* truth vs the appearance of truth
* blindness vs vision (sometimes 'second-sight')
* curiosity vs ignorance (sometimes wilful)
* knowledge vs misunderstanding
THE ORACLE GIVEN BY DELPHI TO LAIUS KING OF THEBES:"Laius, son of Labdacus, you seek for a rich family of children.vtheatre.net
Let a beloved son be given to you. But it is fated for you to depart the daylight at the hands of your son.
For ZEUS, son of Kronos has granted this, moved by the hateful curses of PELOPS,
Whose dear son [LAIUS] stole away. For HE indeed prayed all of these things for you.The World of Sophocles
After studying this section of the chapter you should be able to identify the key achievements of Greece's "classical age." identify the major trials and tribulations facing democracy in Sophocles' lifetime.
Sophocles: The Citizen and Writer
After studying this section of the chapter you should be able to provide some biographical information concerning Sophocles' life and career.
After studying this section of the chapter you should be able to explain Freud's theory of the "Oedipus complex."discuss Oedipus Rex from both a Jungian and Freudian perspective. use Apollo's role in Oedipus Rex to answer the text's question: "does... genetic makeup or training and experience determine an individual's behavior?" discuss Tiresias as a representation of "an androgynous human [who] represents the psyche in which animus and anima are balanced." describe how Sophocles circumscribes the power of fate and emphasizes the theme of civic responsibility. discuss Thebes' reputation as "a place where evil reigned," and its status as enemy of Athens. discuss the relationship between fate (or individual choice) and character in the Oedipus plays. explain how Oedipus's virtues become the source of his unhappiness. discuss the narrative and thematic functions of riddles in the Oedipus plays. discuss Oedipus's failure to acknowledge the feminine principle, and his self-destructive insistence on the male principle. discuss Jocasta's discovery that "the heroic approach to experience... is destructive women both in literal terms and in the only two roles they are allowed: marriage and motherhood." explain how "the very quest that destroys Oedipus's actual mother allows him to find the mother within himself." explain how the Oedipus myth "poses a riddle that seems to have no definitive answer," and how it is this riddle which seems to "literalize the condition of all humanity." explain how Oedipus achieves "a kind of moral transcendence," and to locate the irony in this transcendence.
Oedipus at Colonus
After studying this section of the chapter you should be able to describe the political climate at the opening of Oedipus at Colonus, and explain why this climate would have seemed familiar to a contemporary audience. recognize the similarities and differences between Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus, paying particular attention to Sophocles' portrayal of Oedipus. explain how, in Oedipus at Colonus, opposites are "reconciled in a series of paradoxes" involving his relationships with the gods, with honor, and finally with death.
After studying this section of the chapter you should be able to identify the play's central (political, religious, familial) conflicts. discuss the thematic and narrative significance of Tiresias' role in Antigone. describe Antigone as both "hero-impersonator" and "bride of death." explain how, "in burying Polyneices, she [Antigone] was also burying the last vestige of her capacity to love." explain why Antigone's journey to the Underworld marks a divergence from the archetypal heroic path. discuss Haemon as the link, in Antigone, between the political and the personal, the masculine and the feminine. identify the similarities and differences between Antigone and Romeo and Juliet.