How speeches illuminate characters of Oedipus, Creon & Teiresias & advance plot.
In drama, the speeches of a character should illuminate his or her nature, relate to events taking place at the time, and help explain both the... more
In drama, the speeches of a character should illuminate his or her nature, relate to events taking place at the time, and help explain both the character and what happens to him or her. This should be the case no matter how long or how short the speech may be--each element in the speech should convey information about the person speaking. This can be seen with reference to the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles and to the characters of Oedipus, Creon, and Teiresias. Waldock emphasizes that this is a play of character (Waldock 144), and this is evident in the speeches cited below. The primary conflict in Oedipus Rex is internal and takes place in the character of Oedipus as he fights against recognizing the truth until he is forced to do so. Everything that occurs has been foretold, and yet Oedipus has not recognized
Analyzes heroism of protagonist & her feminine nature, relationships between gods & humans, personal loyalty & responsibility vs. political obedience, the Oedipus myth.
The tragic hero remains a staple of drama, though the specific nature of the tragic hero has changed since its inception in antiquity. The tragic... more
The tragic hero remains a staple of drama, though the specific nature of the tragic hero has changed since its inception in antiquity. The tragic hero is defined by his or her particular relationship both with the society in which they live and the gods who oversee that society. The relationships with both are complex and from the modern point of view contradictory, given that the gods ordain what will happen and then punish the hero for living the life he or she must live. Raymond Williams indicates that there is something definite that can be considered tragic, differentiating it from other experiences: "Certain events and responses are tragic, and others are not" (Williams 14). The tragic hero of antiquity derived from the Greek drama, as elucidated by the criticism of Aristotle in particular. Tragedy is struggling against somet
Places play in context of Oedipus trilogy, examines plot & characters, focusing on conflicts of loyalty to family, state, gods.
Antigone is the third play by Sophocles to address some element of the legend of Oedipus, but the three plays are not a formal trilogy as they were... more
Antigone is the third play by Sophocles to address some element of the legend of Oedipus, but the three plays are not a formal trilogy as they were written at different times. The essence of the Oedipus myth revolves around personal responsibility in the Greek conception. Even though Oedipus appears to be the victim of a series of circumstances so that what happens to him should be no fault of his own, in the Greek view this is not the case. The structure of the three plays shows that Oedipus should have known even if he did not and that his stubbornness in the face of growing evidence as to his crime leads to his downfall. Greek tragedy addressed stories such as this in developing a moral analysis of the meaning of loyalty and obedience and of understanding the nature of the role of the gods
Compares Homer's & Dante's views of Ulysses & his legend & myth.
From the earliest surviving works of Western literature down to those of the twentieth century the myth of Ulysses has been an important source for... more
From the earliest surviving works of Western literature down to those of the twentieth century the myth of Ulysses has been an important source for poets, playwrights, and novelists. Though the legendary hero always retained his essential characteristics of ingenuity, resourcefulness and boldness, these traits were sometimes praised and sometimes deplored. Yet, whether writers valued or abhorred Ulysses' character, there was usually some admiration mixed with the blame and some doubt behind the praise. A brief discussion of the historical and legendary origins of the myth will demonstrate how this ambiguity came about. A comparison of Homer's view of Ulysses in the Odyssey and Dante's vision of the hero in his Divine Comedy will show how Ulysses' legend could be used in very different ways. According to Homer, Ulysses (or Odysseus as Homer calls him)
Examines protagonists' attempts to reconcile domestic affairs of their households & seize control of their emotional lives.
