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Oedipus The King, aka Oedipus Rex. Sophocles 496-406 BC Most awarded playwright of ancient Athens Wrote 120 Plays o Only 7 complete plays exist o Fragments.

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Presentation on theme: "Oedipus The King, aka Oedipus Rex. Sophocles 496-406 BC Most awarded playwright of ancient Athens Wrote 120 Plays o Only 7 complete plays exist o Fragments."— Presentation transcript:

1 Oedipus The King, aka Oedipus Rex

2 Sophocles BC Most awarded playwright of ancient Athens Wrote 120 Plays o Only 7 complete plays exist o Fragments of others

3 Theban Plays Cycle of three plays o Oedipus The King o Oedipus at Colonus o Antigone Not performed together Written over 35+ years apart

4 History of Greek Theater Great change during Sophocles's time Changes in structure o Only chorus o Two actors --> three actors Greater character development o Characters more dimensional o Audience could relate to them o Conflict between characters

5 Roles in Greek Theater Chorus o Provides background, reflects on actions, anticipates future actions o Represents citizens, morals & values o Strophe (movement across stage from right to left) and antistrophe (reaction to strophe which moves left to right) Tragic Hero o High social standing o Tragic flaw Other Characters o Speak in order of rank o Only three characters onstage

6 Goal of Greek Theater Catharsis o Goal of tragedy is the purging of tragic flaw in hero of high station and superior values o Audience identifies with the flaw and is emotionally connected with character ’ s demise

7 Structure of Greek Tragedy I. Prologue -background info before chorus II. Parodos -entrance song sung by chorus III. Episodes/Scenes -main action in play IV. Odes -song reflecting events; weaves plot together -performed by Choragos and Chorus V. Paean -a prayer of thanksgiving to honour Dionysus VI. Exodos -sung by chorus as it exits; offers words of wisdom

8 Major Themes in Oedipus The King Fate o Are we victims of fate? o Do we control our destiny? State of Control o Government & Politics o Roles of leaders Sight & Blindness o What do we see? What don ’ t we see? o What do we want to see? Why?

9 Characters The Chorus Oedipus The King Queen Jacosta Creon Antigone & Ismene (daughters) Tiresias the Seer Laius (dead; not in play) Polybus & Merope (not in play) Oracle at Delphi (not in play)

10 Before the Play … Queen Jacosta & King Laius of Thebes o Fortold of son ’ s future by Oracle of Delphi o Bind child ’ s feet in rope o Ask servant to kill him (but he doesn ’ t) o Child is found and raised as King Polybus ’ s son o Oedipus means “ Swollen Feet ”

11 Before the Play … Oedipus (Adult) o Hears rumors about lineage o Asks Oracle about parents o Oracle tells him that he will:  "Mate with [his] own mother, and shed/ With [his] own hands the blood of [his] own sire.” o Leaves because he does not want this to happen (he believed Polybus and Merope were his birth parents)

12 Before the Play … On the way to Thebes Oedipus encounters Laius o Argument over right of way in chariots o Oedipus ’ s pride leads him to kill Laius and his men o Part of prophecy fulfilled because Laius was his biological father

13 Before the Play … Thebes blocked by Sphinx Oedipus solves riddle of the Sphinx: "What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?” Reward is kingship and marriage to Queen Jocasta Second part of prophecy fulfilled

14 The Start of the Play Many years later Oedipus and Jacosta Have four children: o Two Sons (Polynices &Eteocles) o Daughters (Antigone & Ismene) Plague in Thebes due to Laius ’ s death Oedipus has vowed to find Laius ’ s murderer and exile him (unaware that HE murdered Laius)

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