Role Of The Chorus In Oedipus

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Who are the Chorus?

In classical Greek drama and tragedy, the chorus reacts, responds, and comments on the actions and plot of the play. The purpose of the chorus is to represent the customary attitude of what is occurring, to clarify the actions as well as assess the feelings of certain characters, and to overall unify the play. Traditionally, choruses consisted of males, specifically the older men of whatever territory or city-state the play takes place in. The chorus plays a vital role in the four Greek tragedies “Antigone”, “Agamemnon”, “Medea”, and “Oedipus”.

In “Antigone” by Sophocles, the chorus is made up of elder Theban men. Not only is the all-male elder chorus traditional in Greek tragedy, but they also represent the strongly
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They also critique characters’ actions and also add detail on the themes such as fate, confronting the past, and the dangers of brashness. “Oedipus” is considered to be the perfect example of a tragedy according to Aristotle’s poetics. The chorus is the population of elder men in Thebes, following the traditional route of Greek tragedy. “Oedipus” begins with the chorus explaining the plague occurring in Thebes in great detail, making the audience realize what a tough and challenging situation Oedipus is in as king. The chorus is constantly contributing to the action of the play, conversing with and giving Oedipus advice. Throughout the story, they often tell Oedipus to keep calm and to be more rational, a result of one of his tragic flaws. The elder men of Thebes directly effect the characters as well, preventing Oedipus from banishing or executing his brother-in-law Creon. Mainly the chorus seems to be supportive and loyal of their king, although his rash behavior does make them question him towards the middle of the story. By the end, the chorus is supportive of Oedipus once more. To prove their devotion, the chorus said, “But whether a mere man can know the truth, whether a seer can fathom more than I— there is no test, no certain proof though matching skill for skill a man can outstrip a rival. No, not till I see these charges proved will I side with his accusers.... Never will I convict my king, never in my heart.” (Chorus, 563-568) This quote demonstrates how well liked Oedipus is to the people of Thebes and how highly they think of him. It shows that his character and previous actions make it hard to believe he would ever commit the atrocities he is accused of. Also, like in many classic Greek tragedies, Sophocles incorporates strophes and antistrophes to split his choral
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