146 terms

Oedipus the King

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PLAY

Terms in this set (...)

Sophocles
Playwright
Oedipus
Protagonist
"What, give up now, with a clue like this?"
Oedipus when Jocasta tries to prevent him inquiring further 1
I must know it all, must see the truth at last
Oedipus when Jocasta tries to prevent him inquiring further 2
I'm on the edge of hearing horrors, yes, but I must hear
Oedipus knows his downfall is coming
Does anyone know that herdsman?
Oedipus calls for the herdsman who gave him away as a baby
You freed us from the sphinx
What the priest says Oedipus did
Twisted it out of me
what tiresias says oedipus did
So you won't talk willingly, then you'll talk with pain
Oedipus threatens shepherd 1
Twist his arms back
Oedipus orders his men to hurt the shepherd
You're a dead man if I have to ask again
Oedipus threatens shepherd 2
I killed them all - every mother's son
Oedipus killed Laius
Not one is as sick as I
Oedipus on the plague
All men must cast away the great blasphemer
Oedipus tells people to abandon him
My troubles are mine and I am the only man alive who can sustain them
Oedipus will not burden others
My baby wasn't three days old and the boy's father fastened his ankles, had a henchman fling him away on a barren, trackless mountain
Jocasta's son was taken from her
Running, always running towards some place where I would never see the shame of all those oracles come true
Oedipus left Corinth
Man of misery, I count no man blessed
The Choral Ode 4
Oh if only... Would to god...
The Chorus wish Oedipus was never born
Fate/Oedipus
Antagonist
Fate is all-controlling
Theme of play
determined curiosity
Oedipus' hamartia
Queen Jocasta of Thebes was told that her son would grow up to kill his father and marry his mother. She sent him to be killed but he was rescued and given to the king of Corinth. Years later, Oedipus heard of this prophecy, and thinking that the Corinthian royal family was his real family, he left Corinth and journeyed to Thebes. On the way he argued with and killed a man on the road. Upon reaching Thebes he found it plagued by the Spinx who he destroyed using his ability to solve puzzles. He then marries the newly widowed Queen Jocasta.
backstory
Oedipus describes the "cries for the Healer" and the "wailing for the dead." The priest brings to life the horror, "Thebes is dying."
How we know that Thebes is suffering at the start of the play
"The world knows my fame: I am Oedipus."
Oedipus begins the play by showing he holds himself in high esteem
"You cannot equal the gods, but we do rate you first of men."
The priest shows how great his respect for Oedipus is
"I acted at once."
We see that Oedipus is proactive in solving problems as he sent for Creon
"I grieve for these, my people, far more than I fear for my own life."
Oedipus shows that he cares greatly for his people (and he asks Creon to speak in front of them all)
"I never saw the man myself."
Dramatic Irony: Oedipus doesn't believe that he ever met Laius
He asks Creon if there was a survivor
Oedipus first shows his detective skills
"He said thieves attacked them - a whole band, not single-handed cut King Laius down."
Creon unknowingly misinforms Oedipus
He cannot believe that a thief would kill a King
Oedipus begins to suspect conspiracy
"By avenging Laius I defend myself."
Dramatic Irony: Oedipus fears that the person who killed Laius might kill him too.
The respect that Thebes has for Oedipus, the King's love of his people, the determined curiosity which Oedipus possesses, the idea of conspiracy
The themes introduced in the prologue
Step one, we like Oedipus because of his love for his people and his proactive approach to solving their problem
Step of the poetics completed in the prologue
Citizens of Thebes
The Chorus in Oedipus the King
"What will you bring to birth?"
The Chorus enter, showing their piety by praying to Zeus to help them
"You pray to the gods? Let me grant your prayers."
Oedipus enters the parados with a line showing that he thinks himself as great as the gods
"If I'd been present then, there would have been no mystery, no long hunt without a clue in hand."
Dramatic Irony: Oedipus believes that if he had been there when Laius was killed he would have solved it
asking if any of them know who murdered Laius, whether that person be a Theban or of foreign soil
Oedipus shows detective skills towards the citizens of Thebes
The murderer be an inmate of his own house
Dramatic Irony: Oedipus curses himself if this should come to pass.
"I will fight for him as if he were my father."
Dramatic Irony: Oedipus will seek justice for Laius in a way that a son might
They suggest that as Apollo sent the curse onto them, he should tell them who the murderer is
The Chorus look to the gods for answers
"But to force the gods to act against their will - no man has the power."
Oedipus shows that even he understands the power of the gods
"On Creon's cue I sent the escorts."
Oedipus has been proactive and called for Tiresias. Creon suggested it.
"Laius was killed, they say, by certain travelers."
The Chorus unknowingly mislead Oedipus further from the truth
Step two as, while Oedipus curses the murderer, the audience is aware that he is cursing himself
The step of the poetics achieved in the parados
faith from the Chorus yet a touch of disrespect from Oedipus
What we see in relaton to religion in the parados
"Blind as you are."
