. But it contains, hidden, some references to cosmological and/or astronomical events. These ANNUAL events form A BIG CROSS in the sky. Each one of them can be considered as a BIG DAY, a day of FREEDOM. They are the solstices and the equinoxes.

These have been considered as SACRED PERIOD of TIME. They were also associated to SECRET NUMBERS, celebrated as GATES, or DOORS to the Stars (Winter Solstice) and Gate to Mankind or Incarnation (Summer Solstice).

These Sacred Points are the "POLES APART" of a SACRED and SECRET GEMOMETRY. On a Circle, they designate QUARTERS (4x90 degrees=360 degrees), SEASONS, and AGES. The DIVISION BELL rings every quarter of an "HOUR".

Indeed, the complexity of Oedipus is not limited to Oedipus Complex! It is a Tale of Cosmological Dimension, told by an Idiot, full of sound and fury, meaning –so they say– nothing!