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4. Language and Spectacle
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the use of violence in the play, both that which is described by the messenger at 1237ff. and that which the audience sees for themselves when Oedipus emerges from the palace at 1297. In addition to this, we also consider the importance of 'blindness' in the play – both figurative and literal.
In this course, Dr Rosie Wyles (University of Kent) explores Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus. In the first module, we think about where Sophocles chooses to start the story and how it proceeds, compared to other versions of the myth. After that, we think about how the original audience may have reacted to the play in light of the devastating plague that Athens had suffered in the early years of the Peloponnesian War. In the third module, we explore the character of Oedipus himself, before turning in the fourth module to the presentation of violence in the play – both as reported to us in messenger speeches and as shown to us on stage. In the final module, we turn to the role of the gods and fate in the play: does Oedipus deserve what happens to him?
Dr Rosie Wyles researches the cultural history of the ancient world through theatre performance. She did her undergraduate studies in Classics at Oxford and was awarded her PhD on the ancient performance reception of Euripides from the University of London in 2007. Her research interests include Greek and Roman performance arts, costume, reception within antiquity and beyond it, and gender.
Cite this Lecture
Wyles, R. (2018, August 15). Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus - Language and Spectacle [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/sophocles-oedipus-tyrannus/language-and-spectacle
Wyles, R. "Sophocles: Oedipus Tyrannus – Language and Spectacle." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/sophocles-oedipus-tyrannus/language-and-spectacle