Oedipus was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus accidentally fulfilled a prophecy that he would end up killing his father and marrying his mother, thereby bringing disaster to his city and family; the story of Oedipus is the subject of Sophocles' tragedy Oedipus Rex, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone. Together, these plays make up Sophocles' three Theban plays. Oedipus represents two enduring themes of Greek myth and drama: the flawed nature of humanity and an individual's role in the course of destiny in a harsh universe. In the best known version of the myth, Oedipus was born to Queen Jocasta. Laius wished to thwart the prophecy, so he sent a shepherd-servant to leave Oedipus to die on a mountainside. However, the shepherd took pity on the baby and passed him to another shepherd who gave Oedipus to King Polybus and Queen Merope to raise as their own. Oedipus learned from the oracle at Delphi of the prophecy that he would end up killing his father and marrying his mother but, unaware of his true parentage, believed he was fated to murder Polybus and marry Merope, so left for Thebes.
On his way he killed him in a quarrel. Continuing on to Thebes, he found that the king of the city had been killed, that the city was at the mercy of the Sphinx. Oedipus answered the monster's riddle defeating it and winning the throne of the dead king – and the hand in marriage of the king's widow, his mother Jocasta. Years to end a plague on Thebes, Oedipus searched to find who had killed Laius, discovered that he himself was responsible. Jocasta, upon realizing that she had married her own son, hanged herself. Oedipus seized two pins from her dress and blinded himself with them; the legend of Oedipus has been retold in many versions, was used by Sigmund Freud to name and give mythic precedent to the Oedipus complex. Variations on the legend of Oedipus are mentioned in fragments by several ancient Greek poets including Homer, Pindar and Euripides. However, the most popular version of the legend comes from the set of Theban plays by Sophocles: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone. Oedipus was the son of Laius and Jocasta and queen of Thebes.
Having been childless for some time, Laius consulted the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. The Oracle prophesied. In an attempt to prevent this prophecy's fulfillment, when Jocasta indeed bore a son, Laius had his ankles pierced and tethered together so that he could not crawl. However, rather than leave the child to die of exposure, as Laius intended, the servant passed the baby on to a shepherd from Corinth and who gave the child to another shepherd; the infant Oedipus came to the house of Polybus, king of Corinth and his queen, who adopted him, as they were without children of their own. Little Oedipus/Oidipous was named after the swelling from the injuries to his ankles; the word "oedema" or "edema" is from this same Greek word for swelling: oedēma. After many years, Oedipus was told by a drunk that he was a "bastard", meaning at that time that he was not their biological son. Oedipus confronted his parents with the news. Oedipus went to the same oracle in Delphi; the oracle informed him that he was destined to marry his mother.
In an attempt to avoid such a fate, he decided not to return home to Corinth, but to travel to Thebes, closer to Delphi. On the way, Oedipus came to Davlia. There he encountered a chariot driven by King Laius, they fought over who had the right to go first and Oedipus killed Laius when the charioteer tried to run him over. The only witness of the king's death was a slave who fled from a caravan of slaves traveling on the road at the time. Continuing his journey to Thebes, Oedipus encountered a Sphinx, who would stop all travelers to Thebes and ask them a riddle. If the travelers were unable to answer her they would be killed and eaten; the riddle was: "What walks on four feet in the morning, two in the afternoon and three at night?". Oedipus answered: "Man: as an infant, he crawls on all fours. Oedipus was the first to answer the riddle and, having heard Oedipus' answer, the Sphinx allowed him to carry on forward. Queen Jocasta's brother, had announced that any man who could rid the city of the Sphinx would be made king of Thebes, given the widowed Queen Jocasta's hand in marriage.
