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Modern Connections to Oedipus

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Jill Wall

on 21 November 2014

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Transcript of Modern Connections to Oedipus

Oedipus Complex
The ideas and emotions that the mind keeps in the unconscious that focuses on a child’s desire to have a sexual relationship with the parent of the opposite sex.
Normally occurs in the development between ages 3-6, when the libido and ego are formed.
Psychosexual infantilism: The child begins to sexually identify themselves as a “boy” or “girl”. The directs his libido towards his mother, and directs his anger and jealousy towards his father. The boy’s superego wants to kill his father because of the time he spends with the mother and the relationship they have together, but the pragmatic ego identifies the father as the super male, so out of fear does not attempt to kill the father.
Psycho-logic defense: Defense mechanisms provide for resolutions between the super ego and the ego.
Basically: The boy feels he needs to compete against his father to win the sexual love of his mother. Sometimes this desire makes the son kill his father.
Modern Connection
In today’s society, Oedipus Complex is not an accepted theory, it is considered to be a disgusting theory that is not seen in “normal human development”. Most children do not experience this stage of development, only those in unhealthy relationships would be exposed or able to develop this sort of relationship with their parents. However, there are some rare examples:

Changing Role of the Chorus
Sophocles has a “chorus” group named the Thebans, to comment on and display the mood of the play. They are used to foreshadow events and create turning points. They also initiate opinions of the plot line, whether negative or positive.
His chorus is divided into two groups, the strophe and a antistrophe. In greek, strophe is translated as “turn” and antistrophe, “turn back”. The two sides of the chorus may have been developed to portray both arguments of every story point, and the undecidable debates.

Modern Connection with Changing Roles of the Chorus
The plays use of the background chorus is similar to that of a Hollywood film. Among every movie are its songs and clips of tones that make the mood what it is. It’s hard to imagine any Scream movie without an intense, anticipating tone that works up the mood. The background music and speakers overall presents the mood as well as foreshadows any events as they are about to occur. A tool easily seen in any present day horror movie.
Evolution of Drama
Greeks are responsible for the birth of drama
Three types of drama-comedy, satyr, and tragedy
The first comedies mocked men in power for their vanity and foolishness, they later were about ordinary people and made into sitcom-like plays
Old comedy was mainly political satire and sexual and scatological (the study of feces) innuendos, which mainly defines the genre of comedies today.
Middle comedy differs from old comedy in three ways: the role of the chorus was diminished to the point where it had no influence on the plot, public characters were not impersonated or personified on stage, and the objects of ridicule were general rather than personal, literary rather than political
New comedy did not last long. It was built on a legacy from their predecessors, drawing upon a vast array of dramatic devices, characters and situations their predecessors had developed. It is comparable to situational comedy or comedy of manners

By: Paige Bechtle, Emma Fink, Carlee Moran, Nicole Profita, Sarah Thorpe and Jillian Wall
Modern Connections to Oedipus
Tragedy dealt with the big themes of love, loss, pride, the abuse of power, and the relationship between men and gods. The protagonist typically commits a terrible crime without realizing, then once he realized his world falls apart. Most tragedies are based on mythology or history and deal with characters’ search for the meaning of life and the nature of gods. Aristotle argued that tragedy cleansed the heart through pity and terror, purging us of our petty concerns and worries by making us aware that there can be nobility in suffering. He called this experience 'catharsis'.
Satyr’s were performed between tragedies and made fun of the circumstances of the tragedies’ characters. Satyr’s were mythical half human half goat figures who wore large phalluses for comedic effect. Few examples of these plays survive. They are classified by some authors as tragicomic, or comedy dramas

Modern Connections to Drama
Changing Class of Protagonist
Comedies and tragedies have stood the test of time in today’s movies, play, TV shows, and youtube videos. Old comedy is the type, as stated, full of political, sexual, and scatological jokes, which is the majority of jokes in today’s society. The world of entertainment focuses on drama, loss, love, comedy, all of human emotions for the world to experience and identify with.
Although most people don’t want to have sex with their mother or kill their father these days, the messages of Oedipus Rex connect to the modern world. Oedipus had a problem with this pride. He thought that the he could solve anything and do anything and this was his problem. People today share that problem. Most times people think they know what they’re doing with technology but end up usually making the problem worse. Oedipus also had another flaw; he lacked self-knowledge. He was the one creating all the problems and was completely unaware of it. In today’s society, our self-knowledge is often blinded by pride.

Continued....
Greeks cared deeply about the pursuit of knowledge, and Sophocles uses the character transformation of Oedipus and his class rank to highlight the theme of knowledge and transformation in his famous work.
As Oedipus grows in terrifying self-knowledge, he changes from a prideful, heroic king at the beginning of the play, to a tyrant in denial toward the middle, to a fearful, condemned man, humbled by his tragic fate by the end.
At first, Oedipus chooses to answer the riddle of the Sphinx despite her threat of death to anyone who fails to answer correctly. Only a man like Oedipus, a man possessing tremendous self-confidence, could have such courage
But soon after, Oedipus' character changes to a man in denial-a man more like a tyrant than a king-as he begins to solve the new riddle of Laius' death. A growing paranoia grips Oedipus when Jocasta recounts the story of her husband's murder, leading the king to suspect his own past actions, yet blaming others for these actions.


Lastly, Oedipus becomes a man humbled with the pain and dejection of knowing the truth of reality as the overwhelming evidence forces him to admit his tragic destiny. Sophocles shows the sudden change in his protagonist's persona when Oedipus condemns himself, saying, "I stand revealed at last-cursed in my birth, cursed in marriage, cursed in the lives I cut down with these hands!"
The transformation of Oedipus' character is most clearly demonstrated when he chooses to gouge out his eyes
Consequently, Oedipus can no longer be called a tyrant, let alone a king, after being humiliated in this way, unable to see or even walk without assistance, changing his demeanor for the third time in the play

Modern Connections to Changing Class of the Protagonist
Greeks cared deeply about the pursuit of knowledge, and Sophocles uses the character transformation of Oedipus and his class rank to highlight the theme of knowledge and transformation in his famous work.
As Oedipus grows in terrifying self-knowledge, he changes from a prideful, heroic king at the beginning of the play, to a tyrant in denial toward the middle, to a fearful, condemned man, humbled by his tragic fate by the end.
At first, Oedipus chooses to answer the riddle of the Sphinx despite her threat of death to anyone who fails to answer correctly. Only a man like Oedipus, a man possessing tremendous self-confidence, could have such courage
But soon after, Oedipus' character changes to a man in denial-a man more like a tyrant than a king-as he begins to solve the new riddle of Laius' death. A growing paranoia grips Oedipus when Jocasta recounts the story of her husband's murder, leading the king to suspect his own past actions, yet blaming others for these actions.


Just as Oedipus’ class lowered from royalty to low-class, the plays themselves have become less and less fancier.
Back in time, when Oedipus was written, plays were focused on characters of status or rank, such as King Oedipus
Nowadays, we watch movies about average, everyday people. Plays are based on historical events, TV shows use satire in their skits to make fun of politicians and celebrities, and movies relay the one-in-a-million love story of normal people with normal lifestyles.
Movies, plays, and shows are also more accessible to more types of people with the obvious advancement of technology from Oedipus Rex days to today
Anyone can decide to turn their TV on, take a trip to Broadway, or go to the movie theater, whereas only wealthier people used to have the ability to go to a fancy showing.

Modern Connection...
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