background on greek drama and oedipus rex by sophocles

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Background on Greek Background on Greek Drama and Drama and Oedipus Rex Oedipus Rex by Sophocles by Sophocles

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Page 1: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Background on Greek Drama Background on Greek Drama and and Oedipus Rex Oedipus Rex

by Sophoclesby Sophocles

Page 2: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Review: Sophocles and Greek DramaReview: Sophocles and Greek Drama

How was Greek drama born?How was Greek drama born?It developed from ancient rituals honoring It developed from ancient rituals honoring Dionysus. The celebrations became a yearly Dionysus. The celebrations became a yearly occurrence held in Athens. occurrence held in Athens.

Difference between tragedies and satyr Difference between tragedies and satyr plays?plays?

Tragedies are serious plays about religious or Tragedies are serious plays about religious or mythic questions.mythic questions.

Satyr plays are humorous plays about religious or Satyr plays are humorous plays about religious or mythic questions.mythic questions.

Page 3: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Review: Sophocles and Greek DramaReview: Sophocles and Greek Drama

Describe the Describe the theater of theater of Dionysus.Dionysus.

SemicircleSemicircleSeats carved Seats carved out of stone on out of stone on a hillsidea hillsidePerformance Performance area in two area in two parts: parts: orchestra and orchestra and skeneskene

Page 4: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Review: Sophocles and Greek DramaReview: Sophocles and Greek Drama

Sophocles surprised Athenians by:Sophocles surprised Athenians by:Winning first prize for tragedy at the festival of Winning first prize for tragedy at the festival of Dionysus, beating Aeschylus.Dionysus, beating Aeschylus.

Who was Aeschylus?Who was Aeschylus?The leading playwright of the time (think Steven The leading playwright of the time (think Steven Speilberg)Speilberg)

How many tragedies did Sophocles write?How many tragedies did Sophocles write?He wrote more than 120 tragedies… only 7 still He wrote more than 120 tragedies… only 7 still survive today.survive today.

Page 5: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Review: Sophocles and Greek DramaReview: Sophocles and Greek Drama

What was Sophocles concerned about?What was Sophocles concerned about?He was concerned with the individual’s need to He was concerned with the individual’s need to find his/her place in the world within the existing find his/her place in the world within the existing moral/cosmic order.moral/cosmic order.

Moral lessons against too much pride and religious Moral lessons against too much pride and religious indifference.indifference.

What did Sophocles add to Greek drama?What did Sophocles add to Greek drama?A third actor (originally two- used masks)A third actor (originally two- used masks)

Painted setsPainted sets

Larger chorus (from 12 to 15 members) Larger chorus (from 12 to 15 members)

Page 6: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Greek TheatreGreek Theatre

Page 7: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Greek Dramatic StructureGreek Dramatic Structure

THE PROLOGUE (PROLOGOS):THE PROLOGUE (PROLOGOS): THE THE OPENING PORTIONOPENING PORTION OF THE PLAY, OF THE PLAY, WHICH SETS THE SCENE AND WHICH SETS THE SCENE AND CONTAINS THE CONTAINS THE EXPOSITION OR BASIC EXPOSITION OR BASIC SITUATION.SITUATION.THE PARADOS: THE PARADOS: THE THE ENTRANCE SONGENTRANCE SONG OF THE CHORUS. THE PARADOS IS OF THE CHORUS. THE PARADOS IS NAMED AFTER THE BROAD AISLE ON NAMED AFTER THE BROAD AISLE ON EITHER SIDE OF THE THEATER, EITHER SIDE OF THE THEATER, WHERE THE CHORUS WHERE THE CHORUS ENTERED OR ENTERED OR EXITED.EXITED.

Page 8: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Greek Dramatic StructureGreek Dramatic StructureTHE EPISODES (SCENES):THE EPISODES (SCENES): SCENE IN THE SCENE IN THE ACTIONACTION OF THE DRAMA... THE EPISODES OF THE DRAMA... THE EPISODES ALTERNATE WITH THE STASIMONS (ALTERNATE WITH THE STASIMONS (ODESODES).).

