In Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, the primordial focus of the movie was reenacting the tale of Oedipus, who was considered a tragic hero in the history of the Greek mythology. The play was part of a series of three Theban plays in which Oedipus represented some of the most enduring themes in Greek drama. The story went about this man named Oedipus who, despite certain odds, unwittingly fulfilled a prophecy that claimed that he was fated to kill his father, marry his mother and henceforth bring disaster to his family and city. The tale was meant to act as a depiction of humanities flawed nature, implying an individual’s role and its fundamentality in the course of destiny within a harsh universe.
In the video Oedipus the king, most parts of the myth had already occurred before the videos’ opening scene. The video, therefore, ties this information together by incorporating its main character, Oedipus, as having already been crowned king of Thebes. These were the years after the prophecy had been fulfilled, hence the country suffered from certain calamities, in the form of ravaging plagues, as consequences of Oedipus’ actions. The video takes us through the journey of how Oedipus tries to solve the reason behind his city’s predicament only to discover the harsh truth behind the prophecy. According to the myth, he was the son of King Laius and the then Queen Jocasta, who, in an attempt to thwart the prophecy, sent a shepherd to kill the boy in his infancy. As shown in the video, the shepherd, however, pitied the baby and left him at the mountainside to be later found by another shepherd who in turn took him to Corinth and gave him to another childless king called Polybus, who raised him as his own.
Later on, as Oedipus grew to manhood, he consulted an oracle who told him about his destiny. In acknowledgment of this prophecy and with the belief that Polybus was his real father, Oedipus fled to escape this fate, only to kill a stranger who aggravated him along the way. Ultimately, as the myth goes, on his way to Thebes, Oedipus came across the Sphinx, a beast that terrorized travelers approaching the city. He solved its riddle, causing it to kill itself and end the curse. For this deed, he was rewarded by being crowned king, as well as given the hand of the then queen of the city in marriage. It turned out that the man Oedipus killed was his real father and the woman he married was his true mother.
Finally, after consulting an oracle and a surviving witness to the attack, the truth comes to light. Her mother and then wife, queen Jocasta hang herself, while Oedipus, who also couldn’t bear the horror of his doing, went ahead to gouge out his eyes in sorrow and despair. He had after all committed incest with his mother and murdered his father. In this sense, he had become his mothers’ son and husband and his children’s’ father and brother at the same time. The story ended with Oedipus children being taken from him and himself banished from the city together with his son.
I was pleased with the way the video portrayed the story. In my view, the play was a true masterpiece and an accurate depiction of the ancient Greek tale of tragedy. The acting was also really immaculate and duly dramatic, implementing poetic styles of expression, speech and impeccable costume designs that brought the story to life. It also brought forth an exemplary display of emotion that gave the audience a better understanding of the anguish of the characters. The quality of the video was, however, a bit wanting and of low quality.