Sophocles' play Oedipus the King belongs to the period of Greek Antiquity and the genre of classical drama. The Perspectives section discusses the author’s biography and historical background. Like this, you will become more familiar with the author and the times he lived in, which will also help you understand his play better.

 In addition, we will look at the origins of the play. Since Oedipus the King is part of a larger story, we will also place the events of the play in the context of the Oedipus legends.

As well as this, we will then focus on the important of the theater in ancient Greece and its function. We will then devote a section to some of the most important adaptations of the play. Here we will talk about some of the works that were inspired by Sophocles and by Oedipus the King.


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide: 

The theater in Athens was a matter of state, as it was responsible for spreading the cult of Dionysus. Both the preparations and the performances themselves were controlled by laws and regulations. The theater plays caricatured and criticized the life of the polis. However, the state refrained from censoring interventions. The stage was dominated by the parrhesia, meaning the unrestricted freedom of opinion and speech. In Ancient Greece, the theater was dominated by the polis, for the polis and over the polis. The audience was distributed among the different ranks of the theater according to their legal and political position.

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