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Theater at Epidaurus Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus II Death and Transfiguration Sophocles in old age.

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Presentation on theme: "Theater at Epidaurus Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus II Death and Transfiguration Sophocles in old age."— Presentation transcript:

1 Theater at Epidaurus Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus II Death and Transfiguration Sophocles in old age

2 2 Agenda  Opening Discussion “Not to Be Born is Best”??  Recap and Update Issues and Themes  All’s Well that Ends Well? Fate, Responsibility … Tragedy?  Platonic Critique Counterplea?

3 Opening Discussion “Not to Be Born is Best”??

4 Oedipus at Colonus – Analysis  prologue (pp. 284 ff.) Oed, Ant, Citizen identity, positioning  parodos (291) amoibaion (chorus-character dialogue) Chorus, Oed, Ant supplication  1 st episode (298) leader, Oed, Ismene, Ant amoibaion (314) Chorus, Oed Oed’s crimes (?) 1 st episode cont’d (318) Leader, Theseus, Oed supplication, negotiation  1 st stasimon (326) praises (Colonus, Athens)  2 nd episode (328) Ant, Oed, Leader, Creon, Theseus tussle over Oed  2 nd stasimon (348) victory song  3 rd episode (350) Leader, Oed, Ant, Thes leave-taking begins  3 rd stasimon (358) the human condition  4 th episode (359) Ant, Oed, Poly a father’s curse amoebic kommos, dialogue (371) Chorus, Oed, Ant portents 4 th episode cont’d (373) Thes, Oed  4 th stasimon (377) prayers for Oed  exodos (378) spoken dialogue, lyric kommos messenger, leader, Ant, Ismene, Thes Oed’s demise, lament, consolation

5 CHORUS (lines ) : Not to be born is best, when all is reckoned in, but once a man has seen the light the next best thing, by far, is to go back back where he came from, quickly as he can. lines 1771 ff.

6 CHORUS (lines 1771–1778) : Not in pain, not by a doom that breaks the heart with mourning, let our friend go down to the world below the all-enshrouding infinite fields of the dead the dark house of Death. Numberless agonies blind and senseless, came his way in life— now let some power some justice grant him glory!

7 7 Meaning? Your Response?  depressing pessimistic describe Oedipus  what’s the point of living suicidal nihilistic  like medea sees everything in a bleak light  pessimistic towards old age implies youth better  bring him to terms with death  dramatic effect makes it sound worse  no more cheating fate positive development?

8 Recap and Update Issues and Themes

9 Oedipus at Colonus – Analysis  prologue (pp. 284 ff.) Oed, Ant, Citizen identity, positioning  parodos (291) amoibaion (chorus-character dialogue) Chorus, Oed, Ant supplication  1 st episode (298) leader, Oed, Ismene, Ant amoibaion (314) Chorus, Oed Oed’s crimes (?) 1 st episode cont’d (318) Leader, Theseus, Oed supplication, negotiation  1 st stasimon (326) praises (Colonus, Athens)  2 nd episode (328) Ant, Oed, Leader, Creon, Theseus tussle over Oed  2 nd stasimon (348) victory song  3 rd episode (350) Leader, Oed, Ant, Thes leave-taking begins  3 rd stasimon (358) the human condition  4 th episode (359) Ant, Oed, Poly a father’s curse amoebic kommos, dialogue (371) Chorus, Oed, Ant portents 4 th episode cont’d (373) Thes, Oed  4 th stasimon (377) prayers for Oed  exodos (378) spoken dialogue, lyric kommos messenger, leader, Ant, Ismene, Thes Oed’s demise, lament, consolation

10 Stage Set, “Colonus Hippius” skene (stage building) To Underworld Olive grove Equestrian statue to Thebes to Athens Altar of Athena Hippia, Poseidon Hippios East West South Source: Wiles Tragedy in Athens

11 CHORUS p. 348: “… chariots racing down the wind - the enemy will be crushed! … They honor Athena, reigning queen of horsemen - honor the Sea-lord, guardian of our earth…”

12 12 Oedipal Transformations…  OK: (reverse) rite of passage  OC: death and transfiguration Furies (Semnai theai) to Eumenides (“Kindly Ones”) –“As we call you Powers of Kindness (Eumenides), so from the springs of kindness in your heart receive your suppliant now and save his life” (Leader to Oedipus, p. 312) father/friend to alastōr –OED to CREON: “… my curse, my fury of vengeance rooted deep in your soil” (alastōr houmos, p. 331) pariah to hērōs –“no pleasure to break the silence of these mysteries” (707–8) –“Only … Theseus … must see this mystery”

13 Oedipus at Colonus as mystery play?

14 All’s Well that Ends Well? Fate, Responsibility … Tragedy?

15 15 Fate, Responsibility … Tragedy? Oedipus the King  Apollo to Creon “Pay the killers back, whoever is responsible” (p. 164)  Oedipus “Apollo, friends, Apollo - he ordained my agonies” (p. 241) Oedipus at Colonus  Oedipus “… my acts … were acts of suffering more than actions outright. … I struck in self- defense” (299) Oedipus at Colonus (cont.)  Oedipus “I am innocent … blind, unknowing!” (317) “Thebes bound me fast to a bride who was my ruin (atē)” (315)  Polynices “I learn this all too late” (360) “I must travel down that road, doomed by fate and the curses of my father” (368)

16 Platonic Critique Counterplea?

17 17 Comments Platonic Critique  would have liked depiction of Theseus –good –just  not liked pessimism  unrealistic concepts alastor thing  wouldn’t like pessimism wouldn’t like all oed’s suffering  showed how you have to pay & respect to gods  social benefit - positive youthful soldiering  girls good loyalty thing iffy kids can relate  liked political ideas philosopher kings Counterplea  moral ambiguity is interesting w/o, no thought  hero cult as hubristic


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