The Critique Of The Greek Theatre In Oedipus The King

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Greek culture flourished during the Classical Period, despite the large amounts of turmoil that occurred. Many religious festivals incorporated performances of drama, tragic and comedic theatrical works. Many of these were written by writers who would become known as classic writes including Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes and Sophocles. At the same time as these literary developments, theatre and stage design blossomed alongside it. (Silberman, et al. 1996). These new innovations allowed the world of theatre to bloom and expand on a never seen before scale. One such play, “Oedipus the King” is an excellent example of how theatre changed as society did so too. It also demonstrates how the world in which the play was written in is reflected in the play itself. In this essay I shall examine the factors that influenced the performance of this play with reference to one particular scene, the scene beginning on page 55 of Worthen’s print of Sophocles’ play, with the entrance of Jocasta. At the time that “Oedipus the King” was written, Greek theatre was very different from what we call theatre in today’s world. Attending a performance was not seen as a desire for entertainment, rather it was an act of worship. Performances celebrated the Greek God Dionysus who offered a subversive image that displayed drunkenness and sexuality. Almost every citizen attended these enormous productions when they were performed annually in front of as many as 15,000 spectators. (Brown, 1998) At

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