THE STASIMONS (ODES): THE STASIMONS (ODES): A CHORAL A CHORAL PASSAGE, ALTERNATING WITH THE PASSAGE, ALTERNATING WITH THE EPISODESEPISODES OF THE PLOT OF THE DRAMA. OF THE PLOT OF THE DRAMA. AN ODE IS A TYPE OF AN ODE IS A TYPE OF LYRIC POEMLYRIC POEM. THE . THE TRAGIC ODE CONSISTS OF TRAGIC ODE CONSISTS OF STROPHES STROPHES (CHANTS) AND (CHANTS) AND ANTISTROPHESANTISTROPHES (RESPONSES) IN STANZAS OF THE POEMS. (RESPONSES) IN STANZAS OF THE POEMS. THIRD PART OF THE ODE IS THE THIRD PART OF THE ODE IS THE EPODEEPODE..

Page 9: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Greek Dramatic StructureGreek Dramatic Structure

EXODUS:EXODUS: THE CONCLUDING SECTION OF THE CONCLUDING SECTION OF THE TRAGEDY. THE EXODUS ENDS WITH THE TRAGEDY. THE EXODUS ENDS WITH THE CHORUS SINGINGTHE CHORUS SINGING THEIR FINAL LINES THEIR FINAL LINES AS THEY EXIT.AS THEY EXIT.

Page 10: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Greek Dramatic StructureGreek Dramatic Structure

A CLASSIC GREEK TRAGEDY CONSISTS OF:A CLASSIC GREEK TRAGEDY CONSISTS OF: – PROLOGUEPROLOGUE– PARADOSPARADOS– SCENE 1 (EPISODE 1)SCENE 1 (EPISODE 1)- - actionaction– ODE 1 (STASIMON 1)ODE 1 (STASIMON 1)- - choruschorus– SCENE 2 (EPISODE 2) SCENE 2 (EPISODE 2) - - actionaction– ODE 2 (STASIMON 2) ODE 2 (STASIMON 2) - - choruschorus– SCENE 3 (EPISODE 3) SCENE 3 (EPISODE 3) - - actionaction– ODE 3 (STASIMON 3) ODE 3 (STASIMON 3) - - choruschorus– SCENE 4 (EPISODE 4) SCENE 4 (EPISODE 4) - - actionaction– ODE 4 (STASIMON 4) ODE 4 (STASIMON 4) - - choruschorus– EXODUSEXODUS

Page 11: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Common in Greek Tragedy:Common in Greek Tragedy:Dramatic ironyDramatic irony: When the : When the audience knows audience knows something that the characters don’t knowsomething that the characters don’t knowFall of HubrisFall of Hubris: Hubris is : Hubris is excessiveexcessive pride pride. Many . Many tragedies deal with human pride leading to tragedies deal with human pride leading to arrogant behaviors that anger the godsarrogant behaviors that anger the gods. Thus, . Thus, man must be man must be punishedpunished..Fate vs. DestinyFate vs. Destiny: Many tragedies feature : Many tragedies feature characters who try to escape characters who try to escape unfavorable unfavorable propheciesprophecies. This is futile, however, as man does . This is futile, however, as man does not often have the power or luck to change not often have the power or luck to change his/her his/her fate as determined by cosmic forces or fate as determined by cosmic forces or gods/goddesses.gods/goddesses.

Page 12: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Characteristics of a Tragic HeroCharacteristics of a Tragic Hero

Must have a Must have a fall from greatnessfall from greatness (either power, (either power, wealth, or social standing)wealth, or social standing)

Must be an extraordinary person, yet have a Must be an extraordinary person, yet have a tragic flawtragic flaw

Tragic flaw: often a Tragic flaw: often a positive character traitpositive character trait that, that, when when taken to the extremetaken to the extreme, causes tragedy, causes tragedy

Must experience a Must experience a moment of realizationmoment of realization that that he/she has erredhe/she has erred

Must Must suffer greatlysuffer greatly due to his/her actions or flaw due to his/her actions or flaw (often, but not always, this means death)(often, but not always, this means death)

Page 13: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

The House of CadmusThe House of Cadmus

Zeus lusts after Zeus lusts after EuropaEuropa, but , but didn’t want to seduce her for didn’t want to seduce her for fear of angering fear of angering HeraHeraHe changes himself into a He changes himself into a white bullwhite bull so Hera won’t so Hera won’t suspect himsuspect himEuropa thinks the bull is Europa thinks the bull is beautiful and climbs onto his beautiful and climbs onto his backbackZeus (bull) leaps up into the Zeus (bull) leaps up into the sky with hersky with herHe takes her to the island of He takes her to the island of CreteCrete

