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Theater at Epidaurus Sophocles’ Oedipus the King “Know Thyself!” — If you Dare! Sophocles in old age.

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Presentation on theme: "Theater at Epidaurus Sophocles’ Oedipus the King “Know Thyself!” — If you Dare! Sophocles in old age."— Presentation transcript:

1 Theater at Epidaurus Sophocles’ Oedipus the King “Know Thyself!” — If you Dare! Sophocles in old age

2 Agenda Discussion Sophocles’ OTK as “Greek” Tragedy Discussion Continuation (last class) Is Eumenides Tragedy? Sophocles’ OTK An Introduction Tragic Transformations Eros, Tyrants, hubris, Knowledge in OTK 9-Mar-15 Sophocles Oedipus the King 2

3 Discussion Sophocles’ OTK as “Greek” Tragedy

4 Question Breakdown… OTK “tragic” in usual sense? “We’ve suffered a tragic loss” “Tragedy hit when…” Does OTK go beyond that? “Greek tragedy is” … what? “You are my great example, you, your life | your destiny Oedipus, man of misery — | I count no man blest.” (Chorus, p. 233) 9-Mar-15 Sophocles Oedipus the King 4

5 OTK: Tragic Structures? Formula, etc. Koros Hubris Atē Dikē Aeschylean progression Verbal  visual Ambiguous  clear Human  divine Cycle of violence? Knowledge through suffering? Aristotelian patterns Character-based motivation (ēthos)? Hamartia? Complex plot? Recognition? Reversal? Pity? Fear Catharsis? “Pride (hubris) breeds the tyrant” (Chorus, OTK p. 209)

6 Discussion Continuation (last class) Is Eumenides Tragedy?

7 Is Eumenides tragedy? Is Oresteia tragedy? What is tragedy?

8 Sophocles’ OTK An Introduction

9 Sophocles, “Theban Plays” Playwright ca. 496-ca. 406 BCE first victory 468 Plays Antigone, ca. 441 Oedipus the King, after 429 Oedipus at Colonus, ca. 406 Sophocles 9-Mar-15 Sophocles Oedipus the King 9

10 Oedipus Family, Backstory OedipusJocasta PolynicesEteoclesIsmeneAntigone Menoeceus JocastaCreon Eurydice Megareus Haemon Labdacus Laius Polydorus Cadmus 9-Mar-15 Sophocles Oedipus the King 10

11 Historical Backdrop: Peloponnesian War 431Outbreak of war Great plague of Athens. 404Athens defeated, its empire destroyed. Athens Sparta

12 prologue 15 ff. Oed, priest, Creon. plague, oracle parodos 168 ff. divine invocation. war on plague 1 st episode 171 ff. Oed, Tiresias. agōn 1 1 st stasimon 186 f. who the killer? 2 nd episode 188 ff. Cr, Oed. agōn 2 1 st kommos (197 ff.) Chorus, J, Oed Comparison of oracles 2 nd stasimon 209 f. pride breeds the tyrant 3 rd episode 211 ff. J, Corinthian messenger, Oed. Polybus dead. Oed “child of fortune” 3 rd stasimon 224 desperate optimism 4 th episode 225 ff. Oed, Shepherd, J. recognition 4 th stasimon 233 f. Oed man of sorrows exodos Messenger, Oed. J’s suicide 2 nd kommos (240 ff.) Chorus, Oed., Oed’s grief Oed, Creon. final arrangements OTK Analysis

13 Tragic Transformations Eros, Tyrants, hubris, Knowledge in OTK

14 Erōs and the Tyrant Eros 9-Mar-15

15 “Many a man before you, in his dreams, has shared his mother’s bed.” (Jocasta to Oedipus, OTK p. 215) “No, I’m not the man to yearn for kingship (to become turannos, “tyrant”)” (Creon to Oedipus, p. 193) “The previous night Hippias (ex-tyrant, hopeful future tyrant of Athens) had a dream in which he slept with his mother.” (Herodotus 6.107, on Hippias’ dream the night before the Battle of Marathon, 490 BCE) “Pride (hubris) breeds the tyrant” (Chorus, OTK p. 209)

16 Oedipus-pharmakos (“scapegoat”) Oedipus, p. 244: “Quickly, for the love of god, hide me somewhere, kill me, hurl me into the sea where you can never look on me again.” 9-Mar-15 Sophocles Oedipus the King 16

17 Rite of Passage Separation Transition Incorporation Arnold van Gennep, Les rites de passage (Paris, 1909) 9-Mar-15 Sophocles Oedipus the King 17

18 Oedipus’ Reverse Rite of Passage Oedipus sight- ignorance- incorporation blindness- knowledge- separation transition “I count myself the son of Chance,” (Oedipus, p. 224)


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