(Oedipus Rex, continued)
--Oedipus accuses Tiresias and Creon of attempting a coup
--Oedipus’s flaw is hubris: going against his fate, not knowing himself shows lack of self-awareness
--Oedipus misunderstands everyone: Tiresias, Creon, Jocasta
--Oedipus wonders why Jocasta is upset. He thinks she is disgusted by what he believes to be his low-status birth
--Then he says “Fortune is my real mother” because he thinks he ascended to king from a low birth. Dripping in irony because his real mother Jocasta had just ran out of the room --Peripeteia: a reversal (of the situation, of fortune)
--Oedipus realizes in one moment that he truly is Laius’s murderer; and the prophecy is fulfilled --Jocasta commits suicide
--Oedipus blinds himself; literal blindness is used as analogy to his “blindness” to his own fate —”Even he that loathes must pity”: takeaway is to produce in the audience a sense of fear and pity in this tragedy
--Oedipus has a desire to leave the city, to save the city from its fate for a second time (first time was against the sphinx)
--Creon is forced into position of king against his wishes after Oedipus leaves --Oedipus cycle: next play in the cycle has Oedipus wandering around and eventually dying --Antigone: story of Oedipus’s daughter
--Sophocles wanted to tell audience of Athens: yes, you are great, you are smart, you are admired the same way Oedipus was— but do not fall into the hubris trap, because everything can fall apart at once just like it did for Oedipus
--Tragic flaw; usually hubris in most Greek plays
--Jocasta and Laius displayed hubris by trying to go against the prophecy, it actually was fulfilled --Greeks had strong sense of predestination: no sense of free will because your fate is decided before you are born
--You cannot repent before committing a sin because otherwise you wouldn’t have committed that sin to begin with Don't forget about the age old question of What is the central description of humanism?
--Sophocles wants his audiences to take away the notion that however clever we are, we are merely mortals therefore it serves us to be humble Don't forget about the age old question of What does the great migration refer to?
--Oedipus is in the upper echelon of heroes in Greek mythology; when audiences see him they won’t say “look at this loser”, they say “look at this great man who has lost everything; this could happen to me”
--1st principle: tragedy, comedy, and epics: in all their own ways, they are modes of imitation --Mimesis: imitation
--Core principle of all art is that is it imitated. Example: first music may have started by imitating bird songs
--Art is imitation of nature
--What is imitated in literary works is men in action: these men must be either a higher or lower type in morals.
--Book 3, section 4: Poetry in general terms has two causes.
1. Difference between men and animals is that man is imitative. Pleasure felt in things imitated, such as works of art. Instinct for harmony and rhythm: poetry therefore diverges into 2 ways
2. There is a basic split in us between the comic and the tragic
--Aristotle defines plot as the most important aspect of any play
--He says a plot must have a beginning, middle, and end
--Aristotle stumbled upon some truths of human storytelling that have continued even to the modern day If you want to learn more check out How is collaborative ethnographic research facilitated?
--Brecht (German) came up with “Anti-Aristotilian” theater, which went against “cathartic” nature of tragedy; went against his Leftist beliefs
--Metafiction: when the author places themself in the book/play
--Sophocles a little older than Aristotle or Pluto (496-406 BC)
--Peloponnesian war- Athens eventually loses to Sparta, a city without great intellectuals or artists but strong soldiers
--Socrates: out there to show that people who call themselves philosophers are wrong.This pissed off a lot of people.
--Socrates says “I am the wisest man, only because I know that I know nothing” --He was put on trial for “corrupting the youth”
--The Poetics is mainly about writing plays
--Aristotle had students who were training on how to become good orators, ethical people, and playwrights
--Alexander brought Platonic thought to Israel; Christianity a mix of Platonic thought and Hebrew religion If you want to learn more check out What does the law of supply state?
--Trickiness is part of Odysseus’ character which is defined by his actions --Plot: arrangement of incidents