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Intro to Oedipus


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Introduction notes on Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. Focuses on Greek theatre and tragedies.

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Intro to Oedipus

  1. 1. Oedipus Sophocles Intro to Ancient Greek Theatre
  2. 2. Ancient Greek Theater ● Tragedy and Comedy plays ● Sophocles was one of three well known playwrights of the fifth century
  3. 3. Theatron ● Theatre buildings were called theatrons. ● Acting- amateur actors; all male; usually only three ● They wore masks...why?
  4. 4. Tragedy ● Highest form of drama ● Big themes: love, loss, pride, the abuse of power, and the relationships between man and gods.
  5. 5. Protagonist ● Typically… o commits some terrible crime without realizing how foolish and arrogant he has been. ● Then… o as he slowly realizes his error, his world crumbles around him
  6. 6. So what is a tragic hero?
  7. 7. Tragic Hero A person who is neither good nor evil who commits an act that results in suffering and utter defeat.
  8. 8. Other words to know... ● Hamartia: “missing the mark” o came to signify a tragic flaw, especially a misperception, a lack of some important insight, or some blindness that ironically results from one’s own strengths and abilities ● Peripeteia: sudden reversal of fortune o change of stability toward the downfall of the protagonist
  9. 9. Continued... ● Hubris: pride o the defect of a character that causes the tragic hero to ignore problems ● Catharsis: an emotional discharge that brings about moral or spiritual renewal or welcome relief from tension and anxiety o the marking feature and ultimate end of any tragic work
  10. 10. Features of Ancient Greek Tragedy ● Suffering ● Cleansing ● Religious ● Honored Dionysus ● Competitions ● Prizes ● Myth ● History ● Not bloody ● Limitations ● Masks
  11. 11. Aristotle’s Definition ● deals with one issue that is very serious ● had a chorus whose role was to comment on the action of the play ● in a play, the story must be dramatized or acted out ● should lead the audience to feel sorry for the main character ● as the play moves along, the events should build up the emotions of pity and fear
  12. 12. Aristotle’s Elements of Tragedy ● Plot ● Character ● Thought ● Diction ● Melody ● Spectacle