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Oedipus the King Introduction. Please take notes on the following presentation. Ancient Greece 800-300 B.C.E. . Considered the birthplace of Western Civilization The foundations of our politics, philosophy, art, literature, mathematics, etc. come from Ancient Greece. Athens.

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oedipus the king introduction

Oedipus the King Introduction

Please take notes on the following presentation.

ancient greece 800 300 b c e
Ancient Greece800-300 B.C.E.
  • Considered the birthplace of Western Civilization
  • The foundations of our politics, philosophy, art, literature, mathematics, etc. come from Ancient Greece.
  • Most powerful city-state in Ancient Greece
  • Known for architecture, philosophy, sciences and the creation of the first theatre festival
dionysia festival
Dionysia Festival
  • Celebrated Dionysus: the god of wine, plants, theatre, partying and physical pleasure.
  • Dionysus is associated with wildness, frenzy, and losing yourself in mob mentality.
greek theatre
Greek Theatre
  • Plays were only performed once a year at the Dionysia festival.
  • Everyone in the community went: it was considered one’s religious and civic duty to watch the plays.
  • Three playwrights would compete and then be judged on whose new play was best.

The plays were performed in huge amphitheaters that seated 14,000-15,000

Simple design- almost no set

Great acoustics- sound travelled.

sophocles author of oedipus plays
Sophocles-author of Oedipus Plays
  • Lived 496-406 B.C.E. (lived to age 90)
  • Wrote 113 plays, only 7 have survived.
    • Won 1st at the Dionysian 18 times
  • Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides are considered the 3 great tragic playwrights of Ancient Greece.
  • Originally a chorus was a group of dancers. It evolved into singing/chanting as well.
  • Chorus represents the community onstage. It is the bridge between the actors and the audience.
  • The chorus speaks/sings in poetry. It is not supposed to be natural speech.
  • All parts played by men (even women’s roles)
  • All wore masks that represented character—no facial expressions, only voice and gesture.
  • The first plays had only choruses. Individual actors came later.
greek tragedy
Greek Tragedy
  • Greeks wrote comedies too, but tragedies were considered worthier and more important.
  • Plots all based on important legends that everyone would know.
tragic hero
Tragic Hero
  • Must be: High Status, courageous, warrior/royal, loyal, dutiful, self-sacrificing
  • Has a tragic flaw (Hamartia)
  • The tragic hero always has a choice. The choice he makes leads to his destruction.
terms to know
Terms to know
  • Hamartia- the tragic flaw of a hero: the character flaw in the hero that makes him great but also leads to his downfall.
  • Hubris- excessive pride or arrogance; overestimating one's own capabilities or power

(The tragic flaw is usually related somehow to hubris.)

  • Catharsis- Greek word meaning "cleansing" or "purging.” Tragedy is meant to give the audience catharsis by getting negative emotion out of their systems.
  • Head of a woman, wings, body of a lion.
  • Terrorizing Thebes. Killed anyone who couldn’t answer her riddle:
      • What has four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, three legs in the afternoon and no legs at night?
  • Oedipus (a stranger from Corinth) solved her riddle and saved Thebes. They made him king in thanks for his service.
  • A priestess of the god Apollo
  • Sat over sulphorous vapors
  • Apollo spoke through her
  • Sacred and very powerful
  • She would prophesy— tell the future or the absolute truth.
  • Don’t mess with the Oracle!!!

Cadmus- Founder of Thebes

Laius and Jocasta: King and Queen of Thebes and Oedipus’ parents.

Oedipus raised in Corinth by King Polybus and Queen Merope—thinks they’re his real parents.

Oedipus kills Laius, married Jocasta. Becomes king of Thebes.

Has 4 kids with Jocasta.

literary devices of importance
Literary Devices of Importance
  • Irony- the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning
  • Dramatic Irony- Irony that occurs when the audience has information or understanding that the characters in the play don’t have.
  • Foreshadowing- the author suggests or hints at certain plot developments that will come later in the story.
themes to look for
Themes to look for
  • Sight and blindness
  • Fate and free-will
  • Public vs. private
  • Relationship between gods and mortals
  • Riddles