Tragedy In Oedipus Rex And Antigone

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In the time of Sophocles, Aristotle and Socrates Greece was populated mostly by the illiterate and slaves. With such a large uneducated and illiterate population, mainstream social and moral education was difficult. Plays were used as the main method of teaching the moral code of society in a way that everyone could access. In order to teach this moral message, the tragedy was used. Inspired by Sophocles’ many plays, Aristotle wrote The Poetics as a teaching outline for what makes a good tragedy- in terms of structure. Aristotle describes that tragedy is an imitation of action rather than the people performing them. This then sets tragedy to focus on plot more heavily than anything; he emphasizes plot first, after which comes character, diction, …show more content…
In both plays the sentiments of pity were much more prevalent than feelings of fear. In Oedipus Rex, it was not only the reader that felt pity for Oedipus but even the chorus and other characters in the play. Shortly before he left Thebes, the Chorus addressed Oedipus and admitted, “godforsaken, cursed by the gods! I pity you but I can’t bear to look” (1438-1439, 239). It is not only what he has done to himself (the blinding) but what he’s done/ been victim to that has caused widespread pity. In Antigone, pity could be easily felt for more than one character (Creon, Antigone and Haemon). While it is not unique to Antigone for so many characters to die in such a short time, it is the emotional toll each character felt that causes this widespread feeling of pity. The ending choral piece encompasses a shared sense of pity as it reads, “the mighty words of the proud are paid in full of might blows of fate, and at long last those blows will teach us wisdom” (1437-1440, 128). It is this sentence that summarizes not only message of the play, but the pitied advice the reader wishes they could give to the

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