Background Information on the  Oedipus Cycle Three plays by Sophocles
The Cycle <ul><li>Play # 1 =  Oedipus Rex   </li></ul><ul><li>(Oedipus the King) </li></ul><ul><li>Play # 2 =  Oedipus at ...
Festival of Dionysus* <ul><li>Each year, playwrights were chosen to produce three tragedies, along with a satyr play (a co...
Ancient Greek Drama <ul><li>Plays were performed during the day in outdoor theaters built into hillsides. </li></ul><ul><l...
Ancient Greek Actors <ul><li>Men wore elegant robes with huge masks and elevated shoes to seem larger than life. </li></ul...
The Chorus <ul><li>The chorus was a group of 15 men who spoke between scenes to comment on the action. </li></ul><ul><li>T...
Greek Tragedy <ul><li>A tragedy is a play about the downfall of a dignified, superior character who is involved in histori...
Tragic Heroes <ul><li>The tragic hero (or protagonist) is involved in conflict that builds from one event to the next unti...
Tragic Flaw <ul><li>A tragic flaw is a defect that brings about, or contributes to, the tragic hero’s downfall.  </li></ul...
Summary <ul><li>Mrs. George will now tell the tragic story of the first two Oedipus plays, while creating beautiful sketch...
Pop Quiz <ul><li>What does “Oedipus” mean? </li></ul><ul><li>Who can pronounce “Oedipus” correctly? </li></ul><ul><li>Who ...
Oedipus’ Theme <ul><li>Knowledge = pain  </li></ul><ul><li>is better than </li></ul><ul><li>Ignorance = bliss </li></ul><u...
Conflicts and Concepts <ul><li>The play  Antigone  deals with divided loyalties and difficult choices: faith, family, or k...
<ul><li>Antigone’s  conflict deals with differences among the following principles:  </li></ul><ul><li>Loyalty / obligatio...
Civil Disobedience:   Rebellion with Purpose & Consequence <ul><li>Choosing to disobey the law  </li></ul><ul><li>as a mat...
Greek Culture <ul><li>“ You can’t escape your fate.” </li></ul><ul><li>Non es actus reus nisi mens sit rea  (there is no g...
Characters <ul><li>Antigone   (daughter of Oedipus & Jocasta) </li></ul><ul><li>Ismene   (Antigone’s sensible sister) </li...
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Antigone Background

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An intro for students preparing to read the play Antigone.

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Antigone Background

  1. 1. Background Information on the Oedipus Cycle Three plays by Sophocles
  2. 2. The Cycle <ul><li>Play # 1 = Oedipus Rex </li></ul><ul><li>(Oedipus the King) </li></ul><ul><li>Play # 2 = Oedipus at Colonus </li></ul><ul><li>Play # 3 = Antigone (441 B.C.) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Festival of Dionysus* <ul><li>Each year, playwrights were chosen to produce three tragedies, along with a satyr play (a comic interlude) for a theatrical competition at the festival. </li></ul><ul><li>*the god of wine and fertility </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ancient Greek Drama <ul><li>Plays were performed during the day in outdoor theaters built into hillsides. </li></ul><ul><li>See photo, page 939 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Ancient Greek Actors <ul><li>Men wore elegant robes with huge masks and elevated shoes to seem larger than life. </li></ul><ul><li>Sophocles used three actors per play. They changed masks to change roles. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Chorus <ul><li>The chorus was a group of 15 men who spoke between scenes to comment on the action. </li></ul><ul><li>They sometimes participated in the dialogue as well. </li></ul><ul><li>The chorus was meant to represent the audience’s perspective and response. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Greek Tragedy <ul><li>A tragedy is a play about the downfall of a dignified, superior character who is involved in historically or socially significant events. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Tragic Heroes <ul><li>The tragic hero (or protagonist) is involved in conflict that builds from one event to the next until a catastrophe results. </li></ul><ul><li>Fate and a tragic flaw also play key roles in the destruction of the hero’s life. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Tragic Flaw <ul><li>A tragic flaw is a defect that brings about, or contributes to, the tragic hero’s downfall. </li></ul><ul><li>The tragic flaw is often a positive trait that turns negative, such as pride, honesty, honor, confidence, or generosity. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Summary <ul><li>Mrs. George will now tell the tragic story of the first two Oedipus plays, while creating beautiful sketches of the setting. </li></ul><ul><li>Note-taking is recommended, since everything she says is important. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Pop Quiz <ul><li>What does “Oedipus” mean? </li></ul><ul><li>Who can pronounce “Oedipus” correctly? </li></ul><ul><li>Who were Oedipus’s birth parents? </li></ul><ul><li>Why did they have him killed? </li></ul><ul><li>Why did Oedipus’s sons fight? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is Ismene? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you pronounce her name? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Oedipus’ Theme <ul><li>Knowledge = pain </li></ul><ul><li>is better than </li></ul><ul><li>Ignorance = bliss </li></ul><ul><li>Oedipus finds out the truth at any cost, then accepts full responsibility. This makes him a hero, in spite of his weaknesses and faults. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Conflicts and Concepts <ul><li>The play Antigone deals with divided loyalties and difficult choices: faith, family, or kingdom? </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Antigone’s conflict deals with differences among the following principles: </li></ul><ul><li>Loyalty / obligations to family </li></ul><ul><li>Obedience to civil law </li></ul><ul><li>Observance of religious law </li></ul><ul><li>Protection of personal dignity </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Protection of community or nation </li></ul>
  15. 15. Civil Disobedience: Rebellion with Purpose & Consequence <ul><li>Choosing to disobey the law </li></ul><ul><li>as a matter of conscience, </li></ul><ul><li>and accepting the concenquences. </li></ul><ul><li>Rosa Parks: </li></ul><ul><li>refusing to relinquish her bus seat = arrested </li></ul><ul><li>Conscientious objectors: </li></ul><ul><li>refusing to fight = jail </li></ul><ul><li>Henry David Thoreau: </li></ul><ul><li>refusing to pay taxes so that his money won’t support programs he disagrees with = jail/fines </li></ul>
  16. 16. Greek Culture <ul><li>“ You can’t escape your fate.” </li></ul><ul><li>Non es actus reus nisi mens sit rea (there is no guilty act without a guilty mind) </li></ul><ul><li>Family is everything (thus, Oedipus has committed the WORST sins) </li></ul><ul><li>Curses bear power (Oedipus had to carry out his own curse.) </li></ul><ul><li>Truth matters (Oedipus had to solve the riddle of his own life by revealing a truth too awful to bear.) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Characters <ul><li>Antigone (daughter of Oedipus & Jocasta) </li></ul><ul><li>Ismene (Antigone’s sensible sister) </li></ul><ul><li>Creon (Jocasta’s brother, Antigone’s Uncle) </li></ul><ul><li>Haemon (Creon’s son & Antigone’s fiancé) </li></ul><ul><li>Euridice (Creon’s wife) </li></ul><ul><li>Teiresias (a blind prophet) </li></ul><ul><li>Chorus (commentary/summaries in poetry) </li></ul><ul><li>Choragus (leader of the chorus) </li></ul><ul><li>A Sentry </li></ul><ul><li>A Messenger </li></ul>The tragic hero

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