Role in Greek tragedy and Oedipus Rex
* Greek theatre consisted of the auditorium,
orchestra and skene
* Orchestra, “dancing place” thought to be
almost always circular
* Where actors, chorus performed
* Actors (always male) change costumes, masks
in the skene
* Actor = hypocrites, meaning interpreter or
* Chorus comes from Greek “to dance”
* Actor’s job to answer to the chorus
* Chorus also all male – would sing lines and
dance simultaneously
* Play begin with prologue – provide time and
place of tragedy
* Entrance of the chorus: parodos
* Parodos establishes the id of the chorus
* After parodos, action of tragedy develops
through a series of episodes (epeisodia) each
divided by choral songs
* Stasima = choral songs
* Each stasimon divided into verses known as
strophe and antistrophe
* Each make up a pair of verses, with the
antistrophe matching the strophe exactly in
terms of meter
* The meter of the choral songs can be very
complex, notably different from the meter of
the spoken lines which is usually simple
* Exodos = final section where the chorus leaves
the orchestra
* Final choral song tends to be short
* Who are the chorus in Oedipus Rex?
* What role does the chorus serve in the play?
* How does the chorus change during the play?
Why is this important in the reading and
understanding of Oedipus Rex?

The Chorus - Marblehead Public Schools