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Oedipus Rex and

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Allison Garcia

on 19 November 2013

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Transcript of Oedipus Rex and

Cultural Comparison Greece to Argentina
Oedipus Rex and
Greek Culture

About the Writer- Sophocles
Interesting Literary Techniques
Time and Setting
The play takes place in 430 B.C. Ancient Greece.
At this time, Greek culture placed great importance on oracles, mythology and prophesies.
An oracle is a place where people went to ask questions and receive information through someone who was speaking for the Gods.
Also, at this time the Peloponnesian War had begun; which resulted in Athenians questioning their traditions because they were losing to the Spartans,
Additionally the plague had a substantial effect on Ancient Greece at this time, many people were dying and social problems were arising in towns.
What was easy to understand and what was difficult in relation to social and cultural context and issues?
Easy to Understand
tragic flaw in cultural drama (line 887-91)
theme of fate/free will and relevance in culture
Relevance to culture at the time (lines 25-33)
Why Oedipus is seen as great/a valued character:
intelligence: solving the Sphinx riddle
pride: Line 7,46
courage/leadership- became king, people come to him to solve town problems
Difficult to Understand
Free will was a god-like belief (line 35)
names of the gods (lines 79,108,179, 203)
Pity of falling into fate
Greek morality and Oedipus's murders
Pride and downfall
One woman in entire play (Jocasta)
Discussion Question
In terms of your culture, or modern Greek culture, what did you find something easier of harder to understand?
Is there anything that your culture helped you understand?
496 B.C.-406 B.C. His life coincided with the rise and fall of the Golden Age of Greek Tragedy.
He wrote 123 plays throughout his life, but only 7 have survived.
Oedipus the King
is considered his masterpiece and one of the most influential dramas in history.
Oedipus the King
is part of Sophocles's Theban Plays; which are 3 in all(followed by
Oedipus at Colonus
Greek Culture and Setting Affecting the Play
The belief in oracles and prophecies is seen even prior to the beginning of the play, with the Oedipus Myth.
Prophecy that the son of King Laius and Jocasta would kill is father and marry his mother.
In the beginning of the play, the Priest is desperately asking for Oedipus's help in saving the town from the terrible plague.
In lines 711-717, Jocasta is ashamed of Oedipus and Creon arguing over personal problems instead of worrying for the country's plague suffering.
Lastly, the fight for power between Oedipus and Creon is understandable since Thebes was a kingdom.
Ancient Greek Culture
Every state was broken up into a polis (Thebes, Corinth)
Broken up between free people and slaves
Time when this was written (429 BC) is considered Classical Greece
Sophocles created "irony" by writing Oedipus Rex
On beliefs/religions: many gods, seeked help from the oracle (Delphi)
Greek philosophy based on inquiry and reason
Men ran the government
Music and Dance were an important part of Greek Culture as seen by the chorus (Oedipus Rex) and Zorba (Zorba the Greek)
Sphinx seen as a monster in Greek culture
Oedipus Complex
Olympics were part of displaying Superiority
Ancient Greek culture was also defined by their meals, which consisted mostly of vegetables, legumes, and fish.
Greek culture managed to influence many other historical events such as the Renaissance.
Strongly influenced by European ancestry
Literature heavily influenced by the fight between Federalists and Unitarians
Most acclaimed author Jose Luis Borges
Music and dance very important (Tango, rock nacional)
Religion is a very important aspect of Argentine culture
Over 70% Catholic, has Jewish and Muslim influence
Sports are a major part of Argentine culture, pato being the official sport, but soccer being the most popular
Argentine cuisine is best known for its "asado" which translated means grilled. Also heavily influenced by Italian culture.

Argentinian Culture
Dramatic Irony
Vision= Knowledge
-Oedipus solved the riddle of the Sphinx, so is thought to be intelligent, but is oblivious to his dreadful destiny
-Teiresias, the
prophet can see the future better than him (Lines 465-470)
- Oedipus's thirst for knowledge leads to his demise. Loss of vision completes his ignorance of the facts that were right in front of him
Influence of Gods
-Oedipus symbolizes that fate cannot be escaped, curse of Gods is very powerful
-Parallelism/Irony: Lines 207-216 Chorus is blaming War God for the plague and praying to Apollo to help, blame unknown murderer and look to Oedipus for help
Lines 648-650: Jocasta is the only women in the play. Despite Greek's democracy, women were not thought of as equal, but Oedipus made the exception (equal share in the gov.)
Provides an outside opinion
~ Lines 174-230: Conveys the people's fears
~Lines 959-998: Shows principles that rule the people's lives (Belief in fate)
~Lines 1420-1478: Oedipus speaks to the chorus, serves as his conscience, helping him analyze his actions

Ode: poem with an elaborate form that reveals great enthusiasm
-Stasimon: Choral ode that is divided into strophe and antistrophe (alternating views, causes tension)
Helps general flow of play (add emphasis, mediator between 2 characters)
The audience knew Oedipus was bound for disaster, but he in vain tried to find murder and set on bringing justice
-He has good moral principles
-Genuinely clueless at the beginning, but slowly start to realize
Prosecutor-> Prosecuted
Lines 1152-1191 Even Jocasta has noticed at this point and leaves quickly (before the Herdsman even arrives), and Oedipus, believes she is just ashamed he might be of humble origin
-Line 1185: "a child of fortune", believes it was a blessing to be saved from death, then in Lines 1465-1469, he curses his savior and realizes it was a curse

Although Apollo is the prominent God in this play,
also plays a major role
-The play practically revolves around her because she is the one who symbolizes the blindness of humans that lead to crimes and the Gods' punishment
Full transcript