overview - sophocles and oedipus rex (key details)

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Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

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Page 1: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Overview - Sophocles

and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Page 2: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Sophocles

•496 – 406 B. C.•a playwright who lived a long, comfortable, happy life•grew up in a wealthy family in ATHENS, GREECE

Page 3: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Sophocles•his dramatic work portrayed

misery and tragedy• reflected his strong religious

beliefs and beliefs in Gods/fate of his culture

•considered a master of artistic development of incident, working on feelings, culmination of interest leading up to final crisis, crushing blow of catastrophe

Page 4: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Sophocles

• By age 16, he was already known for his beauty, grace, and was chosen to lead a boys’ choir

• In his first competition, he took first prize, defeating Aeschylus the great playwright

• He won 18 first prizes, and never failed to take at least second

Page 5: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Sophocles

• An accomplished actor, he performed in many of his own plays

• His weak voice forced him to give up acting

• Additional duties included acting as ordained priest, serving on Board of Generals, and being director of the Treasury

Page 6: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Sophocles

• One of the great innovators of Greek theater, he was the first to add a third actor

• He abolished the trilogic form – made each tragedy a complete entity, unlike Aeschylus

• Credited with inventing scene-painting

Page 7: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Sophocles• Of his remaining 7 plays, Oedipus

the King is considered his greatest work

• Explores the depths of modern psycho-analysis as Oedipus unwittingly kills his father and marries his mother

• A masterful work of plot & suspense, it also employs allusion and dramatic irony

Page 8: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Sophocles

• Oedipus the King is often heralded as a ‘perfectly structured’ play

• Oedipus the King is part of three plays – Antigone (written first), Oedipus the King, and Oedipus of Colonus (405 B.C. written last)

Page 9: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Sophocles

•the age of Sophocles in Greece was a time when anything seemed possible through human effort and reason

Page 10: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Sophocles

•toward the end of Sophocles’ life, Athens raged war against Sparta, their bitter rivals•there also was a great plague in 430 B.C.

Page 11: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Sophocles

Sophocles’ surviving plays (written after 440 B.C.) are deeply troubling

Page 12: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Sophocles

These plays depict characters caught up in unsolvable dilemmas that test their faith in divine and human justice

Page 13: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

THEMES

•Quest for identity and truth

•Nature of innocence and guilt

•Nature of moral responsibility

Page 14: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Imagery

•References to light and darkness to predict the future

Page 15: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Example of Imagery

•The priest says at the beginning: "All the house of Kadmos is laid waste; all emptied, and all darkened.”

Page 16: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Example of Imagery

•Oedipus promises Creon: “Then once more I must bring what is dark to light.”

Page 17: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Foreshadowing

•Because the audience already knows the legend/story of Oedipus, details such as dialogue, Choral responses, etc. provide key clues as to future events in the play

Page 18: Overview - Sophocles and Oedipus Rex (Key Details)

Example of Foreshadowing

•Teiresias tells Oedipus that it is he who is blind:

“But I say that you, with both your eyes, are blind. You cannot see the wretchedness of your life.”