A comparision betweem 'Oedipus the king' and 'the stonecutter'

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A comparison between two different theatrical treatments of mythical stories; Oedipus the King by Sophocles and The stonecutter

                Sophocles play Oedipus the King (also commonly known as Oedipus Rex and Oedipus Tyrannus) is a very famous tragedy about Oedipus, a mythical King. Sophocles, first produced the play in Athens around 430 B.C., we can tell this because of the reference to the Theban plague at the plays opening, at the Great Dionysia, a religious and cultural festival held in honor of the god Dionysus, held in early spring, where it won second prize. It would have been performed according to the Greek rules of performance known as the Aristotelian unities of time, place and action. The stonecutter, devised by a co-operative of year eleven students in 2008 in contrast to Oedipus the King does not obey the Aristotelian unities as it jumps between past and present, has a variety of settings and will not be performed in the time it is set. The stonecutter comprising of a variety of playwrights including improvised scenes and sections is a play within a play with the warning to be careful for what you wish for. In this essay I shall discuss further similarities and differences of the theatrical treatments of the two mythical stories.

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Sophocles play deals with a number of themes; Fate and destiny being pre-decided being a main one; Fate is a theme often occurring in Greek plays but tragedies in particular. From the beginning of Oedipus the King, we know that Oedipus is destined to "kill his father and mate with his mother". Another main theme of Oedipus the king is that bravery and skill (in fighting) is rewarded but mistakes/bad choices/crime will be punished even if done unintentionally. The stonecutter compares as it also has an underling theme which crops up at various times throughout the play, however they differ ...

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