This marriage of Oedipus to Jocasta fulfilled the rest of the prophecy. Oedipus and Jocasta had four children: two sons and Polynices, two daughters and Ismene. Many years after the marriage of Oedipus and Jocasta, a plague of infertility struck the city of Thebes, affecting crops and the people. Oedipus asserted, he sent Creon, to the Oracle at Delphi, seeking guidance. When Creon returned, Oedipus learned that the murderer of the former King Laius must be brought to justice, Oedipus himself cursed the killer of his wife's late husband, saying that he would be exiled. Creon suggested that they try to find the blind prophet, Tiresias, respected. Oedipus sent for Tiresias, who warned him not to seek Laius'
Dream world (plot device)
Dream world is a used plot device in fictional works, most notably in science fiction and fantasy fiction. The use of a dream world creates a situation whereby a character is placed in a marvellous and unpredictable environment and must overcome several personal problems to leave it; the dream world commonly serves to teach some moral or religious lessons to the character experiencing it – a lesson that the other characters will be unaware of, but one that will influence decisions made regarding them. When the character is reintroduced into the real world, the question arises as to what constitutes reality due to the vivid recollection and experiences of the dream world. According to J. R. R. Tolkien, dream worlds contrast with fantasy worlds, in which the world has existence independent of the characters in it. However, other authors have used the dreaming process as a way of accessing a world which, within the context of the fiction, holds as much consistency and continuity as physical reality.
The use of "dream frames" to contain a fantasy world, so explain away its marvels, has been criticized and has become much less prevalent. A similar motif, Locus amoenus, is popular in medieval literature. A dream world is sometimes invoked in dream visions such as The Book of the Duchess and Piers Plowman. One of the best-known dream worlds is Wonderland from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, as well as Looking-Glass Land from its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass. Unlike many dream worlds, Carroll's logic is like that of actual dreams, with transitions and causality flexible. James Branch Cabell's Smirt and its two sequels taken together form an extended dream and most of their action takes place in a dream world; the action of The Bridge by Iain M. Banks and The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever by Stephen R. Donaldson take place in dream worlds. Other fictional dream worlds include the Dreamlands of H. P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle and The Neverending Story's world of Fantasia, which includes places like the Desert of Lost Dreams, the Sea of Possibilities and the Swamps of Sadness.
Dreamworlds, shared hallucinations and other alternate realities feature in a number of works by Philip K. Dick, such as The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and Ubik. Similar themes were explored for instance in The Circular Ruins. In The Wheel of Time book series, Tel'aran'rhiod is a dream world that exists in close proximity to the real world. Objects and physical locations that do not change in the real world have parallels in Tel'aran'rhiod. Ordinary people can slip into Tel'aran'rhiod, events that occur within this dream world have physical consequences. A person that dies in Tel'aran'rhiod will never wake up again, in several cases it is shown that physical injuries gained there persist to the waking world. Tel'aran'rhiod can be controlled similar to a lucid dream, several characters in the series can enter and manipulate Tel'aran'rhiod at will. Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui is a science fiction novel that involves entering dream worlds using technology. In the book, dream monitoring and intervention as a means of treating mental disorders is a developing new form of psychotherapy in the near future.
Unrest ensues when a new psychotherapy dream-analysis device is stolen, allowing the assailant to enter and manipulate people's dreams. In the feminist science fiction novel The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You, the Kin of Ata maintain the real world through their dreaming, making the real world a form of dream. In the 1939 movie, Oz from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was altered from a fantasy world to a dream world of Dorothy's. In The Matrix and the rest of the humans live inside a dream world, their brains are hooked up to a computer network. However, some may argue that this is not a dream world, as it seems normal and indistinguishable from reality. In the 1980s, the Nightmare on Elm Street series of horror films introduced a dark dream realm inhabited by the supernatural serial killer Freddy Krueger. In the movie Sharkboy and Lavagirl the main characters enter a world dreamt up by a small boy in order to save the real world. Down Town is the land of nightmares. Dreamworlds appear in Total Recall and Vanilla Sky.
