Oedipus the King: The Greek Period

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Oedipus: The Greek Period Oedipus the King The Greek period, in the fourth and fifth centuries of B.C., evolved from a small city called Athens, Europe. In this era, a sweep of talent and creativity placed a historical advance on theater, that will dominate for years to come. This spirit most likely emerged from the defeat of the Persian Empire, along with the sense of freedom and expression from the Athenian democracy. Four great writers derived from this ancient astonishment. Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides were three writers of tragedy, whereas Aristophanes was a famous comic dramatist. From these original works came the play festivals using masks and boots to accommodate for the size of the Greek theater. These tragedies the Athenians went to see consisted of five episodes, and one in particular, Oedipus the King, is made up of five choral odes, featuring the mystery behind the riddle of the sphinx. The dithyrambs were a beginning stage or rough draft of what the plays would soon come to be. Dionysis is the name of a theater where people like Thespis and other Greek actors performed, using the three unities to keep the audiences attention alarmed and suspense building. Aeschylus was the first of the tragedy writers. He took the theaters origins and focused less on reciting patterns, dealing more with the presentation of action. Born under tyranny, he grew up during the period in which the Persian empire was attempting to conquer Athens. Aeschylus was born in 525 B.C. His youth was most likely spent in the city of Pallene with his father, Euphorion, and his brother. It was a repressive time, under the rule of Peisis... ... middle of paper ... ... the fate of Oedipus. These tragedies started off as Dithyrambs which formed from myths to stories that wee translated into words of song in addition to physical movement. They were the first step toward a literary drama with both tragedy and comedy. These plays were demonstrated at the city of Dionysus featuring Greek actors such as Thespis. The plays consisted of three unities. The unity of action, time and place. The all united to form a whole with a ‘certain degree of magnitude’ according to Aristotle. They were part of a trilogy. The Greek theater was an extravagant event that allowed the people of the city of Athens to release their magic upon the world. They changed the theater and that change will last for many years to come. They set a standard for comedy and tragedy that will entertain and influence people forever.

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