Oedipus by Sophocles

1271 Words6 Pages
Sophocles, one of Athens great ancient writers lived through the fifth century B. C. (496-406). In such period of time, theater was considered to be both a religious and civic event. Religious because it happened only twice a year in the honor of the god of wine and crops, Dionysus; civic because every Athenian citizen was invited to take part in the famous three days of drama. Each day, during those days, a tragic play was presented for the audience’s edification. Those plays featured some important mythical or legendary event the audience is familiar with. The main character and the overall story being acted out are also known by every spectator. With that said, the play writer had some expectations to meet and some criterias to follow. Sophocles, in Oedipus the King, had to meet the standard schematic of a tragic play. He needed the base of a traditional plague, lead with a prologue followed by a parados. Many episodes would be added to the parados, as well as many odes. He would close the play with an exodos. There are also some more meaningful details the audience is expecting to see. Those details are included in the great greek philosophe Aristotle’s concept of tragedy. In this essay I will discuss the traditional schematic of a tragic play as well as the particular facts one is expecting to encounter. With Aritstotle’s concept of tragedy, the analysis of Scodel Ruth and Michelakis Pantelis, a scholar and a cultural critique, I will draw on how Oedipus the King fits within the popular theater of the fifth century. To start, Scodel elaborates first on what the content of Greek tragedy is: “a tragedy [is] a drama usually based on traditional legend, set in a past that was already remote for the ancient Athenian audience”( pa... ... middle of paper ... ...oretold yet he could not escape it. In all I established how Sophocles’ Oedipus the King fits perfectly within the popular theater of Greek tragedy. The guidelines for prologue, parados, episodes, odes, and exodos are respected. The base tale is that of a king who falls in disgrace because of an unfortunate prophecy. The plot ends on a sad note for the reader as one feels both pity for the tragic hero and fear as to what will happen to him. Works Cited Backpack Literature My literaturelab An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing (p. 707, pp 711-52, p 713, p 716, p 733). (2011). Longman Pub Group. Pantelis, M. (n.d.). Theater festivals, total works of art,and the revival of Greek Onefile. Scodel, R. (2010). Defining Tragedy, An Introduction to Greek Tragedy. Cambridge tragedy on the modern stage. Cultural Critique + Academic University Press, 74.

More about Oedipus by Sophocles

Open Document