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Sophocles Oedipus Rex 1957

Oedipus Rex

Sophocles' ''Oedipus Rex'' was written around BCE, during the height of Ancient Greece's political and cultural power. However, the story it. Sophocles is considered one of the great ancient Greek tragedians, and he's known best for like plays like Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. And we can't really blame him: a story about a dude who kills his father, marries his mother, and then stabs his own eyes out is pretty awesome writing fodder. Oedipus The King. Written by Sophocles (adapted and translated by Don Taylor). Thurs 24th February - Sat 26th February & Tues 1st March - Sat 5th March Directed by John O'Hanlon. The great mythological figure of Oedipus is the subject of the best known ancient Greek tragedy. It is a work of immense power and.

When Was Oedipus The King Written

Sophocles, one of the most noted playwrights of the ancient world, wrote the tragedy Oedipus Rex in the first half of the decade — bc. A lethal plague is described in this drama. We adopted a critical approach to Oedipus Rex in analyzing the literary description of the disease, unraveling its clinical features, and defining a possible underlying cause.

Our goals were to clarify whether the plague described in Oedipus Rex reflects an actual historical event; to compare it with the plague of Athens, which was described by Thucydides as occurring around the same time Sophocles wrote; and to propose a likely causative pathogen. Sophocles is one of the most noted playwrights more info the ancient world and, along with Aeschylus and Euripides, belongs to the trinity of the Attic tragedians who flourished during the golden century of Pericles in Athens Figure 1.

Sophocles lived between and bc ; although he seems to have written plays, only 7 have survived in a complete form 1. He lived his entire life in Athens and introduced many innovations in the dramatic arts 1. The play has been labeled an analytical tragedy, meaning that the crucial events which dominate the play have happened in the past 23. Several sections, primarily in the first third of the play, refer to the aforementioned plague; the epidemic, however, is not the primary topic of the tragedy.

The epidemic, in fact, is mostly a matter that serves the theatrical economy by forming a background for the When Was Oedipus The King Written of the plot. Given the potential medical interest of Oedipus Rex, When Was Oedipus The King Written decided to adopt a click here perspective by analyzing the literary descriptions of the plague, unraveling its clinical features, defining the underlying cause, and discussing possible therapeutic options.

In the first scene of the play, Sophocles presents the basic social and historical axes around which he will unfold the plot.

His greatest play, Oedipus the Kingmay serve as a model of his total dramatic achievement. Don Taylor was a playwright, TV and theatre director and translator, best known for his play 'The Roses of Eyam', the story of the village of Eyam in Derbyshire which chose forcible isolation when plague broke out thus preventing it from spreading to near-by communities. Antigone, Oedipus the King, Electra. General considerations revival by Reinhardt In Max Reinhardt: Organize and share selected lessons with your class.

The devastating plague that dominates Thebes is presented to the audience through the dialogue between Oedipus and the Priest lines 1—67 23. The king has already taken some action to deal with this harm by sending his brother-in-law, Creon, to the oracle at Delphi to ask for a salvation plan lines 68— Oedipus asks the citizens to stop praying and focus on finding the cure lines — 23. In lines — the Chorus stays on stage to summarize the situation and beg for salvation 23.

Searching for the miasma, Oedipus When Was Oedipus The King Written the blind prophet Tiresias to reveal who is responsible for this evil lines — 23.

Oedipus Rex Time Period

At the moment that Tiresias reveals to Oedipus that the king himself is the cause of the plague lines —the epidemic becomes a secondary issue, and, as a result, there are only occasional references to the plague during the remainder of the play lines —, —, —, — 23.

Therefore, although the first part of the play is rife with references to the plague and its consequences, in the second part there are only sporadic referrals to the epidemic. Sophocles describes the main characteristics of the epidemic through sporadic sentences. Lines — read more out to be of high interest: The knowledge of the When Was Oedipus The King Written of a highly contagious and fatal disease is phrased clearly in these rhymes, strongly suggesting that Thebans were aware of the oncoming—most possibly from the adjacent city of Athens—danger 2 — 4.

