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“Who Needs Oedipus Rex ?”. Sara Montejano. Thesis Statement. Oedipus Rex is a play that possess the ability to move it’s audience; however the audience it was intended to move has drastically changed and the play no longer invokes the same shock value as it did in Ancient Greece. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Who Need Oedipus Rex?

Who Needs Oedipus Rex?Sara Montejano

Thesis Statement

Oedipus Rex is a play that possess the ability to move its audience; however the audience it was intended to move has drastically changed and the play no longer invokes the same shock value as it did in Ancient Greece.Lets take it back a few centuriesOedipus Rex is written around 430 B.C. Theatre starts to transform during this time, becoming more modernized.Theatre plays an important role in public festivals.

Ancient Greek Theatre DevelopsThe style of acting can best be described as nonrealistic(Brian).Actors wore masks which was the actors persona. Indicating the age, social standing, and sex of the character.All the actors were males; and had used slow, stylized gestures to convey their character.

The idea of a single actor was created by Thespis. Which is associated to our word thespian meaning actor. Aeschylus who is most famous for his tragic trilogy the Oresteia, introduced the concept of a second actor, expanding the possibilities for plot and histrionics through the interaction of two characters in his dramas(Terzoulin).Who was Sophocles?

He was the son of a wealthy merchant and was lucky enough to study all the arts.In his first playwriting competition in 468 B.C he took 1st place defeating Aeschylus.Wrote over 120 plays, the most popular being the Oedipus trilogy.Sophocles served many years as an ordained priest of Alcon and Asclepius, the god of medicine(Sophocles).Sophocles Innovations

Sophocles was the first to use a third actor. He also changed the way trilogies were performed. Instead of the three stories coming together to tell one story he chose to make each tragedy a complete story in itself as a result of which he had to pack all of his action into the shorter form(Sophocles).

The Atmosphere

The City Dionysia was a festival held every year to honor the goddess Dionysus.Theatres were large arenas; amphitheaters holding up to 20,000 people.For three days audiences came to the Theatre of Dionysus at daybreak to watch a trilogy of plays each day(Brian).These festivals also included religion, politics and civic debate.Tragic playwrights wrote plays that explored mans relationship to the gods, the conflict between the individual and the state, and the role of fate in determining the outcome of ones life(Brian).TheatreNot the movies!Theatre of today is not as popular as it was in the time of Sophocles. Actors are both male and female and dont rely on masks to convey their persona.Plays are rarely performed in arenas anymore and usually are in a more intimate setting.Playwrights are now questioning mans relationship with the world and himself more that his relationship with the gods and the roles of fate.

Shock Value Then And NowOedipus is a character who, contains all the virtues for which the Athenians were famous and the vices for which they were notorious(Lawall 613). Questions mans ability to control fate. Oedipus determines his own conduct, by being the man he is(Lawall 614).The most obvious shock in this play would be that Oedipus has slept with his mother and she had his children, being both mother and grandmother.Greek tragedies didnt show much violence on stage, the act of Oedipus gauging out his eyes and Jocasta hanging herself was done offstage and explained by the chorus. Today we see Oedipus character as more of a weak, ignorant man. The idea of gods and fate has changed to more of people taking matters into their own hands and people are trying to control their own fates. There are no prophesies or oracles other than the occasional palm reader and physic. Todays society put less and less trust into those people and put more trust in what can be proven by fact or concrete evidence. The shock of mother and son sleeping together would still be shocking today but the small bits of blood would do nothing to shock a modern day audience.Then Oedipus RexNow Oedipus RexWatch this.This is closely resembles what was seen by the audience in Ancient Greece.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0RNmFK3SRIIn this we see blood but the actual gauging of the eyes doesn't happen on stage. In todays film we have movies like Saw, Hostel, Texas Chainsaw Massacre to name a few in which violence and gore is shown often.

Todays shockIn the clip we see blood but the actual gauging of the eyes doesn't happen on stage. In todays film we have movies like Saw, Hostel, Texas Chainsaw Massacre to name a few in which violence and gore is shown often. Now audience are less and less shocked by violence and gore; almost as if we are numb to the reality of what we are watching. Shocking todays audience would call for gruesome murder scenes and more sexuality in the production. Oedipus Rex though very interesting does not shock audiences the same way as it did in 430 B.C.So what does all this meanPlays such as Oedipus Rex are meant to invoke thought and emotion from their audiences. Modern day audiences have become more numb to the shock that was groundbreaking in Sophocles time, and require more extreme forms of violence and irony to truly be shocked the same way Athenians were in their time. Oedipus Rex has become more of a classic play amazing in its time, a new play version is needed for modern day audiences to shock and make them think the way Sophocles intended.Works CitedBrian, Doyle L., comp. "A Study Guide for Sophocles' Antigone." Didaskalia. King's College London. 18 Nov. 2007 . Doyles, Teri. "Ancient Greece." Cedarville University. 22 Nov. 2007 . Lawell, Sarah, ed. The Norton Anthology of World Literature. 2nd ed. Vol. A. New York: W,W, Norton & Company, 2002. 612-658. "Sophocles." Online-Literature. 12 Nov. 2007 . Terzoulin, Gas. "History of Theatre From Ancient Greece." Newsfinder. 17 Nov. 2007 . "The Oedipus Trilogy." Online-Literature. Jalic.Inc. 11 Nov. 2007 .