Oedipus Rex Introduction

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  • 1.Oedipus RexLecture

2. Sophocles

  • Born 496 B.C.
  • Wrote 113 plays, only 7 have survived
  • From an area outside Athens, Greece
  • Won 1 stat the Dionysian 18 times
  • Innovator of drama: painted background scenery and 3speaking actors
  • Interested in character portrayal
  • Concerned with the individuals struggle with Fate
  • Died at 90 in 406 B.C

3. Origins of Greek Drama-Dionysus

  • Began through religious worship of Dionysus
  • Greek god of wine, revelry, and physical pleasure
  • Handsome and vigorous-filled with the joy of life
  • Father of the Greek Theater

4. Origins of Greek Drama

  • When grapes were harvested, the Greeks would celebrate in honor of Dionysus
  • Much dancing and singing
  • Some people wore masks
  • At first, everyone took part in the activities.Then, some who danced or sang better than the others would take control of the activities.
  • The others would gather to watch, thusperformancecame into existence
  • A large audience needed a place to see the performance.The people sought out semi-circular hillsides sloping down toward a flat area.This flat area was stomped down and called the dancing circle and Western civilizations first stage

5. The First Theatre 6. Theatre of Delphi 7. Theatre Ruins

  • Theatre of Dionysus

Theatre at Epidaurus 8. LSUs Greek Theatre 9. Characteristics of Greek Drama

  • Open to to the sky
  • Seats of stone
  • Simple props used
  • No violence represented directly on stage
  • Rich citizens (patrons) funded the expense of putting on a play
  • Awesome acoustics and visibility
  • Tickets were free
  • Only occurred once a year at the Feast of Dionysus

10. Characteristics of Greek Drama

  • Women sat apart from men
  • Only men were actors or in the chorus: elaborate masks worn
  • Lively audience, ate and drank, quarreled, shouted, hissed, groaned, threw olives, figs, or stones
  • Three days of drama-on each day five plays were presented: 3 tragedies, a satyr play, and a comedy
  • Winners chosen by a panel of 10 judges

11. Greek Masks 12. The Chorus

  • Earliest Greek drama was a group production performed by a chorus
  • The chorus sometimes sang, sometimes chanted
  • In 535 B.C., a man named Thespis, who was a prominent leader of the chorus, stepped out from the group and recited alonethus, the first actor
  • Originally, the Chorus consisted of about 50 people

13. The Chorus

  • Chorus dwindled to no more than 15 people over the years, as first a 2 ndactor was added, and finally, a 3 rd
  • Chorus functions as another character in the play-sort of
  • Chorus sets the mood and atmosphere of the play
  • Engages in dialogue with the characters through the Chorus Leader
  • Comments on and emphasizes the main themes of the play
  • Offers important background and provides summaries so that the audience might better understand the play
  • Models an ideal audiences response to the unfolding drama
  • Foreshadows the outcome of the play

14. Tragic Hero

  • A man of high birth
  • Has great promise, ability, and integrity of character
  • Neither extremely good or evil
  • Has a tragic flaw or weakness-sometimes seen in as an error in judgment
  • Suffers, does not endure passively, fights back
  • He must have a choice
  • Downfall (causes?)

15. Characters inOedipus Rex

  • Oedipus- Pierced feet- Current King of Thebes
  • Jocasta-Oedipus wife, widow of murdered King Laius
  • Polybus and Merope-Oedipus adoptive parents, king and queen of Corinth
  • Creon-Jocastas brother
  • Teiresias-soothsayer

16. Oracle at Delphi

  • Apollos oracle
  • Prophecies given by oracle
  • Oracle a priestess of Apollo
  • Natural gas

17. Sphinx

  • Monster with the head of a woman, claws or a lion, tail of a serpent, and the wings of a bird
  • Took up residence near the cit of Thebes and asked every person the following riddle: What walks on four legs in the morning, on two at noon, and on three in the evening?
  • Killed those who could not answer her correctly

18. Things to Look for inOedipus Rex

  • Irony, chiefly, dramatic irony
  • Concept of fate
  • Characterization of Oedipus
  • Role of and Belief in the gods
  • Blindness, Truth, Knowledge
  • Disease
  • Nature of the conflict
  • Concept of transgression-violation of a law, command, or duty