Shows * Oedipus @ Amazon * 2005 * Production eGroup : groups.yahoo.com/group/3sis (cast and crew must subscribe)!
The major theme explored in Oedipus Rex is that fate and character are intertwined...
Anti-Oedipus part 2 *
SummaryAnti-Oedipus Deleuze and Guattari. Univ of Minnesota Pr (paper); ISBN: 0816612250
Questions... an art of the self.
"There is no such thing as either man or nature now, only a process of that produces the one within the other and couples the machines together. Producing- machines, desiring-machines everywhere, schizophrenic machines, all of species life [la vie générique]: the self and the non-self, outside and inside, no longer have any meaning whatsoever" (p. 2)
Notes... the psychoanalytic Oedipus, a State which turns into the Entrepreneurial State of the society of control.
‘One must not look for a ‘philosophy’ amid the extraordinary profusion of new notions and surprise concepts: Anti-Oedipus is not a flashy Hegel. I think that Anti-Oedipus can best be read as an ‘art’. (...) Questions that are less concerned with why this or that than with how to proceed. How does one introduce desire into thought, into discourse, into action? (...) Anti-Oedipusis a book of ethics…’ Michel Foucault, Preface to Anti-Oedipus [ * ]
"Oedipus X," "Oedipus05," "Anti-Oedipus" -- I still didn't make my mind about the title. All three represent connections with the present, but most important to explore "The American Age" themes. American dsstiny, fate, curse. Especially in the light of 9/11...
American came to rule the world after killing its father -- The Old World. Envy and jealousy. The whole world. The king of the 20th century. The last act of the tragedy?
America is unknown to itself.
Sphinx -- the media! Blinding itself -- 24 hours of news.
Deleuze (Foucault, Baudliard, Virilio) -- all about "America"! How to tell OUR story through the Sophocles' tale?
I place the location somewhere in African, Middle East country only because every "nation" today is another state of the USA.
music file(s) * [ more on the page ]
ZEUS: The son of Cronus and Rhea, he was fated to dethrone his father... Rhea; Daughter of Uranus and Gaea, she married her brother Cronus, who swallowed all their children except Zeus, whom Rhea concealed. Zeus then overcame Cronus and restored his siblings... [ Cronus = Time ]
Titan -- in Greek mythology, any of the children of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (Earth) and their descendants. According to Hesiod's Theogony, there were 12 original Titans: the brothers Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetus, and Cronus and the sisters Thea, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, and Tethys.
Gaea, also called Ge -- Greek personification of the Earth as a goddess. Mother and wife of Uranus (Heaven), from whom the Titan Cronus, her last born child by him, separated her, she was also mother of the other Titans, the Gigantes, the Erinyes, and the Cyclopes (see giant; Fury; Cyclops); hence literature and art sometimes made her the enemy of Zeus, for the Titans and Gigantes threatened him.
Even the Christian concept left the myth of mother who gives birth to her Father!
Images = Symbols = Ideas : Sphinx came after they gave the child away (to die). Why couldn't Laios face the Sphinx? Did Jocasta sense that the boy is alive? Hoped? Should I bring in the ghost of Laios? And gods appear?
The Willingness to Ignore the Truth: When Oedipus and Jocasta begin to get close to the truth about Laius’s murder, in Oedipus the King, Oedipus fastens onto a detail in the hope of exonerating himself. Jocasta says that she was told that Laius was killed by “strangers,” whereas Oedipus knows that he acted alone when he killed a man in similar circumstances. This is an extraordinary moment because it calls into question the entire truth-seeking process Oedipus believes himself to be undertaking. Both Oedipus and Jocasta act as though the servant’s story, once spoken, is irrefutable history. Neither can face the possibility of what it would mean if the servant were wrong. This is perhaps why Jocasta feels she can tell Oedipus of the prophecy that her son would kill his father, and Oedipus can tell her about the similar prophecy given him by an oracle (867–875), and neither feels compelled to remark on the coincidence; or why Oedipus can hear the story of Jocasta binding her child’s ankles (780–781) and not think of his own swollen feet. While the information in these speeches is largely intended to make the audience painfully aware of the tragic irony, it also emphasizes just how desperately Oedipus and Jocasta do not want to speak the obvious truth: they look at the circumstances and details of everyday life and pretend not to see them.
