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Oedipus Rex By Sophocles. Objectives of Unit Identify How Aristotle’s Three unities are observed in the play. Identify the role of dramatic irony Analyze.

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Presentation on theme: "Oedipus Rex By Sophocles. Objectives of Unit Identify How Aristotle’s Three unities are observed in the play. Identify the role of dramatic irony Analyze."— Presentation transcript:

1 Oedipus Rex By Sophocles

2 Objectives of Unit Identify How Aristotle’s Three unities are observed in the play. Identify the role of dramatic irony Analyze the theme of fate being more powerful than free will. Examine the role of fate in Greek tragedy Discuss the motifs of blindness and sight Examine how Sophocles builds suspense in the play

3 Terms to Learn Exclusionary democracy Free Will and Fate Aristotle’s Three Unities Chorus/ Strophe/ Antistrophe/ Epode Tragedy/Peripeteia/Tragic Hero/Hamartia/Hubris

4 Society and Politics in Athens Sophocles was born in Athens, 497 BCE. Athens was an “exclusionary democracy” A government run by elected officials with only 10% of the population allowed to participate. Sophocles warned Athens through his plays that these social inequalities would be the cause of a divine retribution

5 Religious Ideas The Greek pantheon consisted of hundreds of deities (Gods). These Gods were immortal and powerful, but not all-powerful. They too were subject to Fate and to each other’s will. The Greeks did believe in Free Will, but also accepted that a person would have to face the consequences of their decisions and actions. Free Will was not more powerful than Destiny.

6 Origins of Greek Drama 5th Century BCE- Athens made tremendous advances in philosophy, rhetoric, literature, science, architecture, and the visual arts. Tragedies were performed during annual festivals. During festivals each playwright performed three tragedies and a satyr play (a kind of farce intended to lighten the mood from the tragedies).

7 Conventions of the Greek Theater Dramatic Irony was frequently used in Greek drama to heighten the intensity and suspense of the play. Plays were performed during the day. Actors were male. They wore masks, wigs and high-heeled boots. Due to the religious intent and dignified style, no violence was shown on stage. The messenger would inform the audience of any deaths or killings.

8 Conventions of Greek Theater Aristotle’s Three Unities 1. Unity of Time- All the action of the play took place within 24 hours, in continuous time. 2. Unity of Place- All of the action was limited to a single setting. 3. Unity of Subject- One single main plot focused on the main character. There were no sub-plots.

9 Conventions continued... Chorus- A group of 15 to 20 men that represented the citizens and provided the exposition and commentary. They were always on stage and frequently sang and danced. They always had a leader (choragus) that conversed with the main character or the rest of the chorus.

10 Conventions Continued... The Chorus performs in a highly formal and highly stylized movement that heightened the emotion of the performance Strophe-The first part of a choral ode during which the Chorus moves from left to right, or east to west Antistrophe- The part of the ode that follows the strophe and goes from right to left. Epode- The third and final part of the Choral ode that completes the Chorus’s movement

11 Conventions continued... Tragedy-- A drama in which actions and events turn out disastrously for the main character(s). Peripeteia (reversal)--turn of events where fortune goes from good to bad Tragic Hero--A central character in a drama who is dignified and noble. A tragic hero often possesses a tragic flaw. Hamartia (tragic flaw) -- a defect that contributes to the hero’s downfall.

12 Conventions continued... Catharsis – “purgation”: by understanding the hero’s downfall and faults, it reminds the audience of their own human limitations and flaws. The characters and the audience are “to purge” these flaws from themselves. Hubris– excessive pride or self-confidence; a common tragic flaw.

13 Oedipus’ Backstory The Greek audience at the time of this play would have known the story of Oedipus, so Sophocles does not share a backstory. Laius, Oedipus father, was the son of Labdacus, the King of Thebes. When he died, Laius was raised by his mother and ruled Thebes. Two of Laius’ cousins tried to kill him so he went to live with King Pelops.

14 Oedipus’ Backstory Laius claimed the throne of Thebes after his cousins died. There was a curse on the house of Thebes which stated that he was to not have any children by Jocasta, his wife, because the son would one day kill him.

15 Your Groups/Scenes Scene Scene 1 (pgs ) (lines 1-244) Scene 2 (pgs ) (lines ) Scene 3 (pgs ) (lines ) Scene 4 (pgs ) (lines ) Scene 5 (pgs ) (lines 1351-end)


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