The Importance of Stage Directions in "Oedipus" by Sophocles.

Authors Avatar by sc_rahulgrah (student)


like in every drama played on a stage, stage dierections have much to do with the presentation of oedipus the king.of all the Greek writers  Sophocles is the most renowned one for tragedies. He is considered the best by Aristotle, and no doubt the definitons of Aristotelian tragedy is based on Sophocles’ work. What is it so remarkable about Sophocles? apart from the other salient features of a tragedy, Sophocles’ stage directions are very instrumemtal in giving Oedipus the name of one of the greatest tragedies in the Greek history of drama.

Sophocles has made a number of innovations in his stage directions to make this play appear a great tragedy. He makes experiments with the general traditions of the stage directions as used by his predecessors. For example he incorporates the technique of masks in this play, a technique never witnessed in a greek tragedy earlier, in such a powerful and varying light. Masks are changed by the characters repeatedly, and this technique certainly produces a desirable effect on the audience. For example Oedipus is shown in a mask covered in blood. This mask signifies to the audience of his gory deed. At the climax of the play Oedipus changes his mask and is shown wearing a black mask this time. This mask is an harbinger of his guilt and shame and the auduence can feel pity for his black deeds. The people feel pity and sympathy for the tragic hero, the fact that leads to catharsis.

Join now!

In one of his other incorporations, Sophoclesn adds a third actor to the stage. With this technique he has been able to reduce the role of the chorus in the greek tragedies. What is the significance of the third actor? In most greek tragedies the chorus had the responsibility of establishing the plot, theme and the mood on the stage. But here under the stage directions of sophocles’, the chorus plays the role of a narrator and a spectator.

The stage directions of Sophocles make the chorus move along the stage, a feature never witnessed earlier in the greek ...

This is a preview of the whole essay