Paprika is an anime film adaptation of the 1993 novel of the same name, which involves entering and manipulating dream worlds using dream-analysis devices. The film Waking Life takes place entirely in a dream realm. In the 2010 film Inception, main characters create artificial, vivid dream worlds and bring others into the dream worlds and perform various things with their brains, without them knowing; this may ` Inception' and others. One of the earliest newspaper comic strips, recounting Little Nemo's adventures in Slumberland, had a dream world theme. Writer Neil Gaiman was tasked with re-imagining a Golden Age character, "The Sandman". In his version, the Sandman becomes Dream, the Lord of Dreams, the anthropomorphic personification of dreams. At the start of the series, Morpheus is held prisoner for 70 years. Morpheus escapes in the
Euripides was a tragedian of classical Athens. Along with Aeschylus and Sophocles, he is one of the three ancient Greek tragedians for whom a significant number of plays have survived; some ancient scholars attributed 95 plays to him but, according to the Suda, it was 92 at most. Of these, 18 or 19 have survived more or less complete and there are fragments, some substantial, of most of the other plays. More of his plays have survived intact than those of Aeschylus and Sophocles together because his popularity grew as theirs declined—he became, in the Hellenistic Age, a cornerstone of ancient literary education, along with Homer and Menander. Euripides is identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times in the representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances; this new approach led him to pioneer developments that writers adapted to comedy, some of which are characteristic of romance. Yet he became "the most tragic of poets", focusing on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way unknown.
He was "the creator of...that cage, the theatre of Shakespeare's Othello, Racine's Phèdre, of Ibsen and Strindberg," in which "...imprisoned men and women destroy each other by the intensity of their loves and hates", yet he was the literary ancestor of comic dramatists as diverse as Menander and George Bernard Shaw. Unique among writers of Ancient Athens, Euripides demonstrated sympathy towards the underrepresented members of society, his male contemporaries were shocked by the'heresies' he put into the mouths of characters, such as these words of his heroine Medea: His contemporaries associated him with Socrates as a leader of a decadent intellectualism, both of them being lampooned by comic poets such as Aristophanes. Whereas Socrates was put on trial and executed as a corrupting influence, Euripides chose a voluntary exile in old age, dying in Macedonia. Recent scholarship casts doubt on ancient biographies of Euripides. For example, it is possible that he never visited Macedonia at all, or, if he did, he might have been drawn there by King Archelaus with incentives that were offered to other artists.
Traditional accounts of the author's life are found in many commentaries and include details such as these: He was born on Salamis Island around 480 BC, with parents Cleito and Mnesarchus, a retailer who lived in a village near Athens. Upon the receipt of an oracle saying that his son was fated to win "crowns of victory", Mnesarchus insisted that the boy should train for a career in athletics. In fact the boy was destined for a career on the stage, where however he was to win only five victories, one of, after his death, he served for a short time as both torch-bearer at the rites of Apollo Zosterius. His education was not confined to athletics: he studied painting and philosophy under the masters Prodicus and Anaxagoras, he had two disastrous marriages and both his wives—Melite and Choerine —were unfaithful. He became a recluse. "There he built an impressive library and pursued daily communion with the sea and sky". He retired to the "rustic court" of King Archelaus in Macedonia, where he died in 406 BC.
However, as mentioned in the introduction, biographical details such as these should be regarded with scepticism. They are derived entirely from three unreliable sources: folklore, employed by the ancients to lend colour to the lives of celebrated authors; this biography is divided into three sections corresponding to the three kinds of sources. Euripides was the youngest in a set of three great tragedians who were contemporaries: his first play was staged thirteen years after Sophocles' debut and only three years after Aeschylus's masterpiece, the Oresteia; the identity of the threesome is neatly underscored by a patriotic account of their roles during Greece's great victory over Persia at the Battle of Salamis—Aeschylus fought there, Sophocles was just old enough to celebrate the victory in a boys' chorus and Euripides was born on the day of the battle. The apocryphal account that he composed his works in a cave on Salamis island was a late tradition and it symbolizes the isolation of an intellectual, rather ahead of his time.
