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OEDIPUS REX: (Oedipus the King) The first play in the Theban trilogy and the model of Greek tragedy

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OEDIPUS REX:. (Oedipus the King) The first play in the Theban trilogy and the model of Greek tragedy. The audience watches a man’s fate unravel before him:. PROLOGUE QUESTION 1: Read the play’s backstory and evaluate the role of FATE vs. FREE WILL in the play. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: OEDIPUS REX:

OEDIPUS REX:

(Oedipus the King)The first play in the Theban trilogy and the model of Greek

tragedy

Page 2: OEDIPUS REX:

The audience watches a man’s fate unravel before him:

PROLOGUE QUESTION 1:• Read the play’s backstory

and evaluate the role of FATE vs. FREE WILL in the play.

• Then explain why audiences experience CATHARSIS, an outpouring of pity or fear when Oedipus finds out his true identity.

Page 3: OEDIPUS REX:

Suppliants (beggars) gather at the gates of the city

PROLOGUE QUESTION 2:There is a plague on the city of Thebes and the people have come to beg Oedipus for help. Pre-read page 160 to find out what problems the city has and make a sign for the rally at the gates of the city.

Page 4: OEDIPUS REX:

Oedipus faces a crowd of Thebans, his people who are suffering.

PROLOGUE QUESTION 3: p159• What do we learn about Oedipus from his opening comments?Consider:• How does he feel about his city and his people?• How does he react to their begging?• How does he describe himself?• What do his comments foreshadow (hint) for the

audience?

Page 5: OEDIPUS REX:

Prologue Recap:Setting: The gates of the royal home of OedipusBefore the scene: • “Many years have passed since Oedipus solved the riddle of

the Sphinx” and taken the throne of the previous king, Laius. • He has tried to escape his prophesy that he would murder

his father and marry his mother—he has fled his city of Corinth.

• He did not know he was adopted though—he kills a man on his way to Thebes (his biological father) and married the queen after saving the city from the Sphinx (his biological mother).

Page 6: OEDIPUS REX:

Prologue Recap:• Oedipus comes out of his home to welcome the “children of

Thebes,” beggars who have come asking him to help the city.• Oedipus shows he cares for his people: “I’m ready to help, I’ll

do anything.”• Oedipus ironically (DRAMATIC IRONY) references blindness—

we know he is figuratively blind to his true identity and that he will literally blind himself later. (FORESHADOWING, BLINDNESS MOTIF)

• He greets the priest who has come to speak on behalf of the people of Thebes.

• The priest tells him that the city is a sinking ship that “cannot lift her head from the depths.” (SHIP MOTIF)

Page 7: OEDIPUS REX:

The priest speaks of the plague and begs help of Oedipus.

PROLOGUE QUESTION 4: p160-161• What does the priest reveal about the city

and its people?• What does the priest want from Odysseus?• How does he appeal to him with flattery?• How does he appeal to his pride?• How does he remind the audience of the

dangers of HUBRIS—excessive pride or arrogance?

Page 8: OEDIPUS REX:

Oedipus feels the pain of the city of Thebes.

PROLOGUE QUESTION 5: • How does Oedipus respond to

the priest’s request? • Consider what this reveals

about him as a leader.

• What action has he already taken?

• Consider the role of religion and the gods in ancient tragedy.

Page 9: OEDIPUS REX:

Creon says that the killer must be banished or

“pay back blood with blood.”PROLOGUE QUESTION 6:• What is Creon’s message from the oracle?• Consider why although Creon tries to report to

Oedipus in privacy, Oedipus insists on taking the report in public.

• What information is now needed?• Consider what “grounds for hope” Oedipus feels he now has.

Page 10: OEDIPUS REX:

Oedipus reassures:“I’ll bring it all to light myself!”

PROLOGUE QUESTION 7: • How does Oedipus reassure him?• Consider the use of DRAMATIC IRONY (the contrast between

the audience knows and a character does not know.) • How do lines 156-159 affect the audience? • Consider:“I am the land’s avenger.”“Not to assist some distant kinsman.”“For my own sake I rid us of this corruption.”“By avenging Laius I defend myself.”