The Limits of Free Will: Prophecy is a central part of Oedipus the King. The play begins with Creon’s return from the oracle at Delphi, where he has learned that the plague will be lifted if Thebes banishes the man who killed Laius. Tiresias prophesies the capture of one who is both father and brother to his own children. Oedipus tells Jocasta of a prophecy he heard as a youth, that he would kill his father and sleep with his mother, and Jocasta tells Oedipus of a similar prophecy given to Laius, that her son would grow up to kill his father. Oedipus and Jocasta debate the extent to which prophecies should be trusted at all, and when all of the prophecies come true, it appears that one of Sophocles’ aims is to justify the powers of the gods and prophets, which had recently come under attack in fifth-century b.c. Athens.
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
Sight and Blindness
Graves and Tombs
Symbols are objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent abstract ideas or concepts.
Oedipus’s Swollen Foot
The Three-way Crossroads
Oedipus Rex Themes for revision Laius and Jocasta
Oedipus Rex Themes for revision
Laius and Jocasta
Consult Loxias, one of Apollo's (Phoebus) priests ("ministers"). (Tiresias serves Loxias and is described as his chief servant).
On being told that the child is cursed to kill his father they cast the child away. Notice that at this point they do not doubt the oracle at all.
A crucial ambiguity is that Jocasta implies that Laius could not bear to do this himself (lines 700 - 725) and that the actual casting away was done by a servant. Yet the shepherd (lines 1158 - 1231) says that Jocasta herself gave it to him.
Were Jocasta and Laius wise... or selfish?
Was Jocasta's love for her husband, above that of her own child, wrong in some way:
Apollo has neatly trapped Jocasta in a choice between husband and son - this dramatic irony is strong as she will re-marry a husband who is also her son.
Oedipus - "swell-foot" has riveted ankles in this casting away.
1. He is thus stigmatized from birth.
2. Riveted ankles are a traditional mark of the slave: Oedipus is thus enslaved/marked:
a. by his mother, as a foreshadowing of her later sexual marking of him with a stigma. The word stigma meaning a mark of evil, also means wound and is associated with blood (the stigmata of Catholic saints)
b. at a deeper symbolic level, he, like all human beings, is a slave to the will of the gods, doomed to fulfil a prophecy, a destiny he cannot escape. A man in some way crippled from birth. This clearly links to the idea of original sin, or a mark of Cain found later in the Judaeo-Christian tradition.
c. by his mother and father in a metaphor for inheritance - genetic and in terms of one's fate.
Is it surprising that Jocasta at no time recognizes the mark of "swollen-feet" and her inevitable physical resemblance to Oedipus -- "the son she never had...." ?
The adoptive parents
Polybus the Corinthian and Meropé the Dorian adopt Oedipus because they themselves are childless -- and through their generosity bring him up as their own son and deny to his face that he is adopted.
Notice the symmetry -- one set of selfish natural parents, one set of selfless adoptive parents -- whatever the differences of motivation -- both help fulfil the will of the gods.
Oedipus is thus "crippled" even at the heights of his physical prowess, sufficiently to carry a staff that he needs to use occasionally, yet he can walk on two legs alone -- and thus use the staff to kill Laius.
The symbolism of the cross-roads
The killing of Laius happens at Phocis where the road divides to Delphi or Daulia.
Delphi -- the Oracle at Delphi was the most famous in all Greece -- symbolizing respect for -- and submission to -- the will of the gods -- Oedipus takes another road:
These are the cross-roads of his life. "A place where three roads meet" - birth, life, death...past, present, future.
The murder itself -- Laius seizes for a weapon the driver's "two-pronged goad" -- used to drive animals -- the fork a symbol of the crutch, of deception, of the rage of the elderly man -- Oedipus equally quick-tempered ("like father, like son") uses his "staff in his right hand" (right the traditional side of goodness --"staff of life"/phallic symbol/physical prowess of young male) to kill his father -- a generational symbolism.
The confrontation is at noon -- the sun is Apollo's symbol and noon the height of Apollo's power. At noon one should see most clearly, but in fact are blinded by sunlight and shadow -- a clear admission of the impotence of human senses before the power of divine creation -- at the height of his youth, in the fullest possible daylight -- Oedipus is blind.
