"Armed with his blazing torch the God of Plague
Hath swooped upon our city emptying
The house of Cadmus,..."
See in text (Oedipus the King)
Here, the Priest personifies the plague as a God holding a blazing torch. “Swooped” and “emptying” connote violence and wrath and suggest that this God is merciless and chaotic. The “house of Cadmus” references the Greek hero Cadmus who founded Thebes. Emptying this “house” means that the city is rapidly losing its population to the plague. The Priest’s speech emphasizes the severity of the plague and instils the situation with urgency.