The irony with which Oedipus greets Tiresias
Respectfully, with optimism
How Oedipus treats Tiresias at first
He will not help the King
How Tiresias treats Oedipus at first
"Just send me home."
What Tiresias asks Oedipus to do at the beginning of the first episode
"Strange response, unlawful, unfriendly."
Oedipus does not understand why Tiresias is unwilling to help him. It is clear that he believes all should have to and should want to do as he says.
Despite his pride, he begins to beg.
Oedipus shows how desperate he is to help his people as Tiresias turns to leave
"We beg you, all of us on our knees."
Oedipus begins to beg Tiresias, sacrificing dignity
"I will never reveal my dreadful secrets, not to say your own."
What Tiresias says that moves Oedipus to anger
"My temper... unaware of the one you live with."
Tiresias critisises Oedipus' hot-tempered nature
"What will come will come, even if I shroud it all in silence."
Tiresias shows that fate will arrive with everyone, whether they run from it or not
"You are the curse, the corruption of the land!"
Tiresias accuses Oedipus of bringing about the plague
Creon may have killed Laius and called on Tiresias to accuse Oedipus
Oedipus begins to suspect conspiracy
"You think you can get away with this?"
Oedipus is shocked and outraged by Tiresias' accusation
"I already have."
Tiresias emphasises the power of fate
"I say you are the murderer you hunt."
Tiresias very clearly accuses Oedipus
"Your words are futile."
Oedipus will believe that the gods are wrong above himself
"Stone-blind, stone-deaf - senses, eyes blind as a stone."
Oedipus accuses a seer of being blind. His temper is clearly shown.
"Apollo is quite enough."
Tiresias makes Apollo's power clear
"Creon is not your downfall, no, you are your own."
Tiresias tells Oedipus that Creon is not the antagonist in the situation
"Loyal friend, so hungry to overthrow me."
Oedipus shows his distrust for Creon
"Wizard... scheming quack... pious fraud."
Oedipus shows great disrespect for the gods and Tiresias
"You're blind to the corruption of your life."
Tiresias makes it clear that bad things will come to Oedipus
"What rock of Cithaeron won't scream back in echo?"
Tiresias shows that Oedipus' downfall was always going to happen from the moment he was born
"I would never have come if you hadn't called me here."
Tiresias shows that Oedipus quickened his own downfall
"The ones who bore you found me sane enough."
Tiresias makes reference to Oedipus' parents
"This day will bring your birth and your destruction."
Tiresias helps to promote step two of the poetics as he speaks of Oedipus' imminent downfall
He turns away from Tiresias
Oedipus turns his back on fate
The Chorus are conflicted as to whether they should support their King or their gods
The first choral ode
"I can't accept him, can't deny him, don't know what to say."
The Chorus speak about Tiresias
"No, not till I see these charges proved will I side with his accusers."
The Chorus will not go against Oedipus unless they are forced to
"Never will I convict my King, never in my heart."
The Chorus will always stay loyal to Oedipus
"You, plotting to kill me, kill the king."
Oedipus confronts Creon on his intent
calmly, yet he makes it clear that Oedipus has acted badly. He points out that he has the same authority but less duty than Oedipus so it would be mad if he were to plot against him.
How Creon reacts to Oedipus' accusations
"No, I want you dead."
Oedipus wants to punish Creon, his temper taking hold
"You - my mortal enemy."
Oedipus feels betrayed by Creon
Jocasta breaks up the fight between Creon and Oedipus
Jocasta shows maternal qualities from her entrance
They do not side with Creon or Oedipus, and ask Oedipus not to be harsh on his brother in law.
The Chorus show neutrality and sense
"Let me die by inches if the thought ever crossed my mind."
the Chorus show loyalty to Oedipus in the second episode, swearing their allegiance before their life
"I'd be insane, you know it, senseless ever to turn my back on you."
the Chorus show loyalty to Oedipus in episode two and will not leave him
she asks the Chorus to tell her what happened in the fight
Jocasta shows maternal delegation
"No skill in the world, nothing human can penetrate the future."
Jocasta shows that she doesn't believe in manic power and prophets or any human ability being able to interpret the gods.
She believes that her son was killed before he could kill his father and marry his mother
Why Jocasta does not believe in prophecies
"At a place where three roads meet."
Jocasta tells Oedipus where Laius was killed. This is the play's turning point
"Strange, hearing you just now... my mind wandered, my thoughts racing back and forth."
Oedipus begins to question the truth and to suspect himself as the killer of Laius
When Laius was killed
Oedipus' first question to Jocasta
What Laius looked like
Oedipus' second question to Jocasta
What size escort Laius had
Oedipus' third question to Jocasta
Who the survivor was
Oedipus' forth question to Jocasta
in episode two he tells Jocasta of how he came to Thebes
Oedipus reminds the audience of his past
"He is crucial."
Oedipus recognises the importance of the survivor
"So much for prophecy. It's neither here nor there."