Much of his life and his whole career coincided with the struggle between Athens and Sparta for hegemony in Greece but he didn't live to see the final defeat of his city. It is said that he died in Macedonia after being attacked by the Molossian hounds of King Archelaus and that his cenotaph near Piraeus was struck by lightning—signs of his unique powers, whether for good or ill. In an account by Plutarch, the catastrophic failure of the Sicilian expedition led Athenians to trade renditions of Euripides' lyrics to their enemies in return for food and drink. Plutarch is the source for the story that the victorious Spartan generals, having planned the demolition of Athens and the enslavement of its people, grew merciful after being entertained at a banquet by lyrics from Euripides' play Electra: "they felt that it would be a barbarous act to annihilate a ci
Deus ex machina
Deus ex machina is a plot device whereby a unsolvable problem in a story is and abruptly resolved by an unexpected and unlikely occurrence so much as to seem contrived. Its function can be to resolve an otherwise irresolvable plot situation, to surprise the audience, to bring the tale to a happy ending, or act as a comedic device. Deus ex machina is a Latin calque from Greek, Modern ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός, meaning'god from the machine'; the term was coined from the conventions of Greek tragedy, where a machine is used to bring actors playing gods onto the stage. The machine could be either a crane used to lower actors from above or a riser that brought actors up through a trapdoor. Preparation to pick up the actors was done behind the skene; the idea was introduced by Aeschylus and was used to resolve the conflict and conclude the drama. Although the device is associated with Greek tragedy, it appeared in comedies. Aeschylus used the device in his Eumenides, but with Euripides, it became an established stage machine.
More than half of Euripides' extant tragedies employ a deus ex machina in their resolution, some critics claim that Euripides, not Aeschylus, invented it. A cited example is Euripides' Medea, in which the deus ex machina, a dragon-drawn chariot sent by the sun god, is used to convey his granddaughter Medea, who has just committed murder and infanticide, away from her husband Jason to the safety and civilization of Athens. In Alcestis, the eponymous heroine agrees to give up her own life to spare the life of her husband, Admetus. At the end, Heracles seizes Alcestis from Death, restoring her to life and to Admetus. Aristophanes' play Thesmophoriazusae parodies Euripides' frequent use of the crane by making Euripides himself a character in the play and bringing him on stage by way of the mechane; the effect of the device on Greek audiences was a immediate emotional response. Audiences would have a feeling of wonder and astonishment at the appearance of the gods, which would add to the moral effect of the drama.
Shakespeare used the device in As You Like It, Prince of Tyre, Cymbeline. It was used in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, where the author uses a character to break the action and rewrite the ending as a reprieve of the hanging of MacHeath. In both Shakespeare and Gay's plays, the deus ex machina happens with breaking the dramatic illusion in the form of an episodic narrator exposing the play itself and laying bare the author; this is different from the use of the deus ex machina in the ancient examples with the ending coming from a participant in the action in the form of a god. It is natural for the gods to be considered participants and not outside sources because of their privileged position and power; these attributes allow the Greek gods to solve the series of events. During the politically turbulent 17th and 18th centuries, the deus ex machina was sometimes used to make a controversial thesis more palatable to the powers of the day. For example, in the final scene of Molière's Tartuffe, the heroes are saved from a terrible fate by an agent of the compassionate, all-seeing king — the same king who held Molière's career and livelihood in his hands.
Aristotle was the first to use a Greek term equivalent to the Latin phrase deus ex machina as a term to describe the technique as a device to resolve the plot of tragedies. It is deemed undesirable in writing and implies a lack of creativity on the part of the author; the reasons for this are that it does not pay due regard to the story's internal logic and is so unlikely that it challenges suspension of disbelief, allowing the author to conclude the story with an unlikely, though more palatable, ending. In H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, the Martians, who have destroyed everything in their path and triumphed over humanity, are killed by bacteria. In the novel Lord of the Flies, the rescue of the savage children by a passing navy officer is viewed by some critics as a deus ex machina; the abrupt ending conveys the terrible fate that would have afflicted the children if the officer had not arrived at that moment. J. R. R. Tolkien referred to the Great Eagles that appear in several places in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as "a dangerous'machine'".