This hypothesis regarding the source of the disease seems the most reasonable in medical terms, contrary to the philological approach, which declares that the epidemic derived from the gods.

It is not quite clear why Ares is being called responsible for this plague, since there is no other such reference in the play. In fact, it is noteworthy that there is no other historic or poetic reference that links Ares to the spreading of a disease 4. Consequently, a solution for the situation is requested from the oracle at Delphi lines 68—72while the Chorus plead for Athena, Zeus, Artemis, and Apollo to save the town from the disaster lines — 23.

The aforementioned aspects strongly support the notion that the disease was incurable at this time. The pathogen of the plague described in Oedipus Rex reflects the complexity of every historically emerging zoonosis. Any proposed pathogen should be a highly contagious, zoonotic disease of cattle that causes stillbirth, miscarriages, and infertility, is characterized by high mortality rates, and has the potential to have caused an epidemic in the 5th century bc.

After a close inspection of the characteristics, the pathogens that include most 5 of 7 of the features described by Sophocles in Oedipus Rex are Leishmania spp. Among the diseases caused by these pathogens that can affect humans are the following: Thus, the most When Was Oedipus The King Written cause of the plague in Thebes is B.

Brucellosis is a highly contagious zoonosis this web page by ingestion of unsterilized milk or meat from infected cows or close contact with their secretions. Epidemics, stillbirths, and miscarriages caused by B. However, taking into account that in modern times brucellosis in humans is a severe granulomatous disease characterized by extremely rare direct transmission from person-to-person, insidious onset in sporadic cases mainly among veterinariansand low mortality rates, it may be difficult for 21st century physicians and veterinarians to accept B.

In this case scenario, we could assume that cattle in Thebes may have been having brucellosis, leptospirosis, or listeriosis, while humans could have been affected by a different pathogen such as Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi 89.

When Was Oedipus The King Written

It should be noted that exploring the diseases of history requires examining the social, economic, and demographic aspects of each era because this is the only way to maps How Do You Know If Your Relationship Is Falling Apart should understand how diseases work over centuries Finally, we cannot reject the possibility of dealing with a Brucella strain that has evolved to become less deadly than a more lethal ancestor 6.

The plague that is described in Oedipus Rex could possibly be related to the plague that struck Athens in — bc 11the primary source for which is the papers of historian Thucydides where he refers to an epidemic that has been named the plague of Athens 5. The following 5 points support this correlation.

The first writing of Oedipus Rex most probably took place during the time of the plague of Athens. The opening of the drama, with the city of Thebes in the midst of plague has often been, historically, taken as a reference to the plague that devastated Athens in the opening years of the Peloponnesian War and has been used to assist in the dating of this play Thucydides and Sophocles use similar terms when describing attempts to deal with the epidemic.

In the historical case Athens and the dramatic case Thebesthe populace turned to the temples looking for a divine solution to the disaster.

The particularity of this reference 4it seems that Sophocles correlates the epidemic that strikes Thebes with the plague of Athens, which, according to Thucydides, came about as a result of the Peloponnesian War 5. It is difficult to compare a historical record to a poetic drama, but, keeping that in mind, both Sophocles and Thucydides refer to animal illness and death 28.

In addition, the realistic descriptions of the historian and the nightmarish lyrical rhymes of the poet, talk When Was Oedipus The King Written a disease with a high mortality rate 2 Historical medical literature has suggested many infectious diseases over time, but few have lasted as the most probable.

These diseases mainly include typhoid fever, epidemic typhus, smallpox, plague, measles, and influenza, all of which could be initial candidates for the plague in Oedipus Rex and have been taken into account in this study Technical Appendix 9 Historical certainty can be added by studying the alliances and the warfare involving Thebes during the era of Sophocles e.

