Friday, February 17, 2012

Play Review: Oedipus the King


One of the greatest of the classic Greek tragedies and a masterpiece of dramatic construction. Catastrophe ensues when King Oedipus discovers he has inadvertently killed his father and married his mother. Masterly use of dramatic irony greatly intensifies impact of agonizing events.

I've never been one to care for reading plays, especially the older ones that are worldly famous, but since it's mandatory to do so in my Styles of Acting class, I've actually come to the liking of them. I think it helps that we also talk about them in class, so it makes for a more interesting read. 

So, the basic shall we. Well, Oedipus....King of Thebes...comes out of his palace to find towns people swarming the area. Thebes is still very sick, even though he got rid of the Sphinx, it's still pretty bad so the people are there to ask for his help. What they don't know yet is that he has already sent out his "brother-in-law" to ask the oracle of Apollo what they shall do.

And when he gets back this is when things get interesting. A blind seer comes into the picture on Creon, the brother-in-law, request and tells Oedipus what they should do. Look for the killer of the king before him. Oedipus saw that the seer had more to say but he didn't want to, all it would do is bring hell upon the Palace. But against his will the seer spoke the unspoken words.

I don't want to say anymore, but, it's amazing....and a little disturbing. You can tell by the summary above. But besides that, it's great. There's a little bit of gore at the end and this is truly a tragedy at it's best. And the discussions we had in class were wonderful.

This is a great show of the kind of power the Greek Gods had over it's people.


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