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ENGL220 Greek Drama
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ENGL220 Greek Drama

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  • 1. Greek Drama Early Greek Theatre
  • 2. The Amphitheatre
  • 3. Greek Comedy
  • 4. Thalia, muse of comedy
  • 5. An actor playing Zeus in a comedy
  • 6. Early comedies were much like burlesque—crude humor and lots of sexual antics
  • 7. Later, when Athens became a democracy, plays began to incorporate political satire
  • 8. Lysistrata, by Aristophanes, is a comedy still performed frequently today
  • 9. The women of Greece, tired of war, go on a sex strike for peace.
  • 10. The men suffer, but the women are adamant.
  • 11. Tragedy
  • 12. A key part of tragic drama was the chorus
  • 13. All the actors were men, and all wore masks
  • 14. Oedipus Rex (the king) or Oedipus Tyrannus (the tyrant)
  • 15. The action takes place in front of the palace in the Greek city of Thebes
  • 16. Thebes was founded by Cadmus, cursed because he killed a dragon
  • 17. An Oracle consulted at Oedipus’ birth said the child would murder its father
  • 18. The child was taken to the mountains
  • 19. Its ankles were pierced, and it was left to die
  • 20. Oedipus is known in Greek mythology for being declared a Greek hero. In the myth of Oedipus, he lived up to the requests of what was called the Delphic oracle and murdered his father, King Laius out of pure rage and jealousy. As the story evolves, Oedipus unknowingly marries his own mother, Queen Jocasta and creates a family with her (Freeman and Strean 13). Resulting from his marriage, Oedipus created three intersecting crossroads. In stating this, it is meant that he engaged in sexual activity with Jocasta and had children as an outcome of their copulation.. Therefore, Oedipus helped to create three generations (or crossroads) in which he was a part of all of them (Rudnytsky 265). The Greek meaning of Oedipus’ name is "swollen foot". Oidus means swollen and pous means foot. The first syllable of Oedipus’ name, ‘oido’, means "I know." Thus his full name could be depicted as know-foot (Rudnytsky 266). The meaning of his name reverts to his feet so much particularly because of a special marking he received when he was an infant. When he was young, he had his ankles pierced, therefore, he lives up to his name of "swollen foot" and he even had difficulties in walking (Rudnytsky 265). Ironically enough the term "swollen foot" is meant to be an allusion of an erect penis (Rudnytsky 261). Because of this association, it would be simpler to decipher the true meaning of the Oedipus myth. Overall, it has evolved into an entire story about how a boy feels towards his father in a jealous way and how a boy feels towards his mother in a sexual way. Works Cited Freeman, Lucy, and Dr. Herbert S. Strean. Freud and Women. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1981. Rudnytsky, Peter L. Freud and Oedipus. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987.
  • 21. Oedipus was adopted by the King and Queen of Corinth, but left Corinth as a young man when he heard what the oracle had to say
  • 22. At a place where three roads met, he killed some travelers who would not give way
  • 23. When Oedipus came to the city of Thebes, he found it without its king and under the curse of a sphinx.
  • 24. The sphinx killed any passer-by who could not answer her riddle
  • 25. Oedipus confronted the monster
  • 26. He was able to solve the riddle
  • 27. The sphinx threw herself into the sea and Thebes was saved
  • 28. King Laius having been found murdered, Oedipus was named king
  • 29. He married Queen Jocasta
  • 30. Oedipus and Jocasta had 2 sons and 2 daughters
  • 31. His most famous child was his daughter Antigone
  • 32. The action of the play begins when Thebes is suffering a terrible plague
  • 33. Priests and citizens come to beg Oedipus for help
  • 34. Oedipus has sent his brother-in-law (and uncle) Creon to an oracle to ask how to rid the kingdom of disease
  • 35. Creon returns, telling Oedipus and the people that the murderer of Laius must be found and removed from the city
  • 36. Oedipus vows to find and punish the murderer
  • 37. He sends for a witness to the murder and for the blind seer Tiresias
  • 38. Oedipus questions Tiresias
  • 39. Tiresias refuses to name the murderer
  • 40. The furious Oedipus demands an answer
  • 41. Tiresias tells the king that he murdered Laius
  • 42. Oedipus refuses to believe Tiresias
  • 43. He accuses Creon of plotting to seize the throne of Thebes
  • 44. Jocasta reveals information about the murder of her first husband
  • 45. The witness admits that Laius and his men were killed by one man
  • 46. The murder occurred at a place where three roads meet
  • 47. Oedipus becomes worried
  • 48. A messenger arrives from Corinth
  • 49. He reveals that Oedipus was adopted by the king and queen of Corinth
  • 50. The shepherd who brought the child to Corinth is sent for
  • 51. Jocasta gets nervous
  • 52. Jocasta urges Oedipus to ignore oracles
  • 53. But Oedipus presses on
  • 54. The shepherd is questioned and admits to taking Jocasta’s child to Corinth
  • 55. As Oedipus realizes it is he who indeed murdered his father and married his mother, he receives news of Jocasta’s suicide
  • 56. Oedipus blinds himself with the brooches from Jocasta’s robe
  • 57. He requests exile from king Creon
  • 58. He will be guided by his young daughters
  • 59. He leaves Thebes, and the plague ends