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Sophocles Oedipus the King. Fifth Century Greece Sophocles was born circa 496 BCE in Colonus and lived for 90 years as a wealthy aristocrat (d. 406 BCE)

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Presentation on theme: "Sophocles Oedipus the King. Fifth Century Greece Sophocles was born circa 496 BCE in Colonus and lived for 90 years as a wealthy aristocrat (d. 406 BCE)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sophocles Oedipus the King

2 Fifth Century Greece Sophocles was born circa 496 BCE in Colonus and lived for 90 years as a wealthy aristocrat (d. 406 BCE) Sophocles was born circa 496 BCE in Colonus and lived for 90 years as a wealthy aristocrat (d. 406 BCE) Sophocles' plays are famous for their messages about fate and destiny. He was a devoutly religious man with a firm belief in the Greek gods and their role in human’s lives. Early in his life, Sophocles bore witness to Athens' -- and probably Greece's -- greatest triumph: the defeat of the Persians. Greece was in a Golden Age of power. Sophocles' plays are famous for their messages about fate and destiny. He was a devoutly religious man with a firm belief in the Greek gods and their role in human’s lives. Early in his life, Sophocles bore witness to Athens' -- and probably Greece's -- greatest triumph: the defeat of the Persians. Greece was in a Golden Age of power. He lived at the same time as a great philosopher of his time Socrates, who was executed for corrupting the minds of youth & practicing sophistry. Philosophers/teachers calling themselves sophists taught politically ambitious young Greeks new skills at public speaking and philosophical debate. There was tension between sophists (& philosophers) and traditionally-minded men whose political opinions they threatened. He lived at the same time as a great philosopher of his time Socrates, who was executed for corrupting the minds of youth & practicing sophistry. Philosophers/teachers calling themselves sophists taught politically ambitious young Greeks new skills at public speaking and philosophical debate. There was tension between sophists (& philosophers) and traditionally-minded men whose political opinions they threatened. From  The oracle of Delphi allegedly proclaimed Socrates the wisest man in Greece, to which Socrates said that if so, this was because he alone was aware of his own ignorance. From The political, religious and social climate of Fifth Century Greece affected the subject matter of Oedipus the King in the themes and questions raised. The political, religious and social climate of Fifth Century Greece affected the subject matter of Oedipus the King in the themes and questions raised.

3 The acoustic of an ancient theatre was perfect. Otherwise, the thousands of spectators would not be able to listen to the play. The theatre of Epidavros, Peloponnese, which could have about spectators

4 Delphic Oracle a woman named Pythia became high priestess of the Delphic oracle and passed on her name to every woman that became a high priestess of the Delphic oracle. According to legend Pythia (each Pythia was over 50 years old) was seated on a tripod over a chasm and inhaled the gases from which they flowed while chewing bay leafs. Because the priests could not understand what she was saying - the answers were often imprecise and ambiguous. Over the centuries the Pythias proved highly accurate in their predictions and won renown as oracles not only with the Greeks but also with people all over the Mediterranean world, including Romans and Egyptians, who frequently consulted her.

5 Theme of Oedipus the King: The theme of fate is central to this play and all Greek drama. The theme of fate is central to this play and all Greek drama. Issues addressed in the play: How did the characters feel about prophesy, priests, the gods, and fate? How did the characters feel about prophesy, priests, the gods, and fate? How did pride (hubris) and arrogance affect Oedipus' fate? How did pride (hubris) and arrogance affect Oedipus' fate? What in his personality brought about his fate when others tried to turn him away from it? What in his personality brought about his fate when others tried to turn him away from it?

6 Fate Fate refers to a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual. Fate refers to a predetermined course of events. It may be conceived as a predetermined future, whether in general or of an individual. Greek legends and myths teach that it is futile to attempt to outwit a fate that has been correctly predicted. Greek legends and myths teach that it is futile to attempt to outwit a fate that has been correctly predicted.

7 Fate & Free Will The Three-way Crossroads –A symbol of fate The Three-way Crossroads –A symbol of fate In Oedipus the King, Laius was murdered on the road where three roads meet. This crossroads is referenced throughout the play, and it symbolizes the moment, fifteen years earlier that set in motion the fulfillment of the Delphian prophecy that Oedipus would murder his father and marry his mother. A “crossroads” is symbolic of a choice, a moment which the decision is critical but free will exists. The crossroads is symbolic of fate and the inescapable power of prophecy winning over free will. In Oedipus the King, Laius was murdered on the road where three roads meet. This crossroads is referenced throughout the play, and it symbolizes the moment, fifteen years earlier that set in motion the fulfillment of the Delphian prophecy that Oedipus would murder his father and marry his mother. A “crossroads” is symbolic of a choice, a moment which the decision is critical but free will exists. The crossroads is symbolic of fate and the inescapable power of prophecy winning over free will. The Greek idea of fate was that mortals lives were determined by the gods. Apollo’s temple and the oracle of Delphi provided the means by which a mortal could ask a question and glean from the ambiguous reply an answer to aid in the decision- making process. If the gods were favourable towards you and you were wise enough you could choose the wisest course of action. The Greek idea of fate was that mortals lives were determined by the gods. Apollo’s temple and the oracle of Delphi provided the means by which a mortal could ask a question and glean from the ambiguous reply an answer to aid in the decision- making process. If the gods were favourable towards you and you were wise enough you could choose the wisest course of action. Advice at the entrance of the Apollo’s temple is "know thyself!". The error made by Lauis and Jocasta was their attempt to circumvent fate by interpreting the prophecy, being confident that they were wise enough to do it. Advice at the entrance of the Apollo’s temple is "know thyself!". The error made by Lauis and Jocasta was their attempt to circumvent fate by interpreting the prophecy, being confident that they were wise enough to do it. Oedipus is famous for his wisdom, as he solves the riddle of the sphinx. "What animal has four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening?" He figures it out when no one else can: "a human being -- babies crawl and old folks use walking sticks." The city is rid of the Sphinx and he is a hero. Another motto is "nothing in excess“ or "nothing excessively". Oedipus is wise but his fatal flaw is his excessive pride or hubris– which is how Apollo brings him down. Another motto is "nothing in excess“ or "nothing excessively". Oedipus is wise but his fatal flaw is his excessive pride or hubris– which is how Apollo brings him down.

8 Dramatic irony Dramatic irony is a much-used literary device in this play. Remember that the Athenian audience came into the theater already knowing the story of Oedipus and his horrible fate. Dramatic irony is a much-used literary device in this play. Remember that the Athenian audience came into the theater already knowing the story of Oedipus and his horrible fate. Examples of irony of According to Creon Apollo said the murderer of King Lauis 15 years ago must be rooted out of Thebes in order to cure Thebes of its pollution (95-107) or plagues and famine. He vows that the killer will be banished and even refused burial in Thebes when he dies. Examples of irony of According to Creon Apollo said the murderer of King Lauis 15 years ago must be rooted out of Thebes in order to cure Thebes of its pollution (95-107) or plagues and famine. He vows that the killer will be banished and even refused burial in Thebes when he dies.

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