Presentation on theme: "-first performed c. 429 B.C.. The meaning of Oedipus is “swollen foot”. As a child, King Oedipus was abandoned with his ankles and feet bound and pinned."— Presentation transcript:
The meaning of Oedipus is “swollen foot”. As a child, King Oedipus was abandoned with his ankles and feet bound and pinned together, scarring him. These scars are representative of a fate that he cannot escape.
“What creature walks on four legs in the morning, on two at noon, and on three in the evening?” Oedipus saves the people of Thebes from the merciless sphinx, but ironically causes an even more serious threat to the Greek citizens.
I can sizzle like bacon, I am made with an egg. I have plenty of backbone, but lack a good leg. I peel layers like onions, but still remain whole. I can be long, like a flagpole, yet fit in a hole. What am I?
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Austrian Founded the psychoanalytic school of psychiatry
The Greek Theatre Important Terms: Orchestra Theatron Parados Skene Proskenion
The orchestra or “dancing place” is the circular platform where the chorus performed. The audience sat on stone benches in the theatron, “the seeing place.” Extending from the orchestra to each side of the theatron were two broad aisles, the parados, a term which also identified the entrance song of the chorus in a tragedy. (Mnemonic = parade, the procession of the chorus both in and out of the theater) Perpendicular to the orchestra was the skene, a rectangular building with three doors in the front, providing a generic backdrop fro the action of the play as well as an area into which actors could exit from a scene in order to change costumes/masks/roles. The proskenion was a small platform in front of the skene which allowed the actors more visibility and the ability to separate themselves from the chorus in the orchestra below. We now refer to this part of a modern stage as a proscenium.
Ancient Greek theaters were huge, seating up to 20,000 people (a large Broadway theater seats about 3,000), which necessitated impressive acoustics from sound bouncing off of the skene and the stone seats of the audience, as well as certain features of the actors' costumes.
The actors wore buskins (platform shoes) which helped not only to make the characters being portrayed appear larger than life, befitting their importance in myth and legend, but also helped project their voices to the huge audience. Also, the actors wore large hollow masks that helped identify to the huge audience who each character was, magnify the size of the actor to befit the larger-than-life character or story being portrayed and also amplify the actor’s voice by serving as a megaphone
Themes/Conflicts/Motifs Free Will vs. Fate Predictions and Prophecies Truth vs. Ignorance Intuition vs. Policy Mortal weakness when compared to the strength of the gods Power’s fleetingness Pride and Envy
The Chorus: Aristotle said the chorus should be regarded as one of the actors -Uses symbolic choreography -Often fickle, obtuse and perceptive -Comments on the events witnessed on stage
The Greek tragedy is divided into five distinct sections: Prologue (Prologos): Exposition Parados: The entrance song of the chorus (named after broad aisles which the chorus uses to enter and exit) Episodes (Scenes): Performed by the actors Stasimons (Odes): Choral passage, the chorus sang and danced these lyric poems Exodos: Conclusion ending with the chorus singing their final lines as they exit
To appreciate the intensifying effect of the dramatic irony employed as a result of the audience’s preexisting knowledge of Oedipus’ plight, we must be prepared before encountering the play.
Before reading Oedipus Rex, you must be familiar with the legend of Oedipus, as were the citizens of ancient Greece. For homework, please read Edith Hamilton’s rendering of the legend of Oedipus before you read the prologue (pages 3-10).