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.

1 comment:

Belin Manalle said...

I actually really like how the chorus is portrayed and what they accomplish in "Oedipus the King". They personally helped me a lot along the way of reading this play. When things started to get confusing, the chorus was able to step in to clear up any misunderstanding by restating what was going on and where we were in the play at this point. Also, the chorus introduces a major plot point in the beginning of the play. It is the chorus members that represent the people of Thebes complaining about the plague. This introduction of the plague leads to the discussion of the reason that this play is going on which of course ends up being Oedipus and his wrong doing. The chorus is essential in this play.