This was in a letter refusing permission to a film adapter to have the Fellowship of the Ring transported by eagles rather than traveling on foot. He felt that the eagles had been overused as a plot device. For example, in The Hobbit, the eagles save Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves from the goblins and wargs help turn the tide of the Battle of the Five Armies, in The Return of the King, they save Frodo and Sam from certain death on Mount Doom. In the Harvard Lampoon's parody Bored of the Rings, the eagles are referred to as "Deus ex Machina Airlines". Deus ex machina was used by Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist, when in the peak of climax, Rose Maylie turns out to be the long-lost sister of Agnes, therefore Oliver's aunt; the deus ex machina device has many criticisms attached to it referring to it as inartistic, too convenient, overly simplistic. However, champions of the device say that it opens up artistic possibilities. Antiphanes was one of the device's earliest critics, he believed that the use of the deus ex machina was a sign that the playwright was unable t
A protagonist is the leading character of a story. The protagonist is at the center of the story, makes the key decisions, experiences the consequences of those decisions; the protagonist is the primary agent propelling the story forward, is the character who faces the most significant obstacles. If a story contains a subplot, or is a narrative made up of several stories each subplot may have its own protagonist; the protagonist is the character whose fate is most followed by the reader or audience, and, opposed by the antagonist. The antagonist will provide obstacles and complications and create conflicts that test the protagonist, thus revealing the strengths and weaknesses of the protagonist's character; the earliest known examples of a protagonist are found in Ancient Greece. At first, dramatic performances involved dancing and recitation by the chorus. In Poetics, Aristotle describes how a poet named Thespis introduced the idea of one actor stepping out and engage in a dialogue with the chorus.
This was the invention of tragedy, occurred about 536 B. C; the poet Aeschylus, in his plays, introduced a second actor, inventing the idea of dialogue between two characters. Sophocles wrote plays that included a third actor. A description of the protagonist's origin cited that during the early period of Greek drama, the protagonist served as the author, the director, the actor and that these roles were only separated and allocated to different individuals later. There is a claim that the poet did not assign or create the protagonist as well as other terms for actors such as deuteragonist and tritagonist because he only gave actors their appropriate part. However, these actors were assigned their specific areas at the stage with the protagonist always entering from the middle door or that the dwelling of the deuteragonist should be on the right hand, the tritagonist, the left. In Ancient Greece, the protagonist is distinguished from the term "hero", used to refer to a human who became a semi-divine being in the narrative.
Euripides' play Hippolytus may be considered to have two protagonists. Phaedra is the protagonist of the first half, her stepson, the titular Hippolytus, assumes the dominant role in the second half of the play. In Ibsen’s play The Master Builder, the protagonist is the architect Halvard Solness; the young woman, Hilda Wangel, whose actions lead to the death of Solness, is the antagonist. In Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is the protagonist, he is in pursuit of his relationship with Juliet, the audience is invested in that story. Tybalt, as an antagonist, attempts to thwart the relationship. In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Prince Hamlet, who seeks revenge for the murder of his father, is the protagonist; the antagonist would be the character who most opposes Claudius. Sometimes, a work will have a false protagonist, who may seem to be the protagonist, but may disappear unexpectedly; the character Marion in Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho is an example. A novel that contains a number of narratives may have a number of protagonists.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn's The First Circle, for example, depicts a variety of characters imprisoned and living in a gulag camp. Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace depicts fifteen major characters affected by a war. In some cases, the protagonist is not a human: in Richard Adams' novel Watership Down, a group of anthropomorphised rabbits, led by the protagonist Hazel, escape their warren after seeing a vision of its destruction, starting a perilous journey to find a new home
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism, it is told in the first person by Huckleberry "Huck" Finn, the narrator of two other Twain novels and a friend of Tom Sawyer. It is a direct sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; the book is noted for its colorful description of places along the Mississippi River. Set in a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about 20 years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an scathing satire on entrenched attitudes racism. Perennially popular with readers, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been the continued object of study by literary critics since its publication; the book was criticized upon release because of its extensive use of coarse language.
