Near the end of each play in the Oedipus Trilogy, a messenger describes what has happened offstage, usually the most important action in the play.
Study Questions 1 Discuss the role of the sentry in Antigone. The sentry in Antigone is a messenger who clearly has no desire to tell his tale.
His fearful halting demonstrates that Creon is powerful and dangerous, ready to exercise his power on the most helpless—and pointless—of victims. Creon, of course, blames the sentry for burying Polynices, and the sentry complains about the dangers of rulers who judge poorly.
The sentry is free to say such things at this point, because he has nothing to lose. Although he continues to be a comical character, with his second entrance the sentry becomes less sympathetic. He boasts incessantly about being involved in a situation he formerly wanted to avoid.
The sentry seems to have become something like a police officer, fully aligned with Creon. What is the effect of his announcement on the audience? The audience does not see Jocasta commit suicide or Oedipus blind himself, because in Ancient Greek theater such violent catastrophes traditionally happen offstage.
The audience hears them described by witnesses rather than seeing them firsthand. Greek tragedy left more to the imagination than modern theater does. It placed a great deal of importance on the language in which the catastrophe is described.
In the case of Oedipus, the convention of keeping violence offstage is thematically appropriate. The audience is faced with the realization that it is blind, that it relies for its knowledge of events on report and hearsay, and is thus prone to error and uncertainty. Over the course of the play, the once-confident Oedipus discovers that he is in the grip of uncertainty and error himself.
His self-blinding symbolizes, among other things, the blindness and doubtfulness of human life in general. When the messenger describes the wrenching sobs that Oedipus delivers upon seeing Jocasta, our emotions are stirred in a different way than if we had simply witnessed the violence ourselves.
In Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus is almost utterly dependent on his two daughters, Antigone and Ismene. When they arrive at the sacred grove at Colonus, Oedipus asks Antigone to leave him and find out if anyone lives nearby, and she says that she can see a man approaching.
Oedipus cannot tell that the citizen has exited until Antigone tells him so. Antigone also first perceives the approach of the Chorus, Ismene, Creon, and Polynices, and she repeatedly helps Oedipus move around the stage.
Immediately thereafter, she exclaims that she can hardly bear to look at her father because of the cruel fate that he has suffered.
Ismene is distracted by pity and shame in a way that Antigone is not. It is also Ismene who goes to perform the rites of atonement to appease the spirits on whose ground Oedipus and Antigone trespassed at the beginning of the play.Oedipus Rex Essay Sample.
Have you ever heard the saying ‘’ the truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.’’ Well behind that there is another question, Is it always good to know the truth? Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King is a great resource to ask .
Judging from his plays, Sophocles took a conservative view on augury and prophecy; the oracles in the Oedipus Trilogy speak truly — although obliquely — as an unassailable authority. Indeed, this voice of the gods — the expression of their divine will — represents a powerful, unseen force throughout the Oedipus Trilogy.
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Studying for Oedipus the King? We have tons of study questions for you here, all completely free. Free Essay: Scene 1 (Pages ) 1. Oedipus characterizes himself by in line 7 of scene 1, Oedipus says, "I Oedipus, a name that all men.