The mood of the play from the beginning to the end is of devastation, destruction and gloom. The play opens with Thebes suffering from a severe plague due to an unresolved murder. This mood of suffering and pollution is emphasized as the play proceeds. That the whole kingdom must suffer for the sins of one man reveals how dynamic the universe in Greek tragedy is. Everything is interconnected and vindication must be sought in order for the kingdom to regain its normalcy. The suffering which begins as a phenomenon in the kingdom eventually concentrates on the pain and suffering of the royal family.
[Enter OEDIPUS wearing the Imperial
purple wool mantle, embroidered with
gold threads worn over a toga and tied at
the neck. He has on high-laced sandals.
JOCASTA is with him. She is dressed
in a diaphanous pastel tunic, stola and palla,
which is attached to a diadem. The effect
is more flowing than transparent. She
wears gold, jewels, and a diamond brooch.
He wears a garland, sheathed sword and belt.]
This insufferable night is almost at its end.
The morning sun
begins to show its hesitant face.
It drags itself out
from behind some silent ominous cloud,
and stares unwillingly at the sick earth below,
bringing with it gloom instead of hope.
Beneath it our streets and homes,
our templesall glutted with the plague.
New heaps of dead
spewed up everywhere,
stiffening in the sickly morning light.
The brightening day to reveal
all too soon
the carnage night has brought.
Before this evil plague besieged my city
our people were happy.
Now there is disaster everywhere.
I dont understand
why the gods have done this to us.
I stopped the hideous Sphinx.
Answered the riddle.
Destroyed her utterly.
And for that as custom required
I was made king and husband to you,
their widowed Queen.
And now this stinking pestilence
has struck a second time,
spreading havoc throughout the land,
making me think that
I may bein some unknown way
responsible for this catastrophe.
I feel at this very moment,
the Fates are planning
some savage stroke against me.
What else should I think
when the blight that ravages Thebes
seems only to spare me
and those closest to me.
For what punishment am I reserved
that I remain unscathed amidst the devastation
that lays waste to everything in its path?
The city is in ruins.
No section of the populace
has escaped its deadly touch.
It is obvious that unknowingly I have sinned,
or the gods would not wish to wreck my kingdom.
Look around you.
Have you been outside?
Beyond the palace nothing grows.
The harvests stand ruined.
Springs have dried up
and turned to stinking pools that reek of death.
The stench of rotting corpses is everywhere.
There isnt time any longer for a proper burial.
Instead pile upon pile of diseased bodies
are heaped upon the funeral pyres and set ablaze.
Tearless relatives watch their once loved families
go up in billowing black smoke,
wondering when theyll be next.Sphinx and Jocasta have the same face!
It seems we all await the funeral pyre.
I should pray for a quick, merciful death.
I dont want to survive to the last
the final witness to the end of Thebes.
In Anti-Oedipus, expression is related to representation and signification, and thus it designates precisely what is not immanent to the term or thing. Expression poses a meaning outside of and detached from the real process and hence blocks the process. As such expression is the primary enemy of production. This is what Oedipus and psychoanalysis do: substitute representation or expression for process or production. "... the reproduction of desire gives way to a simple representation, in the process as well as theory of the cure. The productive unconscious makes way for an unconscious that knows only how to express itself--express itself in myth, in tragedy, in dream" (p. 54). The expressive unconscious is what destroys the productive unconscious: "The unconscious ceases to be what it is--a factory, a workshop--to become a theater, a scene and its staging" (p. 55). (And it should probably add, only to be obstinate, that factory, workshop, theater are not metaphors here but real forms or functions of the unconscious.)
Father v. Son
1) Oedipus arrogantly tells the Chorus, "You pray to the gods? Let me grant your prayers."
2) Oedipus claims that Creon and Tiresias are engaged in a conspiracy against the crown when he charges, "Creon, the soul of trust, my loyal friend from the start steals against me... so hungry to overthrow me he sets this wizard on me, this scheming quack, this fortune-teller peddling lies, eyes peeled for his own profit--seer blind in his craft!"
3) These accusations likewise fuel Tiresias’ temper. Before he leaves the scene, he warns, "So, you mock my blindness? Let me tell you this. You with your precious eyes, you're blind to the corruption of your life, to the house you live in, those you live with—who are your parents? Do you know? All unknowing you are the scourge of your own flesh and blood, the dead below the earth and the living here above, and the double lash of your mother and your father's curse will whip you from this land one day, their footfall treading you down in terror, darkness shrouding your eyes that now can see the light!" Here, Tiresias prophesizes Oedipus' tragic fate.
