Oedipus Rex - O Oedipus, name for the ages. — Chorus in Oedipus Rex Among Sophocles' earliest...

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Transcript of Oedipus Rex - O Oedipus, name for the ages. — Chorus in Oedipus Rex Among Sophocles' earliest...

  • Oedipus Rex Background Information

  • Historical Context 1. Establishment of democracy

    2. Citizenship and government

    3. Education

    4. Major wars with Persia and Sparta

    5. Commercial enterprises

    6. Rise of mathematics and science

    7. Development of rhetoric

  • Social and Cultural Context 1. Religious life

    2. The arts

    3. Reason

    4. The role of mythology

    5. Social classes

    6. The role of women

    7. Legacy of ancient Greece

  • Sophocles: Ancient Greek Tragedian

    “…is there a man more agonized? More wed to pain and frenzy? Not a man on earth, the joy of your life ground down to nothing O Oedipus, name for

    the ages.” — Chorus in Oedipus Rex

    Among Sophocles' earliest innovations was the addition of a third actor, which further reduced the role of the chorus and created greater opportunity for character development and conflict between characters. Aeschylus, the dominant Athenian playwright during Sophocles' early career, followed suit and adopted the third character into his own work towards the end of his life. Aristotle credits Sophocles with the introduction of skenographia, or scenery-painting. It was not until after the death of the old master Aeschylus in 456 BC that Sophocles became the pre-eminent playwright in Athens.

    497/6 BC – 406/5 BC Sophocles wrote 123 plays during the course of his life. For almost 50 years, Sophocles was the most-fêted playwright in the dramatic competitions of the city-state of Athens. He competed in around 30 competitions, won perhaps 24, and was never judged lower than second place.

  • Sophocles: Ancient Greek Tragedian

    • Popular interest

    • Science vs. religion

    Why write Oedipus Rex?