Oedipus the King
Oedipus being shown in an updated version is a very effective and understandable way to present it to audiences. The play that was viewed in class was a good adaptation of the original play. Although modern versions of Oedipus are far different today than the way they were performed during Sophocles’s time, I think he would be impressed with the way that modern versions of his play are performed.
The reason I think that the play works so well in an updated version is the fact that most people know the story before viewing it. The play uses tragic irony to keep the audience interested. This story could have been written in any time period and still been able to engage the audience. This is exactly why the play has been around for so long. The story is so good that no matter what way you present it will work because the foundation of the story works so well.
The thing I think that is mostly gained from an updated version is the technology and the overall appeal to the viewer. I really don’t think that I would have enjoyed watching plays in the original Greek theatre because of the way it was. I am probably kind of bias because of the technologies that we have today. We are very spoiled. They would have been hard to understand and uncomfortable to watch. This modern day version of the play works very well. It is easy to understand and easy to follow. The characters appearances were portrayed just as they would be if could not see the characters at all. Oedipus is portrayed as a good looking strong young man that looks like a king. His wife/mother Jocasta looks much older than Oedipus which is very important because this is one of the main plot lines in the play. In ancient versions, a person watching the play would not be able to distinguish the different characters. The characters would just have different kinds of masks to portray the different characters. That is why I think the use of the human characters playing each role works much better than the traditional way the Greek theatre was viewed.
The most important thing that is being lost from showing Oedipus in an updated version is the classic way that the ancient Greek theatre used to present their plays. The whole ora of the Greek Theatre is missing. In the play that was viewed in class there were numerous actors in the play. There was a different actor used for each of the characters. This was not the case in traditional ancient Greek theatre. All characters in the plays of ancient Greek dramas were performed by two characters. Without the use of modern day technologies such as microphones, the audience would have trouble seeing or hearing the characters actions and gestures unless you had good seats. The actors would wear different kinds of masks with different kinds of facial expressions so the audience would know what was going on and who was who in the play. That was probably what was so unique about the ancient Greek way of watching a play. You had to use your imagination and thoughts to watch the play. You would have to pay really close attention and watch the actor’s moves. That is what is unique about watching the play in ancient Greek time period. It wasn’t all about the dialogue as it was about watching the actor’s movements and actions.
All in all either being presented in ancient Greek or a modern day production, Oedipus is effective because of the story that presents itself. In both time periods the play is viewed as a classic. I would personally prefer watching Oedipus in an updated version because this is the time that I am living in and this is the way that plays are viewed. In contrast to this, the play as viewed in ancient Greek theatre would have been just as effective in its time period. Comparing the different productions of the play is like comparing apples and oranges. They are two very different things, but both effective.