The purpose of this research is to examine the central character's attempt to reconcile the domestic affairs of his household in The Odyssey of Homer... more
The purpose of this research is to examine the central character's attempt to reconcile the domestic affairs of his household in The Odyssey of Homer and James Joyce's Ulysses. The plan of the research will be to set forth the context in which the actions of Leopold Bloom in Ulysses and Odysseus in The Odyssey occur in this connection and then to discuss the means by which the unfolding narratives in the respective stories demonstrate Bloom's an Odysseus's strategies for seizing control of their emotional lives. The action of both The Odyssey and Ulysses involve the wandering from home of the central characters, although the wandering assumes a different shape in each story. In The Odyssey, Odysseus travels by an extremely indirect route back to home and hearth where faithful and patient Penelope awaits him and w
Examines how speeches of Oedipus, Creon & Teiresias reveal their characters & the ideas of the play.
The purpose of this research is to examine speeches of Oedipus, Creon, and Teiresias in Sophocles's Oedipus the King with a view toward explaining... more
The purpose of this research is to examine speeches of Oedipus, Creon, and Teiresias in Sophocles's Oedipus the King with a view toward explaining what the speeches reveal about each character. The plan of the research will be to set forth the context for the emergence of the dramatic pattern of ideas contained in the text and then to discuss how these various speeches function as means of clarifying and unifying the ideas underlying the events of the plot. What must be understood above all about Oedipus the King is that it is a play permeated with irony of incident, character behavior, and plot resolution. It appears that it is on that basis that in the Poetics Aristotle considers Oedipus the King to be the world's greatest tragedy, fulfilling and then going beyond his basic conditions of a tragedy, that it be an
Examines the conflict between reason and hedonism in literature & philosophy: Euripides, [Epic of Gilgamesh], Plato, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, more.
In Greek mythology, Apollo represents an aspect of the Greek ideal and a characteristic element of Greek civilization--the perpetually vigorous and... more
In Greek mythology, Apollo represents an aspect of the Greek ideal and a characteristic element of Greek civilization--the perpetually vigorous and graceful young man, contrasted with his half-brother Dionysus. Dionysus is the wild and enthusiastic zealot, while Apollo is calm and orderly, balancing vigor and reason. The Apollonian/Dionysian dichotomy is found expressed in literature both before the time of the Greek Golden Age and after, suggesting that there is something elementary and even primal in the pairing. Dionysus was the central figure in a major cult of the Greek world, a cult that would have a long-term influence in mythology, religion, and literature. Dionysus was a pan-Hellenic god who was widely celebrated throughout the Archaic period and honored at dramatic contests with tragedies and comedies. His was also
Analyzes concepts of justice & vengeance & their relationship to love & desire in the story of Cupid & Psyche.
This study will analyze the concepts of justice and vengeance, and their relationship to love and desire, in the story of Cupid and Psyche in... more
This study will analyze the concepts of justice and vengeance, and their relationship to love and desire, in the story of Cupid and Psyche in Apuleius' The Golden Ass, or Metamorphoses. The perspective of this study will be that the story as presented by Apuleius is designed to portray the evolution of the spirit. In that context, the story of Cupid and Psyche uses the forces and concepts of justice and vengeance, in opposition to love and desire, to develop the view that the purpose of life is, indeed, the advancement of the spirit or the soul. This context allows the reader to see that vengeance is not a necessarily negative force, and justice can be a force which benefits even the one against whom that justice is levied. The point to keep in mind in understanding the story of Cupid and
Examines dialogue's elaboration of concepts of knowledge, learning, reason, perception.
The purpose of this research is to examine Plato’s conception of knowledge elaborated in the dialogue Theaetetus. The plan of the research will be... more
The purpose of this research is to examine Plato’s conception of knowledge elaborated in the dialogue Theaetetus. The plan of the research will be to set forth in general terms what it appears Plato thinks knowledge is and then to discuss in more detail what can be discovered in the Theaetetus about Plato’s conception of learning, first in terms of the content of argument and second in terms of the shape that the argument assumes and the method by which it is developed. What we discover in the course of Theaetetus is that truth is something that if it cannot be found, it can be looked for and appreciated in a systematic way. In Theaetetus, Plato is not concerned with what is real, which belongs to an exercise of ontology, but with what is true, which belongs to an exercise of epistemology. The core of the reader’s exercise in discovery is not s