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Antigone. Historical & Social Background. Oedipus: It’s Twisted. Antigone is Oedipus’ daughter Who’s Oedipus? King Laios & Queen Jocasta of Thebes learn that their newborn son would kill his father and marry his mother

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Historical & Social Background

oedipus it s twisted
Oedipus: It’s Twisted.
  • Antigone is Oedipus’ daughter
    • Who’s Oedipus?
      • King Laios& Queen Jocasta of Thebes learn that their newborn son would kill his father and marry his mother
      • They freak! So, they give the baby to a shepherd to let it die on the mountainside with its ankles pinned together (Oedipus means swollen foot/club foot)
      • Shepherd feels bad; gives baby to another shepherd who gives baby to childless king and queen of Corinth
it gets even more twisted
It gets even more twisted…
  • Oedipus grows up and learns of the prophecy
    • He believes king and queen of Corinth are his real parents, so he runs away to avoid oracle
    • Encounters an old man who tries to run him off the road with his chariot
    • They fight; Oedipus kills the stranger and continues his journey to Thebes
keep reading
Keep reading…
  • Oedipus encounters a Sphinx who is menacing the city of Thebes by challenging travelers with a riddle. If the traveler could not answer, the sphinx would devour him.
  • No one wants to enter the city; the city is experiencing famine and fear
  • Oedipus solves the riddle and saves Thebes and is crowned King since their king was recently killed (hint, hint)
wait for it
Wait for it…
  • Oedipus marries Jocasta and has four children with her, including Antigone
  • A plague strikes Thebes and will not end until the murderer of King Laios is found
  • Oedipus vows to find the murderer …. And learns that it is him and he actually fulfilled the oracle: he killed his father and married his mother!
oh my
Oh my!
  • Jocasta kills herself; Oedipus gouges out his eyes
  • Creon (Jocasta’s brother and therefore Antigone’s uncle) exiles Oedipus and temporarily takes over Thebes
  • After Oedipus dies, Antigone returns to Thebes where her brothers agree to rule in alternate years

Etocles’ turn came first, but he doesn’t want to give up his role to Polyneices

  • BATTLE! They kill each other.
  • Creon is now the king and gives Eteocles a hero’s burial, but leaves Polyneices unburied to rot
    • According to Greek legend, if a dead person is not give proper burial, his soul will be condemned with eternal unrest
greek drama
Greek Drama
  • A religious ritual that honors Dionysos, god of wine and fertility
  • Four-day party featuring competition among playwrights for prizes in tragedy and comedy: It was a big deal!
  • Held in an outdoor amphitheater (much like a semicircular football field)
  • Heroic characters + unhappy endings = Tragedy
  • Myth: an old story, rooted in a particular society, that explains a belief, ritual, or some mysterious aspect of nature
  • Many myths attempt to explain human suffering in terms of the workings of the gods—of fates that cannot be avoided, or curses that haunt generations