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julianmeynell

Julian Meynell's Books

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Oedipus Rex

Oedipus Rex - Sophocles, J.E. Thomas Greek drama was considerably shorter than later theatre. Oedipus Rex is about the moment where Oedipus comes to discover his dreadful story. The tragedy is that his desire for knowledge causes him to discover that he has fulfilled the prophecy that he will murder his father and marry his mother. His mother/wife then kills herself he blinds himself and is banished.

In the translation I read there is something very Shakespearean about the whole approach. I can't tell if this is the translator drawing from Shakespeare or if it is a direct or indirect influence by Sophocles on Shakespeare.

What is most striking about it is the depth and power of emotion. That of course entirely is in keeping with the subject matter. There is also a seemless blend of the epic with the real humanity of people that reminds me of the best parts of the Iliad and with Dante.

It is all very good, but because it is in effect a one act play, I don't think that even despite its complete genius it can have quite the effect and power of a longer play.

Well worth reading and can and should be read very quickly to get its effect. I strongly recommend it because it is amazing and can be read in an hour.