Presentation on theme: "Oedipus Rex Sophocles DR 2009Oedipus at Colonus Oedipus Rex Antigone."— Presentation transcript:
Oedipus Rex Sophocles DR 2009Oedipus at Colonus Oedipus Rex Antigone
Modern Greece COUNTRY FACTS: Population (July 2006 est.) 10,688,058 Comparative size slightly smaller than Alabama Climate temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers COUNTRY FACTS: Population (July 2006 est.) 10,688,058 Comparative size slightly smaller than Alabama Climate temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers
GREECE TODAY: Greece is located at the southernmost tip of Europe and has one of the most unique geographic formations of any country in Europe. Including the islands, it has an area of 50,959 square miles and a population of 10.2 million (1991 census). An estimated five million Greeks live abroad. Greece is washed on three sides by seas: by the Ionian Sea to the west, the Aegean Sea to the east and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. To the north lie Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria. To the northeast is Turkey. At the crossroads of three continents, Greece is a steppingstone to Asia and Africa. Some four-fifths of Greece's land territory is mountainous. Its coastline, with its many gulfs and inlets, is one of the longest of any country in Europe
ANCIENT GREECE WHY IT MATTERS TODAY The earliest Greek civilizations thrived nearly 4,000 years ago. Yet, their culture still impacts our lives today, in the arts, in philosophy, and in science, math, literature and politics Although the Greeks were conquered by the Romans, there are many influences from Greece that can still be found in our lives today: Democracy - The word 'democracy' is Greek. It means 'government by the people.' Our government is a legacy of the Athenians and their assemblies and councils. Theater - The word 'theatre' is Greek. Most modern theatres follow the Greek plan. The Olympics - The first Olympic Games were held in 776 BC at the Greek city of Olympia. Marathon - Pheidippides ran from Athens to Sparta to ask for help against the Persians just before the Battle of the Marathon (490 BC). The first alphabet with vowels - The Ancient Greeks played an important part in the development of the alphabet. The first two letters of the Greek alphabet - alpha and beta - have given us the word 'alphabet'.
What is Tragedy? The Tragic Tradition: 1) Native Religious Drama. These are primarily morality plays developed independently of the classical tradition, but with the influence of Roman writer Seneca (1st CE) Medieval tragedies are the story of a person of high status who, deservedly or not, is brought down from prosperity to wretchedness by an unpredictable turn of fate. Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales Shakespeare: Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet
2) Greek Drama Aristotle wrote an essay entitled "Poetics" where he used inductive reasoning based on three prominent playwrights (Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus) to define tragedy: " the imitation of an action which is serious and also, as having a magnitude, complete in itself" Its essential elements include the following: a: the medium of poetic language b: mode is dramatic rather than narrative
c: its intent is to arouse "pity and fear"- an interactive involvement with the audience, at the end feeling relieved or exalted by the purging of theses emotions. (Catharsis) d: The tragic hero should be a mix of good and bad but always 'better than we are'. - The hero suffers his fall because of a mistaken act, led to by his hamartia (error of judgement) often mistakenly called a tragic flaw or hubris!
Tragedy dealt with the big themes of love, loss, pride, the abuse of power and the fraught relationships between men and gods. Typically the main protagonist of a tragedy commits some terrible crime without realizing how foolish and arrogant he has been. Then, as he slowly realizes his error, the world crumbles around him. The three great playwrights of tragedy were Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. The great philosopher Aristotle argued that tragedy cleansed the heart through pity and terror, purging us of our petty concerns and worries by making us aware that there can be nobility in suffering. He called this experience catharsis. In his treatise, The Poetics, Aristotle refers to Oedipus the King as the perfect tragedy.
-The Hero moves us to pity because he was a great man, but also because we recognize the possibility of failure or similar mistakes in ourselves. -The hero must face his destiny with courage and dignity. The plot is of utmost importance: the events develop through a complication to a catastrophe in which there occurs a sudden peripeteia (reversal of fortune from happiness to disaster)
Tragedy in Greece: -began at festivals in honour of the God of Wine, Dionysus, in form of song and dance. -a cabaret of chorus members disguised as satyrs, a man who engaged others in dialogue, hymnists, and a soloist (acting as the God) -by 530BCE, focus shifted to humans and these tragedies were competing in Athens for an annual prize -Sophocles held 18 first prizes, Oedipus Rex came second!
