Warm Up

Warm Up

Overview of Greek Drama The land The myths The stage The Stage The Stage

Three Main Portions of Greek Theatre: Skene Portion of stage where actors performed (included 1-3 doors in and out) Orchestra Dancing Place

where chorus sang to the audience Theatron Seating for audience Basics of Greek Drama Actors: All roles were played by men wearing large masks, extravagant robes, and platform

shoes. Sophocles, the most popular of Greek dramatists, used three actors who changed costumes between scenes. Basics of Greek Drama The Tragic Hero: A tragedy recounts the downfall of a tragic hero. A tragic hero is: A dignified character, usually of noble birth.

A person who possesses a tragic flaw, or hamartia (usually pride, or hubris) which leads to a catastrophe. Greek Tragedy Structure I. Prologue: Spoken by one or two characters before the chorus appears. The prologue usually gives the background

information needed to understand the events of the play. II. Parodos: the song sung by the chorus as it makes its entrance III. Episodes/Scenes: the main action of the play Greek Tragedy Structure IV. Odes: songs (and often

dances) that reflect on the events of the episodes, and weave the plot into a cohesive whole A. Choragos: the leader of the chorus who often interacts with the characters in the scenes. B. Chorus: the 15 singers/dancers who remark on the action 1. strophe: the movement of the chorus from right to left across the stage 2. antistrophe: the reaction to the strophe

- moves across the stage from left to right. Greek Tragedy Structure V. Paean: a prayer of thanksgiving to Dionysos in whose honor the Greek plays were performed VI. Exodos: sung by the chorus as it makes its final exit, which usually offers words of wisdom related to

the actions and outcome of the play Oedipus Rex in 5 minutes https://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=8zjWk8g5W 8s UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS Oedipus was the son of Laius [ley-

uhs] and Jocasta [joh-kas-tuh], king and queen of Thebes. After having been married some time without children, his parents consulted the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi about their childlessness. The Oracle prophesied that if Jocasta should have a son, the son would kill her husband Laius and marry her.

UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS In an attempt to prevent this prophecy's fulfillment, when Jocasta indeed bore a son, Laius had his ankles pinned together so that he could not crawl, and gave the boy to a servant to abandon on the nearby mountain. UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS However, rather than leave the child

to die of exposure, as Laius intended, the sympathetic servant passed the baby onto a shepherd from Corinth and then to another shepherd. Oedipus the infant eventually comes to the house of Polybus [pol-uh-buhs], king of Corinth and his queen, Merope [mer-uh-pee] , who adopt him as they are without children of their own.

UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS Many years later, Oedipus is told by a drunk that Polybus is not his real father but when he asks his parents, they deny it. Oedipus seeks counsel from the same Delphic Oracle. The Oracle does not tell him the identity of his true parents but instead tells him that he is destined to kill his father and marry his mother.

In his attempt to avoid the fate predicted by the Oracle, Oedipus decides to not return home to Corinth. UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS As Oedipus travels he comes to the place where three roads meet, Davlia. Here he encounters a chariot, driven by his (unrecognized) birth-father, King Laius.

They fight over who has the right to go first and Oedipus kills Laius in self defense, unwittingly fulfilling part of the prophecy. The only witness of the King's death was a slave who fled from a UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS Continuing his journey to Thebes, Oedipus encounters a Sphinx which would stop all those who traveled to

Thebes and ask them a riddle. If the travelers were unable to answer correctly, they were killed and eaten by the sphinx; if they were successful, they would be able to continue their journey. Oedipus was the first to answer the riddle correctly. Having heard Oedipus' answer, the Sphinx is astounded and inexplicably kills itself UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS

Grateful, the people of Thebes appoint Oedipus as their king and give him the recently widowed Queen Jocasta's hand in marriage. The marriage of Oedipus and Jocasta fulfilled the rest of the prophecy. Oedipus and Jocasta have four children: two sons, Eteocles and Polyneices, and two daughters, Antigone and Ismene.

UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS Many years after the marriage of Oedipus and Jocasta, a plague of infertility strikes the city of Thebes; crops no longer grow to harvest and women do not bear children. Oedipus, in his hubris, asserts that he will end the epidemic. He sends Creon, Jocasta's brother, to the Oracle at Delphi, seeking guidance.

When Creon returns, Oedipus hears that the murderer of the former King Laius must be found and UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS In a search for the identity of the killer, Oedipus follows Creon's suggestion and sends for the blind prophet, Tiresias, who warns him not to try to find the killer. In a heated exchange, Tiresias is

provoked into exposing Oedipus himself as the killer. UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS Oedipus becomes unnerved as he begins to think that he might have killed Laius and so brought about the plague. When a messenger arrives from

Corinth with the news that King Polybus has died, Oedipus is relieved concerning the prophecy, for it could no longer be fulfilled if Polybus, whom he thinks is his father, is now dead. UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS The messenger then reveals that Oedipus was, in fact, adopted. Jocasta finally realizes Oedipus'

true identity, and begs him to abandon his search for Laius's murderer. Jocasta then goes into the palace where she hangs herself. UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS Oedipus seeks verification of the messenger's story from the very same herdsman who was supposed to

have left Oedipus to die as a baby. From the herdsman, Oedipus learns that the infant raised as the adopted son of Polybus and Merope was the son of Laius and Jocasta. Thus, Oedipus finally realizes in great agony that so many years ago, at the place where three roads meet, he had killed his own father, King Laius, and as a consequence, married his UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS

Oedipus goes in search of Jocasta and finds she has killed herself. Using the pin from a brooch he takes off Jocasta's gown, Oedipus gouges his eyes out. Oedipus asks Creon to look after his daughters, for his sons are old and mature enough to look after themselves, and to be allowed to hold them one last time before he

is exiled. UNDERSTANDING OEDIPUS His daughter Antigone acts as his guide as he wanders blindly through the country, ultimately dying at Colonus after being placed under the protection of Athens by King Theseus. His two sons, Eteocles and Polyneices, arrange to share the kingdom, each taking an alternating

one-year reign. However, Eteocles refuses to cede his throne after his year as king. Polyneices brings in an army to oust Eteocles from his position, and a Issues this play addresses: Families torn apart by political/moral differences Gender bias Death penalty

Suicide Divine law Issues this play addresses: Crime and Punishment Fate/Prophesy Leadership Vengeance Pride Respect for the Dead

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