Study Guide for Oedipus - Study Guide for Oedipus the King Background Some tragic plays depicted powerful men undone by misfortune their own bad

Study Guide for Oedipus - Study Guide for Oedipus the King...

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Study Guide for Oedipus the King Background: Some tragic plays depicted powerful men undone by misfortune, their own bad judgment, or hubris, and thrown into defeat and exile o Paradox- the audience takes pleasure in watching the suffering of others Tragic hero o Protagonist/ hero of the tragedy o Person of “high estate”- noble family o Must fall from power, happiness, and dignity o Must have a tragic flaw, or weakness Recognition o Revelation of some fact not known before or some person’s true identity o Discovery of the tragic hero’s role in his own undoing Reversal o An action that turns out to have the opposite effect from the one its doer had intended Origins of Oedipus the King o Put on at a festival in Athens after the city survived a plague o Name derived from pun—Oida means “to know” Contrasting themes in play Sight vs. blindness Wisdom vs. ignorance Fate vs. free will o Audience knows the plot of play prior to attending Characters: Oedipus Identifies with his people o Paternal relationship—addresses his people as children Leader o Charismatic o Personal o Arrogant—not modest aware of the contributions he has made and who he is denies the power of fate—thinks his free will dominates o Empathic o Confident
egomaniac o Proactive o Reactive Impulsive o Suspicious of others in a crisis

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