Page 11: OEDIPUS REX:

The Parados: The Entry of the Chorus

PROLOGUE QUESTION 8/ EPISODE 1 QUESTION 1:• Here the Chorus represents the elders of Thebes.• They speak in poetry/song and traditionally dance on stage. • They narrate and comment on the action of the play.• The Chorus will now remain on stage until the end of the play.• Their song is in mirroring stanzas called “strophe” and “antistrophe”• They comment on the religious messages of the play as its moral

compass.• Find at least one example of DICTION (word choice) related to religion and mourning (sorrow at a death or loss.)

Page 12: OEDIPUS REX:

FIRST EPISODE:

EPISODE 1 QUSTION 2:• What props or materials

would enhance a theatrical production of Oedipus?

• Consider the pros and cons of using the traditional masks of Ancient Greek drama.

• s

Page 13: OEDIPUS REX:

Parados and Episode 1 RECAP:

Parados: • The Chorus enters and chants to the gods,

begging to be saved from the plague. • “Thebes is dying” (169).Episode 1:• Oedipus announces to the people how he will

seek out the killer of the previous king, Laius (whom he doesn’t know is the guy he killed at the crossroads and is his father)

• “I speak now as a stranger to the story” (171).

Page 14: OEDIPUS REX:

Oedipus tries tocatch the killer:

EPISODE 1 QUESTION 3: (p171-172)• Describe Oedipus’ approach to catching the criminal.• “I order him to reveal the full truth to me.”• “He will suffer no unbearable punishment.”• “I will give a handsome reward.”• “But if you keep silent…”• “Banish this man…drive him out.”• “My curse on the murderer.”• Compare that with methods used to catch criminals

today.

Page 15: OEDIPUS REX:

Dramatic irony (Contrast between what audience knows and what Oedipus does not)

EPISODE 1 QUESTION 4: • Which of Oedipus’ lines provide added effect to the DRAMATIC

IRONY?• “If I’d been present then, there would have been no mystery”

(171)• “Let that man drag out his life in agony, step by painful step”

(172)• “Why, our seed might have been the same,children born of the same mother might have created blood-bonds between us” (173)• “So I will fight for him as if he were my father” (173)

Page 16: OEDIPUS REX:

Tiresias: the blind prophet or “seer”:“sees with the eyes of Apollo” (174).

EPISODE 1 QUESTION 5:• Explain Oedipus’ PARADOXICAL

(contradictory) statement about eyesight on p176.

• Consider: the MOTIF (pattern) of contrast between sight vs. blindness, light vs. dark and truth vs. ignorance throughout the play.

Page 17: OEDIPUS REX:

Contrast between Oedipus and Tiresias

EPISODE 1 QUESTION 6:• Why is Tiresias slow to give Oedipus the

information he desires?• Consider the contrast in pacing (Oedipus’

desire for quickness and the old prophet’s slowness and steady, unyielding attitude.)

• How does Oedipus respond to this delay?• Consider the role of emotionality for

Oedipus.

Page 18: OEDIPUS REX:

Conflict and irony: Tiresias vs. Oedipus

EPISODE 1 QUESTIONS 7 and 8:• Why does Oedipus return his attention to

Creon?• Consider the role he believes Creon

plays in the prophecy given by Tiresias. • How does Oedipus display his superiority

over Tiresias? How does that contribute to the DRAMATIC IRONY in the scene?

• Consider what Tiresias and the audience knows that Oedipus does not know.

Page 19: OEDIPUS REX:

Tiresias responds to the accusation: “So, you mock my blindness?” (183) EPISODE 1 QUESTION 9 and 10:• What does Tiresias predict will

happen to Oedipus? Explain. (183-185)

• “If you find I’ve lied, from this day onward call the prophet blind” (185).

• How does the Chorus view the accusations of Tiresias against Oedipus. Explain.

• “No, not till I see these charges proved will I side with his accusers…Never will I convict my king, never in my heart.” (187).

Page 20: OEDIPUS REX:

Episode 1 and Stasimon 1 RECAP:

• Oedipus begins to seek out the killer to relieve his city of the plague.

• He calls upon the blind prophet Tiresias to reveal the truth.• Tiresias refuses to speak, but Oedipus bullies and threatens

him into revealing what he knows.• Even more enraged, Oedipus now believes that the

prophet is being bribed by his brother-in-law, Creon, whom he thinks wants the throne for himself.

• Tiresias leaves Oedipus to reflect on his cursed life. • The Chorus calls upon the gods to reveal the truth, still

remaining loyal (186-187).