Bearing in mind the aforementioned observations and the fact no other epidemics were When Was Oedipus The King Written in the eastern Mediterranean during the 5th century bcwe posit that the plague described by Sophocles in the tragedy Oedipus Rex has an actual basis in the plague of Athens described by Thucydides in his histories. According to the World Health Organization, an epidemic is defined as a disease outbreak and, therefore, the occurrence of cases of disease in excess of what would normally be expected in a defined community, geographic area, or season It would not be irrational to trust the historical credibility of a literary text.

Literature usually reflects the echo of the past. A somewhat similar example is that of archeologist Heinrich Schlieman; before Schlieman, the writings of Homer had been considered a collection of mythological poems.

However, with his excavations in Troy, which used the Iliad as a guide, Schlieman provided a perfect example of how literary work can have a factual base Moreover, we could not overlook that Sophocles is the most realist When Was Oedipus The King Written the Greek tragedians 1and ancient tragedies were often placed into a historical frame strongly influenced by major contemporary events Finally, although many of the continue reading of the plot and passages have When Was Oedipus The King Written interpreted as historical allusions, the plague seems to be recognized as the most critical element that reflects a historical event, with enough strength and clarity to be used even for the dating of the tragedy With the deadly plague, which struck one of the most historic Greek please click for source, on the one hand and the tragic fate of a character who has become among the most recognizable in world theater on the other, Sophocles masterminded a dramatic frame and offered a lyrical, literary description of a lethal disease.

As the protagonist approached his tragic catharsis, the moral order much desired by the ancient Greeks was restored with the end of the epidemic. Characteristics of pathogens possibly responsible for the plague of Thebes described by Sophocles in Oedipus Rex.

His primary research interests include history of medicine, medical sociology, and epidemiology. Suggested citation for this article: Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet].

Oedipus the King - Sophocles - Ancient Greece - Classical Literature

National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Journal List Emerg Infect Dis v. KousoulisKonstantinos P. Society of Junior Doctors, Athens A. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Abstract Sophocles, one of the most noted playwrights of the ancient world, wrote the tragedy Oedipus Rex in the first half of the decade — bc. Photo courtesy Antonis A. An Epidemic in Oedipus Rex In the first scene of the play, Sophocles presents the basic social and historical axes around which he will unfold the plot. Photo courtesy Effie Poulakou-Rebelakou. Possible Pathogens Responsible for the Plague in Thebes The pathogen of the plague described in Oedipus Rex reflects the complexity of every historically emerging zoonosis.

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Proximate Eras The first writing of Oedipus Rex most probably took place during the time of the plague of Athens. Similar Descriptions by Thucydides and Sophocles Thucydides and Sophocles use similar terms when describing attempts to deal with the epidemic. Similarities Regarding the Nature of the Diseases It is difficult to compare a historical record to a poetic drama, but, keeping that in mind, both Sophocles and Thucydides refer to animal illness and death 28. Common Assumptions about the Possible Causative Pathogen Historical medical literature has suggested many infectious diseases over time, but few have lasted as the most probable.

Supplementary Material Technical Appendix: Characteristics of pathogens possibly responsible for the plague of Thebes described by Sophocles in Oedipus Rex Click here to view. Footnotes Suggested citation for this article: Sommerstein A Greek drama and dramatists. Sophocles Oedipus the king [in Greek]. Sophocles Storr F, translator. William Heinemann Ltd; Oedipus the king [in Greek]. Thucydides Crawley R, translator. The History of the Peloponnesian war.

While it is a mythological truism that oracles exist to be fulfilled, oracles do not cause the events that lead up to the outcome. Teacher Edition Classroom tested, teacher trusted. Strong performances from Neil Kendall as Oedipus and Alan Jenkins as Creon and other well-acted parts, unravelled an emotive take of extreme human suffering, perhaps more disturbing than any scenario imaginable. Keep Exploring Britannica Bob Dylan.

Wordsworth Editions Ltd; A new hypothesis for the cause of the plague of Athens. N Engl J Med. Int J Infect Dis. Littman RJ The plague of Athens: Mt Sinai J Med. Encyclopedia of ancient Greece. New York, USA; Storey IC Aspects of ancient Greek drama. Click IC, Allan A, editors. A guide to ancient Greek drama.