What Is The Adaptation Of Oedipus The King

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The Efficacy of the 1957 film Oedipus Rex to Convey Sophocles’ Intended Meaning
The William Butler Yeats adaptation of the play, Oedipus the King, directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie, is said to provide the most realistic viewing experience compared to what one would’ve witnessed in Sophocles’ day. The Stratford Shakespearean Festival Foundation successfully produces a piece that stays true to the genre of Greek drama and tragedy; the regal, yet, expressive, way in which the actors spoke, the exaggerated movements of their bodies, and the minimal lighting and props are all contributing elements. Despite the play being a shorter and more concise version, Yeats’ translation and Guthrie’s stage production effectively convey the same ideas and themes—the
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Yeats and Guthrie most likely take this course of action because of time length concerns; it would prove difficult to pack Sophocles’ full original dialogue into a time period of only 90 minutes. The shortened dialogue, with the aid of other key elements, such as movement, projection of voice, and mastery of tone, also prove to be more effective at capturing the audience’s attention. Nevertheless, though this translation is not as lengthy, the content of the dialogue is not boiled down; the production packs the same emphatic feeling and thoughts conveyed through the original text into the hour and a half time frame given. For example, the scene in which Oedipus describes the brutal murder of King Laios to Jocasta and the older men of Thebes features elaborate demonstrative hand gestures and emphatic war cries from Oedipus along with the more precise and direct dialogue—that is, some phrases are reworded to be more easily understood in terms of modern day; whereas, the text features these …show more content…
The costumes of the thespians feature masks in fixed expressions; consequently, the actors must not only carry on dramatically to convey thematic meaning, but to effectively convey the different emotions of their characters. Technical elements like lighting and props, or lack thereof, add to the symbolism of the play. For example, at 01.16.39, Oedipus comes forth from the palace in shadow with a dark veil about his face, eluding to his loss of sight; yet, in contrast, the audience gains from the dialogue that Oedipus has gained knowledge, maybe even spiritual enlightenment. Despite this acquiring of truth, Oedipus is physically shrouded in darkness, compared to the light he basked in earlier in the play, when he was at the height of his ignorance (01.00.03). Therefore, the audience is able to conclude that knowledge can be equated to emotional darkness. One is left to think on the contrast between the darkness of knowledge and the light of

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