Sunday, September 20, 2015
Chorus in Oepidus Rex
Already in Oepidus Rex I have noticed a few specific things about the chorus that I thought I'd mention real quick. First, as we've talked about, the chorus is representing a group of people. In this case, it is representative of the citizens of Thebes. The chorus usually provides insight and/or a summary about the action of the play. Lines 168 through about 244 do just this. The chorus gives a quick recap about what's happening in the city of Thebes due to the plague and also provides a form of insight, I think, by evoking the various gods and asking for help curing the plague. I also recall that one of the purposes of a chorus can be to mediate conflict. The "leader" in Oepidus, who I presume is sort of the head of the citizens, does exactly this in lines 460-63. He tries to keep the peace between Oepidus and Tiresias. These are just a few of the major things I noted about the role of the chorus as I was reading. I think it's really cool to see how the function of something like the chorus, which was conceptual to me until now, actually fits into an authentic Greek tragedy.