Page 21: OEDIPUS REX:

Creon, the accusedEPISODE 2, QUESTION 2: (pages 188-189)• How does Creon present his CONFLICT (man vs.

man) with Oedipus to the public?• How does the CHORUS (as “Leader”) respond to

his comments? • Consider the CHORUS’ roles here:- Representative of city- Loyal subject to king- Mediator

Page 22: OEDIPUS REX:

Creon fights Oedipus with logic

EPISODE 2, QUESTION 3:• How does Creon defend himself against the

accusations of Oedipus?• What RHETORICAL APPEALS does he use?• Logic: “If I wore the crown…there’d be many

painful duties to perform, hardly to my taste” (191).

• Ethics: “How wrong it is to take the good for bad…reject a friend, a kinsman” (194).

• Emotions: “I would as soon tear out the life within us, priceless life itself” (194).

Page 23: OEDIPUS REX:

The Queen arrives

EPISODE 2, QUESTION 4:• Identify DICTION (word choices) in Jocasta’s

first lines that sound more like a mother than a wife.

• “Have you no sense? Poor misguided men, such shouting—why this public outburst? Aren’t you ashamed, with the land so sick, to stir up private quarrels?” (196)

Page 24: OEDIPUS REX:

Oedipus gives in to the Chorus and Jocasta

EPISODE 2, QUESTION 5:• Why does Oedipus eventually let Creon go?• How do both men indicate that their

CONFLICT is not resolved?• “He, wherever he goes, my hate goes with

him” (198).• “These men know I’m right” (198).

Page 25: OEDIPUS REX:

Tracing a motif: ships and pilots

EPISODE 2, QUESTION 6:• Explain the ship’s pilot

(helmsman) METAPHOR.• Consider the ship

references as a recurring motif.

• “You who set our beloved land—storm-tossed, shattered—straight on course. Now again, good helmsman, steer us through the storm” (199).

Page 26: OEDIPUS REX:

Jocasta: Prophesies are phony--“brush them from your mind” (201).EPISODE 2, QUESTION 7:• Explain Jocasta’s comments that no

mortal has the power of prophecy. • “No skill in the world, nothing human

can penetrate the future” (201).• How doe her comments produce

DRAMATIC IRONY? • “There you see? Apollo brought

neither thing to pass” (201).

Page 27: OEDIPUS REX:

Oedipus: This story sounds oddly familiar…

EPISODE 2, QUESTION 8:• Which parts of Oedipus and Jocasta’s stories

overlap?• Consider why Oedipus is growing anxious—

what is he realizing?• Consider the SETTING:• PLACE: “I heard you say that Laius was cut

down at a place where three roads meet” (202).

• TIME: “The heralds no sooner reported Laius dead than you appeared and they hailed you king of Thebes” (202).

• Consider what questions Oedipus asks—”Laius, how did he look?” (202).

Page 28: OEDIPUS REX:

Oedipus recalls some important details…

EPISODE 2, QUESTION 9A:• What was Oedipus’ reason for

seeking out the oracle as a young man?

• Consider the revelation of the man at the banquet who had drunk too much.

• Consider his parents’ response to the inquiry Oedipus makes into his birth.

• “Still this thing kept gnawing at me” (205).

Page 29: OEDIPUS REX:

The crossroads of fateEPISODE 2, QUESTION 9B:• Describe Oedipus’ episode

at the place where the three roads meet.

• Is it consistent with the way that he has behaved so far in the play?

• “I strike him in anger!” (206).

Page 30: OEDIPUS REX:

The horror:EPISODE 2, QUESTION 10:• As Oedipus unravels the truth, how does

he respond to his discovery?• Why does he bring up the gods’ role in

these events?• “Oh, but if there is any blood-tie between

Laius and this stranger…what man alive more miserable than I? More hated by the gods?” (206).

• “Wasn’t I born for torment? Look me in the eyes! I am abomination—heart and soul! I must be exiled” (206).

Page 31: OEDIPUS REX:

We must find the witness!

EPISODE 2, QUESTION 11:• What last hope does

Oedipus have of his innocence?

• “But at least question the witness” (207).

• “You said thieves—he told you a whole band of them murdered Laius” (208).

Page 32: OEDIPUS REX:

Stasimon 2: The Chorus reflects on HUBRIS

EPISODE 2, QUESTIONS 12 and 13: • Explain the CHORUS’

concern about HUBRIS, excessive pride or arrogance.

• What threat does the CHORUS make and why?

• “Pride breeds the tyrant” (209).