Politics in Greek Tragedy

  • Created by: gsoning
  • Created on: 28-05-19 12:31
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  • Politics in Greek Tragedy
    • Oedipus Rex
      • Standard Athenian practice to isolate criminals from society
        • [Creon] 'Banish the man'
        • [Oedipus] 'He will suffer no bearable punishment, nothing worse than exile, totally unharmed'
        • Athenian justice-Oedipus, as the king, will take responsibility if the murderer is close to. This shows he is a genuine king who cares about his people
          • [Oedipus] 'I curse myself as well'
      • Sophistry
        • Creon is caused of sophistry by Oedipus which is Dangerous for Oedipus as the ability to cleverly persuade could lead to  Creon  having too much power/more power than the king
          • [Oedipus] 'Creon is this conspiracy his or yours?
    • The Bacchae
      • Pentheus wants to explore Dionysus to save the women of Thebes
        • [Dionysus] 'Would you like to see them sitting together in the mountains?'
          • [Pentheus] 'Very much! I would give a countless pile of gold for it'
        • As Pentheus believes the bacchants have been ruined by Dionysus, perhaps he feels like he is helping Thebes by trying to save the women.
      • Sophistry
        • Tiresias accuses Pentheus of sophistry for renouncing Dionysus
          • 'No logic will overthrow the traditions we have received from our fathers'
          • 'A fine orator whose ability is based on confidence is a bad citizen, since he lacks good judgement
      • Xenophobia
        • Persians/ Foreigners  are unwelcome.
          • Dionysus represents the typical Persian, thus making him an enemy of Thebes
            • Is Pentheus then justified in his xenophobia against Pentheus
            • [Goggin] 'Dionysus is a God who breaks down barriers (of class, gender, social norms)'
              • Perhaps Pentheus is Xenophobic towards Dionysus as he doesn't agree with Dionysus' persona
            • [Pentheus] 'They say that a foreigner has come here [...] his blond hair smelling of perfume, his cheeks flushed'
              • Persian men were effeminate, which was hugely objected by Athenians
    • Oedipus and Pentheus were both tyrannical
      • [messenger re Pentheus] 'I fear for the swiftness of your moods [...] excessively king like'
      • Athenians were pro-democracy so they most likely would not have sympathised with the two kings
    • debating was a huge part of Athenian life


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