Throughout the 20th century, despite arguments that the protagonist and the tenor of the book are anti-racist, criticism of the book continued due to both its perceived use of racial stereotypes and its frequent use of the racial slur "nigger". In order of appearance: Huckleberry Finn is a boy about "thirteen or fourteen or along there" years old, he has been brought up by his father, the town drunk, has a difficult time fitting into society. Widow Douglas is the kind woman who has taken Huck in after he helped save her from a violent home invasion, she tries her best to civilize Huck. Miss Watson is the widow's sister, a tough old spinster who lives with them, she is hard on Huck, causing him to resent her a good deal. Mark Twain may have drawn inspiration for this character from several people he knew in his life. Jim is Miss Watson's mild-mannered slave. Huck becomes close to Jim when they reunite after Jim flees Miss Watson's household to seek refuge from slavery, Huck and Jim become fellow travelers on the Mississippi River.
Tom Sawyer is Huck's best friend and peer, the main character of other Twain novels and the leader of the town boys in adventures. He is "the best fighter and the smartest kid in town". "Pap" Finn, Huck's father, a brutal alcoholic drifter. He resents Huck getting any kind of education, his only genuine interest in his son involves begging or extorting money to feed his alcohol addiction. Judith Loftus plays a small part in the novel — being the kind and perceptive woman whom Huck talks to in order to find out about the search for Jim — but many critics believe her to be the best drawn female character in the novel; the Grangerfords, an aristocratic Kentuckian family headed by the sexagenarian Colonel Saul Grangerford, take Huck in after he is separated from Jim on the Mississippi. Huck becomes close friends with the youngest male of the family, Buck Grangerford, Huck's age. By the time Huck meets them, the Grangerfords have been engaged in an age-old blood feud with another local family, the Shepherdsons.
The Duke and the King are two otherwise unnamed con artists whom Huck and Jim take aboard their raft just before the start of their Arkansas adventures. They pose as the long-lost Duke of Bridgewater and the long-dead Louis XVII of France in an attempt to over-awe Huck and Jim, who come to recognize them for what they are, but cynically pretend to accept their claims to avoid conflict. Doctor Robinson is the only man who recognizes that the King and Duke are phonies when they pretend to be British, he warns the town but they ignore him. Mary Jane and Susan Wilks are the three young nieces of their wealthy guardian, Peter Wilks, who has died; the duke and the king try to steal the inheritance left by Peter Wilks, by posing as Peter's estranged brothers from England. Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas Phelps buy Jim from the "Duke" and the "King", she is a loving, high-strung "farmer's wife", he a plodding old man, both farmer and preacher. Huck poses after he parts from the con men; the story begins in fictional St. Petersburg, Missouri, on the shore of the Mississippi River "forty to fifty years ago".
Huckleberry "Huck" Finn and his friend, Thomas "Tom" Sawyer, have each come into a considerable sum of money as a result of their earlier adventures. Huck explains how he is placed under the guardianship of the Widow Douglas, together with her stringent sister, Miss Watson, are attempting to "sivilize" him and teach him religion. Finding civilized life confining, his spirits are raised somewhat when Tom Sawyer helps him to escape one night past Miss Watson's slave Jim, to meet up with Tom's gang of self-proclaimed "robbers." Just as the gang's activities begin to bore Huck, he is interrupted by the reappearance of his shiftless father, "Pap", an abusive alcoholic. Knowing that Pap would only spend the money on alcohol, Huck is successful in preventing Pap from acquiring his fortune. Pap forcibly moves Huck to his isolated cabin in the woods along the Illinois shoreline; because of Pap's drunken violence and imprisonment of Huck inside the cabin, during one of his father's absences, elaborately fakes his own death, escapes from the cabin, sets off downriver.
He settles comfortably, on Jackson's Island. Here, Huck reunites with Miss Watson's slave. Jim has run awa