Jocasta shows great skepticism in what Tiresias had said
the chorus swear their loyalty to the rule of the heavens, yet their is certain doubt in their belief and they make it clear that if fate is wrong in the case of Oedipus they will lose their faith in prophecy.
the second choral ode
She prays to the gods. She fears that Oedipus is starting to believe the "hollow" prophecies which condemn him.
Jocasta begins episode three
The Messenger from Corinth declares him king
One moment in which it looks as though Oedipus' fortunes might change for the better
"You prophecies of the gods, where are you now?"
Upon hearing that Polybus is dead, Jocasta joyously rejects prophecy
he suggests that Polybus died from "some longing" for him
Oedipus is not completely sure that he has evaded the prophecy
"But now, all of those prophecies I feared - Polybus packs them off to sleep with him in hell!"
Oedipus feels false relief for the fate which he thinks died with his "father".
"Live, Oedipus, as if there's no tomorrow!"
Jocasta reassures Oedipus that he won't share his mother's bed as life is all "random" and "chance" not pre-determined fate
"A vagabond, scraping for wages."
Oedipus shows his quick temper in addressing the Corinthian messenger. He calls him this before being reminded that the man was also his savior.
when the messenger remembers that the shepherd who gave him Oedipus was a servant of Laius
The anagnorisis in which Jocasta realises who Oedipus is
she beseeches him to not follow through in his investigation
How Jocasta tries to protect Oedipus
He thinks Jocasta might believe him the son of a peasant
What Oedipus initially believe is the reason for Jocasta's outburst
the Chorus guess as to who Oedipus might come from. Their choice of gods and powerful creatures show that they both worship Oedipus and also fear for him.
The third choral ode
he refuses to answer at first, then vaguely answers under pressure
how the Shepherd reacts to Oedipus' questions
he gives orders for the man to be tortured
how Oedipus reacts to the Shepherd's lack of transparency
who gave him the child
what Oedipus asks the Shepherd
he asks why Jocasta gave him away
even when Oedipus knows the truth he continues to question the Shepherd to find all out
"You were born for pain."
the Shepherd knows that he should not have saved Oedipus
"Would to god I'd never seen you, never, never!"
The Chorus feel pain at the suffering of Oedipus
the Chorus uses Oedipus' tragedy to show how fate can never be avoided. They show their own pain in Oedipus' suffering.
the forth choral ode
the messenger tells of the dying of Jocasta and Oedipus' attack
No scenes of violence are put before the audience's eyes
We pity Oedipus and his fall from glory as he holds his dead wife and mother and gouges out the folly of his eyes
Step three of the poetics is complete
"What dark power leapt beyond all bounds, beyond belief, to crush your wretched life?"
The Chorus comments on Oedipus' downfall
He accepts that he was wrong in thinking he could fool the gods and he punishes himself as he would any other killer
Oedipus shows great heroism in defeat
"I am Oedipus!"
In episode five, Oedipus repeats this phrase which he used at the start of the play which shows what a chasm lies between then and now
"O triple roads - it all comes back, the secret."
Oedipus recognises his anagnorisis in the play
"I wronged him so, just now, in every way."
Oedipus has lost his pride, as we see when he repents to Creon
"Even you will obey the God's decrees."
Creon sardonically addresses Oedipus towards the end of the play
"I command you - I beg you."
Oedipus realises he is less powerful than Creon now
a catharsis
The arrival of Oedipus' children reflect his humanity and the audience is driven to feel this
they make it clear that every man should fear the gods until the day that they die
The fifth chorus ode
"Have you no sense"..."Aren't you ashamed"..."Into the palace now."
Jocasta acts as mother to Oedipus
"I really couldn't say. I never look to judge the ones in power."
Chorus neutral between Oedipus and Creon
"I will never betray it, never fail to search and learn my birth."
Oedipus determination
"My baby no more murdered his father than Laius suffered his wildest fear - death at his own son's hands."
Jocasta believes Laius was not killed by his son
"Respect him - he's been no fool in the past."
The Chorus advise Oedipus not to banish Creon
"Dear child, who bore you?"
The Chorus question Oedipus' birth with excitement
"The sphinx came crashing down."
The Chorus speak of the glory Oedipus once had
"On both sides?" "Oh yes."
The Chorus remain neutral when Jocasta questions them
"A god was with you, so they say, and we believe it."
The Priest connects Oedipus and the gods at first
"Perhaps you've heard the voice of a god."
The priest believes Oedipus is privy to the gods
"Your country calls you saviour now."
Oedipus is Thebes' protector, according to the priest
"So many deaths, numberless deaths on deaths, no end...generations strewn on the ground unburied, unwept."
The Chorus set the scene
"Apollo, lord of the light, I beg you."
Chorus call upon Apollo
"Anyone searching for the truth, my king, might learn it from the prophet."
Chorus vouch for Tiresias Parados
"The truth lies inside him, him alone."
Chorus vouch for Tiresias Episode 1
"I would suggest his words were spoken in anger, Oedipus... yours too."
Chorus neutral during fight between Oedipus and Tiresias
"Never again will I go to reverend Delphi unless these prophesies all come true."
Choral Ode II