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Oedipus Rex Intro
Transcript of Oedipus Rex Intro
Oedipus the King
Tragedy depicts the downfall of a noble hero or heroine, usually through some combination of hubris, fate, and the will of the gods.
a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat
Elements of a Greek Tragedy
Causes of a hero's downfall
events that are unavoidable and inevitable
a character's exessive pride or self-confidence
Will of the gods:
the hero or heroine has no control;
it is all up to the gods
whose messages are revealed by oracles or prophets
whose messages are revealed by prophets or oracles
a choral song that follows each scene as a way to break up the scenes, and to provide the chorus' response to the previous scene
a group of characters that chant at
various points in the action in order to comment
on it or to show the thoughts of society
leader of the chorus
Oedipus the King
All of the action takes place in the
ancient city of Thebes. The entire tragedy takes place in one place on one day.
At the beginning of the drama, we find that Thebes is in
the grips of a terrible plague. The land is barren and the people are worried about the future of their city.
The king of Thebes. A man ruled by a fate, according to which he is to murder his father and marry his own mother.He is highly intelligent, short of temper, and impetuous.
The queen of Thebes. She is a good and loving queen
who does not hesitate to speak her mind.
Jocasta’s brother. He is a responsible and loyal Theban citizen. Judicious, rational, and consistent in nature, he acts as a foil to the more impulsive Oedipus.
Former king of Thebes. Jocasta's first husband.
The blind prophet of Thebes. Tiresias has been blessed with immortality. He is the only one in Thebes who is aware of the facts of Oedipus’ life.
Daughters of Oedipus and Jocasta
Antigone and Ismene
Facts About Greek Theater
Greek tragedy was performed as part of an estimated 5-day Athenian religious festival.
This festival, The Great Dionysia, was named after
the god Dionysus--god of wine, agriculture, fertility, and the stage.
Three tragic playwrights competed during the festival for the prize for the best series of three tragedies
There were rarely more than a chorus and 3 actors, regardless of how many roles were played. Actors changed their appearance in the scene.
Actors wore masks and costumes.
Performances were outdoors often on hillsides.
Ancient Greek actors had to gesture grandly so that the entire audience could see and hear the story. However most Greek theatres were cleverly constructed to transmit even the smallest sound to any seat.
The masks were made of linen or cork, so none have survived. Tragic masks carried mournful or pained expressions, while comic masks were smiling or leering. The shape of the mask amplified the actor's voice, making his words easier for the audience to hear.
Important gods to Know
supreme ruler of all the gods on Mount Olympus.
Controlled the weather--one of his symbols is a lightning bolt.
son of Zeus and Leto; twin brother of
Artemis; god of music, prophecy, poetry,
daughter of Zeus--sprung fully-grown from
his head; goddess of wisdom, war, the arts,
industry, justice, and skill
daugther of Zeus and Leto; twin sister of Apollo;
goddess of the wilderness, the hunt, wild animals, and fertility
son of Zeus; herald (or messenger) of the olympian gods; known for his cunning and shrewdness
god of wine, agriculture, fertility, and the stage.
Structure of Greek Tragedy
A monologue or dialogue preceding the entry of the chorus, which presents the tragedy's topic
The entry chant of the chorus
There are several episodes (typically 3-5) in which one or two actors interact with the chorus.
Stationary Song; A choral ode in which the chorus may comment on or react to the preceding episode.
Exit Ode; The exit song of the chorus after the last episode.
1. Who sees? Who is Blind? Why?
2. How do we learn to "see" our blindspots?
3. How much reality can we stand?
4. How do dreamers and cynics
5. How do our emotions
affect our sight?
6. Why must humans suffer?
What are the causes of suffering?