The interesting aspect of the acting choreographed in this particular film is the nature of the gallantry in gait, walking, and in direct and indirect forms of communication. The style is stoic to reflect the Renaissance period given the aristocratic upbringing afforded by the feudal societies. Oedipus essentially displays a high level of confidence and is led by the dapperness of his clothing, which is of a much higher quality than of his contemporary peers. The mannerisms carried out by Oedipus immediately indicate his leadership amongst the people as well as his commitment and will to determination.
The rags worn by the contemporaries of Oedipus reveal the reverence for their King to condition themselves to live ancillary to his wealth in conditions resembling that of poverty. The acting however does not project individuals who are subjected to poverty. Instead, the actors use gestures that are cordial and leading. There is no aggression in the use of gestures or any aggressive pacing or walking by anyone other than Oedipus as he communicates with his constituency and steadfast walks through his crowd. The differentiation between the constituency and Oedipus assert to the audience the nature of the landscape within the realm of Oedipus the King.
The power-distance relationship between Oedipus and the constituency allows the audience to determine the frame of reference for each actor in each scene and act. The acting style conveys to the audience the dynamic in the relationship between Oedipus and the constituency and the humble nature of the constituency in contrast to the more pronounced confidence projected by the King. The actors appear to act in accordance to explicitly convey to the audience the power-distance relationship and the nature of the King as a protector and a social better to the constituents. The power-distance relationship is therefore the central issue or theme for each actor to convey in Oedipus the King. Each actor continues throughout the film to project either a dominant or submissive presence when engaging in mass social interaction.
The acting performed within Agamemnon is essentially a role reversal of leadership in comparison to Oedipus as the conveyance of female leadership is in direct contrast to Oedipus the King. Much of the sequence in the film is of a soliloquy by Agamemnon to her subjects who are receptive to every word spoken by Agamemnon. The acting by Agamemnon is again forceful and conveys a power and control over her subjects. The subjects of Agamemnon move somewhat rhythmically to the speech of their leader and obey the speech as a conditional response that then enables various reactions, or cues to the actors, that enable sitting or other forms of proximal to distal movement.
The soliloquy is a powerful platform for the protagonist to which control and loyalty are exercised over her subjects, which is imperative to convey the proper response by the actors whose role as subjects is to allow the audience to solve a sort of riddle between the motive in the relationship between Agamemnon and the subjects. The costumes are important in this film as they cover up the emotions conveyed by the faces of the actors and only show the mask which has a fixed expression. The audience is addressed with a vibe, rather than any direct means of physical acting. The vibe is driven by the oratory of the leader whose mask is also non revealing of any emotional response hidden beneath.
The central issue of the film is the command-control relationship between the leadership and the subjects. The audience is able to see the dynamic in the control that is explicitly dictated by Agamemnon when the progression of command progresses to the point of cueing the subjects to respond. Command-control dictates the acting tempo and the emotions, which is likely why the masks are used, to convey a fixed emotion, a control exerted by Agamemnon onto the subjects. Agamemnon’s mask includes a mouth that is wide open, as if to always issue commands and oratory to her subjects.
Oedipus the King and Agamemnon each convey to the audience the same message however in two different modus operandi. Whether of female or male leadership, the role of the leader is to project confidence and control to yield an effect onto the control population. Oedipus conveys to the audience a more positive level of service to his subjects given the demeanor and gestures ushered by the King throughout each scene. Agamemnon exudes a strength a force that signals to her subjects and to the audience of perhaps a more malevolent control and perhaps intentions that are not as loyally subjective. As the audience receives the choreography of Agamemnon and subjects, the level of control and level of monotony in movement regarding the swaying motion of the subjects, the deduction of command and control becomes evident.
In each film, the audience is in an interpretive role to determine the relationship between each protagonist or antagonist given the film and the point within each film. Interpretive acting the form of method acting used and the level of communication garnered by the physical movement of each actor provides the sequential information that unravels the motives or at least the potential motives of each leader within each scene of their respective film. The level of interpretation from the audience ranges not only with each film, but with each act within each film. Interpretive acting as conveyed by each actor is either a fluid and tempo choreography or a motion and gesture conveyance of an emotion generated as a response to stimuli from the leader.
Without the use of interpretive acting, the scenes will have little effect on the audience with regard to stimulating the imagination and with regard to assessing the strength and weakness of character of each actor within each film. The audience is allowed to determine the assertiveness of each leader by the use of motion and exuberance. The subjects do not respond with the level of emotion and exuberance of their leader, which as interpretive to the audience, conveys the power-distance relationship & the command-control relationship.
- Gale, Maggie. “Contemporary.” Contemporary Theatre Review 23.1 (2013): 16-18. Academic Search Premier. Web. 27 June 2013.
- Gordis L. “Bring Forth the Old Because of the New”: Early Americanists and Contemporary Culture. Early American Literature [serial online]. June 2006;41(2):369-375. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed June 27, 2013.