Page 14: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

House of Cadmus (cont.)House of Cadmus (cont.)Europa’s father, King of Europa’s father, King of Sidon, Sidon, sends her brotherssends her brothers to look for herto look for herOne son, One son, CadmusCadmus, goes to , goes to the Oracle at Delphi to ask the Oracle at Delphi to ask ApolloApollo where she is where she isApollo tells Cadmus to stop Apollo tells Cadmus to stop searching and to searching and to build his build his own cityown cityApollo tells him to follow a Apollo tells him to follow a cow and to build where cow and to build where the the cow lays down to rest…cow lays down to rest…

Page 15: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

House of Cadmus (cont.)House of Cadmus (cont.)

The cow lays down, but first The cow lays down, but first Cadmus has to Cadmus has to slay a dragonslay a dragon (sacred to Ares) guarding a (sacred to Ares) guarding a nearby spring (nearby spring (DirceDirce))AthenaAthena appears to Cadmus and appears to Cadmus and tells him to plant the tells him to plant the dragon’s dragon’s teethteeth in the soil to start his city in the soil to start his cityWarriors pop out of the soil and Warriors pop out of the soil and begin begin killing each otherkilling each otherAll but 5 die and the survivors All but 5 die and the survivors help help Cadmus create ThebesCadmus create Thebes

Page 16: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

House of Cadmus (cont.)House of Cadmus (cont.)

After serving After serving Ares for 8 yearsAres for 8 years as as punishment for slaying the punishment for slaying the dragon, Cadmus marries dragon, Cadmus marries HarmoniaHarmonia, one of Ares and , one of Ares and Aphrodite’s daughtersAphrodite’s daughters

Harmonia is given Harmonia is given a necklacea necklace as a as a wedding gift. It is cursed by wedding gift. It is cursed by Hephaestus as revengeHephaestus as revenge for for Aphrodite’s infidelityAphrodite’s infidelity

They have four daughters and They have four daughters and one son: Agave, Autonoe, one son: Agave, Autonoe, Semele, Ino, and PolydorusSemele, Ino, and Polydorus

Page 17: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

House of Cadmus (cont.)House of Cadmus (cont.)

Page 18: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Oedipus: King of ThebesOedipus: King of ThebesOedipus (Oedipus (Swollen footSwollen foot) leaves his home ) leaves his home city of city of CorinthCorinth because of a prophecy because of a prophecy that he will that he will kill his father and marry his kill his father and marry his mothermother (King and Queen of Corinth). (King and Queen of Corinth). During his travels, he comes upon During his travels, he comes upon ThebesThebes, which is being terrorized by , which is being terrorized by the Sphinxthe SphinxThe Sphinx will leave the city if someone The Sphinx will leave the city if someone can can solve a riddlesolve a riddle: What walks on four : What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening?”and three legs in the evening?”Oedipus answers, “Oedipus answers, “ManMan”. The sphinx ”. The sphinx drowns herself in defeat. Thebes is drowns herself in defeat. Thebes is saved!saved!

Page 19: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Oedipus: King of ThebesOedipus: King of Thebes

Oedipus becomes the king Oedipus becomes the king and marries and marries JocastaJocasta, the , the queenqueenThe former Theban king, The former Theban king, LaiusLaius, was previously , was previously murderedmurderedAs the play opens, Thebes As the play opens, Thebes is suffering a is suffering a terrible terrible plagueplague because Laius’ because Laius’ death has death has not been not been avengedavenged

Page 20: Background on Greek Drama and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

Oedipus RexOedipus Rex: Characters: Characters

Oedipus- King of ThebesOedipus- King of ThebesJocasta- Queen of ThebesJocasta- Queen of ThebesCreonCreon- Jocasta’s brother; acted - Jocasta’s brother; acted as king when Laius was as king when Laius was murderedmurderedTiresiasTiresias- blind prophet- blind prophetMessenger from Corinth (city Messenger from Corinth (city that Oedipus is originally from)that Oedipus is originally from)ShepherdShepherdAntigone and IsmeneAntigone and Ismene- Oedipus - Oedipus and Jocasta’s daughtersand Jocasta’s daughtersChorus and Chorus leader Chorus and Chorus leader ((ChoragusChoragus) - act as the “) - act as the “voices voices of societyof society””