Oedipus - Response Paper
It’s no secret that Sophocles’ Oedipus, is a play of complete relevance and complex universal theme. Telling the story of Oedipus and his journey through proclaiming power, being an honest leader, and doomed self discovery. Through reading the play, we reflect on the importance of theater and reminded of its significance to communication. Transitioning the same bases of the story of Oedipus to other adaptations with other perspectives on its telling is a large factor in the realm of communication as well. In the 1957 production by the Stratford Festival Theater, audience members are given a close sense of what the play might’ve been originally presented when it was first written, grasping theater in a different form and clarity. The 1985 production for BBC takes on a more modern take in comparison, removing the original use of masks, as audience members are able to interact with the characters in a more personal atmosphere.
From reading excerpts of Aristotle’s Poetics, a tragedy must be an imitation of life in the form of a serious story that is complete in itself and among many other things. According to Aristotle, Oedipus is well portrayed as the perfect example of what a tragedy entails. This is because Oedipus seems to include and execute key elements perfectly, such as; the importance of plot, the cathartic purging and evocation of pity and fear, and the presence of a fatal flaw in the “hero”.
Stratford Festival Theatre’s 1957 production embraces the plays Ancient Greek origins to the absolute fullest. Audience members are granted the opportunity to fully grasp clarity to what was originally presented of the play, being able to reach a better understanding of the play itself as the audience is closer to the perspective seen by some of the original audiences. Each actor was covered head to toe, starting with a large artistically crafted mask that covered the whole head, larged costuming that draped over the bodies, and minimal but detailed props. Oedipus was emphasized through bold gold and royal design, the chorus was very neutral in grey and brown, and Tiresias was in a very haunting solid white, all highly compelling and effectively captivating. With that said, the acting itself matched the onset tactics. The use of a dramatic reading, powerful voice, and wide stance and movement brought together the plot line with the time period presented.
Initially of course, the over-elaborate masks and acting might’ve been thought to be seen as somewhat distracting, but once you have allowed yourself to give in to the...