Creating a Newscast for Oedipus the King
The conventions of Greek theater require that all violent acts occur offstage. This is the case in Oedipus Rex when Jocasta kills herself and Oedipus gouges out his eyes. The Servant rushes out to deliver the horrific news that Jocasta, is dead. He described her as “cradled high in a woven noose” (1396-1397). Then, the servant tells the people about Oedipus’ reaction: “…when he saw her, giving a low wrenching sob that broke our hearts...” (1398-1399).
For this activity, you will work in a small group to create a newscast of an event from Oedipus. Imagine that your news team is live at Oedipus’ palace. What details will you want to report? Reread your assigned section of the play to determine what happened. Use your imagination to supply important information that has not been provided in the text.
Each member of your group must have a speaking role in the newscast; therefore, you will need to post reporters in different locations or doing different things. For example, one person might be in the studio, one person might be interviewing a servant, and another might be reporting on the crowd’s reaction to the events. Once you have determined how many reporters your group needs and which group members will fill them, write the script of the newscast. Remember to include reporters’ names and the name of the TV channel broadcasting your report. (max of 6 members in each group)
A plague in Thebes (lines 1-337)
Tiresias visits (lines 338-572)
Creon answers the accusations (lines 573-750)
Jocasta says you can’t trust fortune tellers (lines 751-997)
A Corinthian messenger visits Thebes (lines 998-1178)
A shepherd’s visit (lines 1179-1351)
A gruesome scene (lines 1352-1550)
Creon returns (lines 1551-end)
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