4) When Oedipus tells his wife that a prophecy from Delphi supposedly tells his awful fate, Jocasta reassures him, saying, "No skill in the world, nothing human can penetrate the future."
5) When Jocasta asks Oedipus why he wants to see the servant, he responds, "I can hold nothing back from you, now I've reached this pitch of dark foreboding."
6) As Oedipus and Jocasta return to the palace, the Chorus takes the stage, describing Oedipus in not so flattering terms: "Pride breeds the tyrant violent pride, gorging, crammed to bursting with all that is overripe and rich with ruin.... Can such a man, so desperate, still boast he can save his life from the flashing bolts of god?"
7) Oedipus gives his famous quote: "O god—all come true, all burst to light! O light—now let me look my last on you! I stand revealed at last—cursed in my birth, cursed in marriage, cursed in the lives I cut down with these hands!"
8) Using Jocasta’s brooches, Oedipus gouges out his eyes, screaming, "You, you'll see no more the pain I suffered, all the pain I caused! Too long you looked on the ones you never should have seen, blind to the ones you longed to see, to know! Blind from this hour on! Blind in the darkness—blind!"
9) Oedipus’ attitude toward Creon seems dramatically altered when Creon approaches Oedipus, who implores the audience: “Oh no, what can I say to him? How can I ever hope to win his trust? I wronged him so, just now, in every way. You must see that—I was so wrong, so wrong.”
10) Oedipus furthers Sophocles’ sight metaphor when he defends his decision to humble himself through blindness: “What good were eyes to me? Nothing I could see could bring me joy.”
The Blind Seer By Joe S. Oh accursed one, The unwanted son Oedipus the cursed king What sad news you bring That you have blinded yourself so? Where shall you go? Your father died By your own hands. Such a sad tale That spread throughout lands. Oedipus, accursed one, We are sad of your fall. We cry, though, For it was one no one could stall. Apollo deemed it so. Your mother and father determined you should go, So you were sent to a land so you would not know. Yet, you return. Your feet make time churn As your rage seems to continue to burn. Your mother lies dead, Hanging from her head. You do not know what to do, But you know this is because of you. So you are now blind, Your soul is in a bind, One of a kind. Now the sun shall never shine. Oh blind one, Who used to be king, Can you now see That the freedom bells ring? Your pain is now over; The kingship is gone. No longer do you have the crown of thorns you used to don. Go forth and see What no man can see, For, my friend, you are now free. Oedipus' Curse by Jason C. On Thebes, a curse has been brought upon the city. Oedipus Rex, a hero, expresses his pity, And vows to catch whoever killed the ex-King Laius, Which would end this curse which was so pious. He summons Tiresias, a prophet who's blind, But he has true sight in his mind. "The killer is you," says the blind prophet. He ended up proving that he was da' bomb Oedipus killed his dad and married his mom! Oedipus doesn't believe what the blind prophet say. He gets enraged and orders Tiresius away. The chorus wonders what the truth is. Oedipus says that Creon is ruthless And accuses him of hatching a plot. Creon says, "What the? No I'm not!" He says that usurping the throne wouldn't help him. Soon the details will surface a tad. Oedipus married his mom and killed his dad! Jocasta, who's both the queen and Oedipus' wife, Says that many men took her husband's life. Oedipus still wants to hear The account of a shepherd who was near The scene of the killing, but he doesn't want to speak. But when threatened with death, the info he will leak! The shepherd admits that a long time back He was supposed to leave a baby tacked To part of a mountain top. But he pitied the baby and put the plan to a stop. Oedipus married his mom, and killed his pop! The shepherd tells Oedipus one more thing: Oedipus is the baby of the Queen and ex-King! Well, now to the characters all becomes clear. Oedipus is overcome by horror and fear. Soon, in a fit, Jocasta commits suicide. And Oedipus is so horrified, That he takes Jocasta's pins, and pokes his own eyes out! He never again wanted to see the ones that he cared about, Because he accidentally got them all cursed. To look them in the eyes would make him too sad. Oedipus married his mom and killed his dad! Oh! he begged Creon to make him pay, For the crime that he committed on that fateful day. For an answer, to Apollo, Creon will turn. The chorus muses on Oedipus' downfall. He was once a hero; now he's zero. He was great, but now he lost it all! The irony started when he was just a lad. Oedipus married his mom and killed his dad!
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