Oedipus at the Stratford Festival:
Sophocles' plays are concerned with the attainment of knowledge. His characteristic emphasis on the ironic contrasts appearance vs. reality. The climactic moments of reversal and recognition illustrate how humans come to terms with the truth about themselves -Appearance vs. reality created through sustained use of imagery of blindness and sight -Reversal- a change in which the action veers round to its opposite -Recognition- a change from ignorance to knowledge
Epiphany At this moment the character perceives the operation of the powers that are destroying him. Acceptance of this recognition is the mark of a great human being or Hero.
Language a)CHORAL ODES- lyric function; stanzas (Strophes and antistrophes) b)long passages of narrative description (active colourful, imaginative language) often spoken by messengers to reveal past or action offstage. c)speeches between protagonist and antagonist dealing with philosophical issues d)emotional speeches by protagonist dealing with inner torment or conflict with the Gods. e) STYCHOMYTHIA- series of one line statements and responses conveying argument, anger or enquiry
Action -highly concentrated -focuses on logical revelation of action -nothing irrelevant -unity, this places characters in intense relationships -action is contained in economic and direct examples - A sense of DECORUM is maintained by acts of violence taking place offstage, information being given by the chorus
Delivery and Performance The plays were adapted to the physical structure of the auditorium; performances were in daylight, with little or no artificial scenery used. There was a direct actor / audience relationship
Orchestra: The orchestra (Orchesina--literally, "dancing space") was normally circular. It was a level space where the chorus would dance, sing, and interact with the actors who were on the stage near the skene. The earliest orchestras were simply made of hard earth, but in the Classical period some orchestras began to be paved with marble and other materials. In the center of the orchestra there was often a thymele, or altar. The orchestra of the theatre of Dionysus in Athens was about 60 feet in diameter. Theatron: The theatron (literally, "viewing-place") is where the spectators sat. The theatron was usually part of hillside overlooking the orchestra, and often wrapped around a large portion of the orchestra (see the diagram above). Spectators in the fifth century BC probably sat on cushions or boards, but by the fourth century the theatron of many Greek theaters had marble seats. Skene: The skene (scene--literally, "tent") was the building directly behind the stage. During the 5th century, the stage of the theater of Dionysus in Athens was probably raised only two or three steps above the level of the orchestra, and was perhaps 25 feet wide and 10 feet deep. The skene was directly in back of the stage, and was usually decorated as a palace, temple, or other building, depending on the needs of the play. It had at least one set of doors, and actors could make entrances and exits through them. There was also access to the roof of the skene from behind, so that actors playing gods and other characters (such as the Watchman at the beginning of Aeschylus' Agamemnon) could appear on the roof, if needed. Parodos: The parodoi (literally, "passageways") are the paths by which the chorus and some actors (such as those representing messengers or people returning from abroad) made their entrances and exits. The audience also used them to enter and exit the theater before and after the performance.
The Riddle of the Sphinx One of the most famous riddles in history is the Riddle of the Sphinx. In Greek legend, the Sphinx devoured all travelers who could not answer the riddle she posed: "What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?" The hero Oedipus gave the answer, "Man," causing the Sphinx's death. Oedipus and the Sphinx, 1864 Gustave Moreau (French, 1826–1898) Some other riddles: I can run but never walk I have a mouth but never talk I have a bed but never sleep I have a head but never weep. What am I? (Answer: A river.) This thing devours all things Birds, beasts, trees, flowers; Gnaws iron, bites steel; Grinds hard stones to meal; Slays king, ruins town, And beats high mountain down. What is this thing? (Answer: Time.) A cloud was my mother, the wind is my father, my son is the cool stream, and my daughter is the fruit of the land. A rainbow is my bed, the earth my final resting place, and I'm the torment of man. What am I? (Answer: Rain.)
The players consisted of: 1) Chorus: 15 men, a group of citizens trained for the event -they are on stage for most of the play -they would sing and dance -their function was to give advice, express opinions and ask questions
2) Actors- usually only 3 men. They played multiple roles, wearing masks to assume different characters. - the masks were multi-functional- acting as megaphones in addition to character identity.
CREDITS The preceding Oedipus the King materials were researched and compiled by Sarah Carlton, Kelly Mednis and Rob Zellers. They were assembled from various publications about the play and its time, including the sources listed below: