Oedipus

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Do Now
We will be reading a play about a good man who seems
to be successful but is actually working out a tragic
destiny. Why do you think bad things happen to good
people? How do you feel when you see things like this
happen?
Oedipus
Sophocles
Sophocles
Born into a rich family at Colonus, outside Athens in 496
B.C.
Father got him the best tutors
Including a famous musician who helped him acquire the
skills he would use later in composing the music and words
for the choruses in his tragedies
Along with Aeschylus (ess-ka-luss) and Euripides (yoo-rip-ideez), Sophocles is considered one of the three great
tragedians of Ancient Greece.
Wrote 123 plays, but only seven tragedies survive to present
day
Sophocles
Every year at the annual spring festival of the god
Dionysus (dy-uh-ny-suhs), he and two other tragic poets
presented three plays.
He won 18 times.
Died after a long, productive life in 406 B.C.
Changed the world of drama
Introduced a third speaking actor
Added scenery
Increased the chorus from 12 to 15 people
Greek Pronunciation Guide
http://www.pantheon.org/miscellaneous/pronunciations.ht
ml
Themes
Political struggle
Moral vs. legal responsibilities
Revenge
Divided loyalties
Shame and guilt
Classwork
Complete classwork worksheet.
Homework
Read Oedipus the King, Lines 1-525, on pages 426-443
of your literature textbook and answer the
corresponding questions.
Do Now
Do you control your destiny? Or does fate?
Oedipus the King, Lines 1-525
What do you think is Oedipus’s most admirable character trait?
What is his worst character trait?
As the play opens, what disaster has struck Thebes? In the
opening scene, what does Oedipus’s response to this disaster
suggest about him as a ruler?
What are Oedipus’s two main reasons for seeking out Laius’s
murderer? How does Oedipus’s curse on the murderer
foreshadow, or hint at, a tragic outcome for the drama?
What physical ailment afflicts Teiresias? What details in
Teiresias’s speech in lines 460-486 refer to darkness, vision, and
insight? Compare and contrast Oedipus and Teiresias in terms of
blindness and insight at the end of Part 1.
Classwork
Complete classwork worksheet.
Homework
Read Oedipus the King, Lines 526-998, on pages 443457 of your literature textbook and answer the
corresponding questions.
Do Now
How much loyalty do you owe your family? Your
friends? Your boss? Your nation? How do you show
your loyalty?
Oedipus the King,
Lines 526-998
Of what does Oedipus accuse Creon in the scene beginning at line
576? How convincing is Creon’s argument about his own motives in
lines 654-691? Explain.
In lines 784-807, what reasons does Jocasta give for not having faith
in prophecy? At this point in the play, what do both Jocasta and
Oedipus seem to believe about their abilities to control their own
destinies? Explain.
What role does the chorus play in clarifying both the events and
characters’ emotions in the play? In what ways does the chorus
heighten the dramatic tension?
In lines 705-708 – the scene between Oedipus and Creon – what
insights does Sophocles provide about the rights of the ruler and of
the ruled? What ways are these ideas applicable to contemporary
American life? Explain.
Classwork
Complete classwork worksheet.
Homework
Read Oedipus the King, Lines 999-1341, on pages 461472 of your literature textbook and answer the
corresponding questions.
Do Now
What is justice? What is injustice? How do you react
when you are unjustly accused of something? What is
the best way to act in these situations?
Oedipus the King,
Lines 999-1341
What is the literal meaning of Oedipus’s name? What clue to
Oedipus’s identity does his name contain?
What is Oedipus’s reaction to Jocasta’s abrupt exit at line 1177?
Why do you think Oedipus continues his investigation despite
Jocasta’s strong objections? What might the playwright be saying
about the importance of “knowing thyself”?
Whom or what does the chorus address in the strophe beginning
at line 1192? What hope does the chorus express here?
What facts does Oedipus establish by questioning the Herdsman?
Why might this scene be considered the climax, or high point, of
the tragedy?
Classwork
Complete classwork worksheet.
Homework
Read Oedipus the King, Lines 1342-1653, on pages
472-482 of your literature textbook and answer the
corresponding questions.
Do Now
Which three qualities do you think are most important
in a leader? What weaknesses do many leaders
commonly have?
Oedipus the King,
Lines 1342-1653
What events does the Second Messenger report? Does
this speech achieve the goal of dramatic tragedy? That
is, does it evoke pity or fear in you? Explain.
What does Oedipus want Creon to do at the end of
the play? Why does Oedipus insist that he is better off
blind and living than dead? At the play’s end, do you
think Oedipus is ennobled by his suffering? Explain.
At the end of the play, do you sympathize with
Oedipus or blame him? Explain.
Classwork
Complete classwork worksheet.
Homework
Begin to study for the Oedipus test.
Test
Quote identification
Spelling counts – you must spell characters’ names
correctly.
You are responsible for everything from the
PowerPoint.
Background information
You must provide concrete, specific examples from the
story to receive full credit on all open-ended questions.
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