Oedipus - Sophocles(c 496-406 B.C.E Oedipus the King What...

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Unformatted text preview: Sophocles (c. 496-406 B.C.E.) Oedipus the King What do I need to read? “Sophocles” Pages 612-616 in Vol. A Oedipus the King Pages 617-658 in Vol. A Who is Sophocles anyway? • with Euripedes (Medea ) and Aristophanes (Lysistrata ), he is one of Athens’ three great tragic playwrights at the epitome of classical Greek drama • his plays portray the collision of defective personal judgement with an unkind fate that leads to human loss and disaster • he was successful and highly respected in his lifetime Bust of Sophocles Oedipus the King in masks, as in ancient Greece What did he write? Oedipus Rex/Oedipus the King/Oedipus Tyrannos • this is the masterpiece of Sophocles' work • it was considered by Aristotle to be the perfect type of tragic composition • this is a tightly constructed drama • it shows mounting tension leading to a tragic fall • it presents a perfect use of the dramatic devices of recognition and discovery • there is irony in the audience’s knowing the truth which is hidden from the characters What else did he write? Oedipus at Colonnus • this is a continuation of Oedipus’ story • it depicts his exile, in company with his daughters • it also shows his eventual death Antigone • this is a continuation of the story of Oedipus’ children, particularly his daughter Antigone, and the struggle for control of Thebes after Oedipus What is Greek drama like in its early development (5 th century B.C.E.)? • it depicts the eternal conflict between fate and man • it comments in critical or approving tones on matters of the day and on eternal problems • it analyses character, guilt, and punishment • like the religious festivals during which the plays were presented, it seeks to purify the souls of men by evoking in them fear, awe, and pity • its form is strictly prescribed:- there must be unity of time, place, and action (Dramatic/Classical Unities) – see below- there can be no more than 3 actors on the stage - the chorus is used to comment on the meaning of events What are the dramatic or classical unities? • these are taken from Aristotle’s Poetics • they were later interpreted by 18 th century French classicists as prescriptive when Aristotle meant them to be descriptive • the unities serve to intensify and focus the drama of the tragedy • unity of time : all the action must take place within the limits of one day; no use of past or future...
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Oedipus - Sophocles(c 496-406 B.C.E Oedipus the King What...

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