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Arts and Humanities
Oedipus The King Quiz Review
Terms in this set (55)
Hero must be a man/women capable of great suffering.
Explores the question of the ways of God to man.
Causes a catharsis (tragedy)
Purging of pity and fear.
Shows how man is brought to disaster by single flaw in own character.
The tragic hero often displays great pride.
What were the plays about?
Topics were more or less the same as modern plays, TV, and films:
- Contemporary society (what was going on in the society at that time)
- Mythology (acting out the stories)
- Man's relationship to the gods (religious issues)
Characteristics of Greek Drama
- Violence happened off stage (characters/ chorus reported on it)
- Showed the effects of the violence on stage (brought out the dead/ mutilated bodies)
- Scenes had only 2-3 actors (all were men)
- Actors wore masks
- Chorus commented on the action occurring in the scenes through odes in between and the episodes (scenes)
- Actors could perform different characters (go off stage and put on different mask) so the play could have more than 3 characters
Unity of action
An entire drama was subordinated to one single action with no sub - plots. The unity of place (no change of scenery) and unity of time (maximum of one day)
Where and how were the dramas performed?
With a chorus who described most of the action.
Functions of the Chorus
- set the mood for the drama
- interpret events
- relieve the tension
- converse with and give advice to the actors
- sing and dance to emphasize the beauty of poetry
- give background information
- leader acts as spokesperson sometimes called the Choragos (leader of the Chorus)
First of the Chorus's lyric songs
A regular alternation of scenes (called episodes)
In dialogue and choral odes (called stasimons)
Phenomenon number one
Audience members resolve to avoid conflicts of the main character.
Phenomenon number two
Audience members transfer their own pity and fear to the main character, thereby emptying themselves of these disquieting emotions.
A release of tension/ pent - up emotion. The Greek philosopher Aristotle used the term to describe the effect on the audience of a tragedy acted out on a theater stage. This effect consists in cleansing the audience of disturbing emotions, such as fear and pity, thereby releasing tension.
Where does the play take place?
The play takes place in Thebes.
Which character begins the play? A playwright very carefully introduces a play. Why might Sophocles have selected this character to introduce the play?
Oedipus starts out the play. Sophocles probably used Oedipus because he is the main character and needs to start the plot.
Oedipus identifies the citizens of Thebes as "scions of the ancient Cadmean line." Who is Cadmus?
A Scion is a descendent of a rich person. Cadmus was one of the first Greek heroes and the founder of Thebes, where the play takes place. The citizens of Thebes are descendants of the illustrious Cadmus.
Which three characters speak in the prologs of the play? What attitude does Oedipus assume toward the suppliants seeking his help?
Oedipus, Creon, and the priest. Oedipus is kinda annoyed they need him again, because he already did something.
Who are Pallas and Apollo? Why are these deities mentioned in the prologos?
Apollo is the god of healing and victory. Pallas or Athena is the goddess of wisdom and people pray to her for wisdom. They are mentioned because those are who the people are asking for help.
What does the priest ask Apollo to do?
He says he sent Creon to the place Apollo hunts at Pythid to learn what to do to help.
What initial step does Oedipus indicate he has already taken?
The priests asks Apollo tp bring salvation in his hands and deal a deal a death to all disease.
What is the significance of Delphi?
That is where Oedipus found out he was destined to kill his father and marry his mother.
Who is Creon?
Creon is the brother of Socasta; Oedipus's uncle and brother in law.
What is the message from the oracle at Delphi with which Creon returns?
BY banishment or blood por blood. Someone killed the kings and the gods want revenge.
What single clue about the murder of King Laius is revealed by Creon?
That he was murderer by a group of brigands, or a groups of highwaymen, and this clue comes from the one servant of Laius who survived the attack.
What prevented Thebes from tracking down the murder of Laius at the time the murder occurred?
They were all focused on Oedipus who solved the riddle to look for the murder of the king.
What was the Sphinx?
The sphinx was a head of a female, body of a lion, and wings of a bird.
What was the riddle of the sphinx? What was the answer?
What goes on 4 feet in the morning, 2 feet at noon, and 3 feet in the evening? A person as a baby (crawling), adult (walking), old person (walking with a cane).
Who solved the riddle of the Sphinx? What happened to the Sphinx after the riddle was solved?
Oedipus solved the riddle. After he solved the riddle he became the new king.
What does Oedipus promise to do at the end of the prologos?
Oedipus says he will not stop until he finds the killer.
In strophe 1, what does the chorus ask?
They are asking for help from the gods.
In antistrophe 1, to which god and goddesses does the chorus appeal for rest of their suffering?
They called on Athena, Artemis, and Phobus.
In strophe 2 and antistrophe 2, the chorus bewails their situation in Thebes. Describe the condition of the people of Thebes as the play begins.
It is super sad, people are dying and there is no cure. All the people want is help.
What is the message of the churos in strophe 3 and antistrophe 3?
They say it like a war without the war.
What kinds of imagery does Sophocles use in strophes and antistrophes 2-3?
They use a lot of war terminology.
At the conclusion of antistrophe 2, to what new god and his attendants does the chorus appeal for safety from death?
They asks for Zeus daughters help. Athena.
Compare the verse of the Old of Entry with that of the prologue.
They both use medicine terminology to describe what is happening in the city.
How does Sophocles connect the Ode of Entry (parades) to the first episode?
He connects it by thinking the chorus prayed to him and not the gods.
What is the substance of Oedipus' pledge to the people of Thebes?
He asks the people for help to find who the murder is.
What does Oedipus think is unlucky about Laius' fatherhood? What actually was unlucky about Laius' fatherhood?
The actual unliking part is how Oedipus is his son and Oedipus is destined to kill his father.
Who were Labdacus and Polydoros?
Labdacus is Oedipus grandfather. Polydorus is his grandmother.
What is the task of the chorus in episode 1?
The chorus talks about the clues.
What might be suggested by the fact that Oedipus had to send twice of Tiresias?
That Tiresias didn't want to come and tell Oedipus he is the murder.
At his entrance, how is Tiresias described by the chorus leader? What audience attitude should this description establish?
He is described as the prophet who knows everything. That the audience should trust him.
In what method or augury or divination do the Ancient Greeks believe?
Clairvoyance, prophecy, reading cards, birds, coins, talking to gods
Why does Tiresias at first refuse to tell Oedipus the truth?
Tiresias refuses to tell the truth because it will take everything worse and will tell oedipus he killed his father and married his mother.
Is when the words and actions of the characters of a work of literature have a different meaning for the reader than they do for the characters. This is the result of the reader having a greater knowledge the the characters themselves.
Wooden scene building used as a dressing room.
Entrance to the theater used by the chorus.
Where most of the action took place; also served as a backdrop.
"dancing place" where the chorus sang to the audience.
Seating for audience.
Altar to Dionysus in center of orchestra where sacrifices were made.
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