Oedipus the King
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Account: MSCC - Nursing Collection
Oedipus the King (00:00)
Sophocles often won the leading prize at the Dionysia, the principal dramatic festival of Athens; but Oedipus the King was a runner-up, winner of the second prize. Posterity, however, considers the play second to none. The play tells the beginning of the Oedipus saga, setting the stage and creating the characters who will continue the story to its conclusion in Antigone. With Michael Pennington, John Gielgud, and Claire Bloom. (120 minutes)
Gathering at the Palace (04:02)
Tattered pilgrims stagger across a hostile plain and enter a stylized city. They gather at the base of a stanchion. Men, women, and children stare at the flag with expressionless faces.
Thebans' Plea to Oedipus (04:28)
Gates open revealing a bright light behind them. A majestic figure, Oedipus, steps out and addresses the somber crowd. Citizens show desperate concern for the ruined, diseased state of Thebes.
Oedipus Addresses the Thebans (04:50)
Creon returns from the Oracles with a message. Creon reports a pollution in the city that must be purified. The old king's murderer must be found. Oedipus promises to renew the investigation.
Prayer of the Council (06:05)
The Council prays to Athena, Artemis, and Apollo. They tell of pestilence. They pray to Zeus that he drive out the murderer from their midst.
Oedipus Addresses the Council (04:27)
Oedipus denies any knowledge of the murder of Laius, as it happened before Oedipus came to Thebes. He promises to champion the dead king by routing out the murderer.
Tiresias the Astrologer (03:56)
Oedipus hears rumors that have been circulated about the murder. Oedipus begs Tiresias, the blind astrologer, to reveal the future and to end the pestilence in Thebes. Tiresias keeps silent.
Oedipus is Guilty (03:31)
Oedipus begs Tiresias to speak the truth. Tiresias tells Oedipus that he should fear his own anger. Tiresias proclaims that Oedipus is the murderer of Laius and the defiler of Laius' wife.
Curse of Tiresias (03:42)
Oedipus is sure that Creon is secretly plotting to overthrow him. He recalls how he answered the riddle of the Sphinx and saved Thebes. Tiresias curses Oedipus and reveals the future.
Pride of Oedipus (03:16)
Oedipus banishes Tiresias. Oedipus asks about his parentage. Tiresias foretells the future of the murderer. Oedipus contemplates what he has heard and returns to the palace.
Creon Protests (03:18)
Apollo knows all of men’s secrets, the Council recites. The Council is determined to prove the guilt of Oedipus rather than believe the words of Tiresias.
Oedipus Faces Creon (04:41)
Oedipus accuses Creon of leading a conspiracy to foment a revolution. He questions why Tiresias brings up information about the old murder. Creon uses logic and emotion to argue with Oedipus.
Jocasta Responds (03:05)
Jocasta breaks up the fighting between Oedipus and Creon. The Council and Jocasta urge Oedipus to change his mind about Creon.
Jocasta's Pronouncement (02:32)
Jocasta hears about the preceding events from the Council. In defense of Oedipus, Jocasta reveals that earlier oracles predicted that Laius would be killed by his own son, not Oedipus, her husband.
Oedipus' Realization (02:48)
Oedipus realizes that the events of Laius' death match events that he remembers. He realizes that he is the killer of Laius, his own father. Oedipus orders that the one eyewitness be summoned.
Oedipus' Confession (03:58)
Oedipus tells the story of his youth when it was revealed that his parents were not his true parents. He remembers killing the man who was Laius and admits it to Jocasta and the Council.
Jocasta's Denial (03:60)
Oedipus hopes the eyewitness will exonerate him. Jocasta refuses to believe that Oedipus could be the child that she claims is dead. The Council expresses its confusion and consternation.
Jocasta's Plea (02:07)
Jocasta asks for mercy from the Council, and she argues that prayers for Oedipus are useless. Her handmaids leave sacrificial flowers on an altar.
Good News for Oedipus (03:04)
A stranger arrives with the good news that the Corinthians want Oedipus to be king of the entire isthmus. He also announces that Polybus, Oedipus' father, is dead. Oedipus feels vindicated.
Oedipus Fears His Mother (05:05)
Oedipus still fears the prophecy that predicted he would marry his mother. Jocasta comforts him, telling him it will not be true. The stranger reveals the secret of Oedipus' parentage.
Jocasta's Horror (02:07)
Jocasta understands the whole truth, but she does not reveal it to Oedipus. She tells Oedipus she knows the truth and will never speak to him again.
Shepherd's Story (04:58)
The shepherd relates the dreadful story of the baby who was given to him by the queen many years before. As the clues unfold, the full realization of his fate dawns upon Oedipus.
Ruin of Oedipus (03:13)
Thebes’s Council acknowledges that King Oedipus is brought to ruin. They recall the good things he did for Thebes. The horrors of the truth of incest are made public.
Horrors in the Palace (04:43)
Creon reports that Jocasta has killed herself. Oedipus breaks the doors down to discover the hanged body of Jocasta. Oedipus blinds himself as self-punishment.
Blind Oedipus (03:23)
Creon continues to tell what Oedipus did and said in the palace. Oedipus, blinded and ruined, presents himself to the Council. The Council is shocked, repelled, and heartbroken.
Madness and Pain (03:32)
Oedipus seems to rave in madness as he bleeds and cries out in pain. He screams for more pain. He asks for no pity and begs to be exiled.
Devastation and Degradation (04:57)
Oedipus realizes he should never have been spared. He knows he will always be remembered as his father's killer and his mother's lover. He wishes he were both deaf and blind.
Creon Takes Charge (02:27)
Oedipus willingly bears the guilt and punishment of his accursed life. He apologizes for his unjust treatment of Creon. Creon forgives him.
Oedipus Begs for Banishment (03:15)
Oedipus asks for banishment, but Creon refuses. He requests that Jocasta receive a decent burial with appropriate formalities. He begs for mercy for his young daughters and asks to see them.
Oedipus and His Daughters (03:34)
Creon has the young girls brought to Oedipus so that he may touch and kiss them once more. He prepares his daughters for the suffering they will experience because of him.
No Longer King (05:53)
Creon orders Oedipus to go inside, but Oedipus begs for exile. Creon refuses to banish him. Creon takes the girls in hand and guides them into the palace. The Council and the citizens retreat.