New Interpretation of Sophocles' oedipus Tyrannus: in the Light and Darkness of Apollo

Author: Kawashima, Shigenari
Year:2014
Pages:204
ISBN:0-7734-0057-5
978-0-7734-0057-3
Price:179.95
This unique and fresh interpretation of an enigmatic classic provides a better understanding of the play’s religious and political undertones with an innovative and focused examination which proposes an earlier recognition than previously assumed of the whole truth by Jocasta. This will become an indispensable reference book for Classical scholars in this first ever English translation.

Reviews

Oedipus Tyrannus still exerts an exceptionally powerful appeal not only for students and scholars, theatre directors and audiences but also – in a variety of languages and adaptations…the author teases out, in a fresh way, the religious implications of Oedipus’ reactions to discovering the truth of his identity.”
-P.E. Easterling,
Regius Professor Emeritus of Greek,
University of Cambridge


“Prof. Kawashima’s interpretation of the Oedipus Tyrannus as a whole clearly shows how the characterization of Oedipus and Jocasta, the dramaturgy, and the thought expressed by the whole structure of the play, are beautifully integrated. I have confidence that this book will be considered one of the great contributions to the study of this most challenging and enigmatic masterpiece of Sophocles’ tragedies.”
-Dr. Shogo Hirata,
Professor of Humanities,
Toho University, Tokyo


“Prof. Kawashima’s book has high academic value for classical scholars…the English version of this book will soon attract the attention of classical scholars and will be considered to be an indispensable reference book for anyone who works on Oedipus Tyrannus.”
-Dr. Yoshinori Sano,
Senior Associate Professor of Classics,
International Christian University, Tokyo


Table of Contents

ABSTRACT
FOREWEORD
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
TRANSLATOR’S INTRODUCTION
PROLOGUE – PREFACE TO DRAMA

1. Religious and political aspects of Oedipus Tryannus
2. Theban legends and Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus
CHAPTER 1: CHANGE (TYCHE) AND IRONY
1. Thebes in the grip of the plague: the opening of the play
2. Chance (tyche) and Sophoclean irony
3. ‘Whose bad fortune (tyche)?
4. Truth (aletheia) as the ‘unsolved mysteries’
CHAPTER 2: TIRESIAS AND CREON
1. Oedipus’ determination and self-curse
2. ‘Tyche fell upon his head….’
3. Two kinds of gaze in Oedipus Tyrannus
4. The entrance of Tiresias/truth (aletheia) 5. The ambiguity of the accusation
6. The riddle of the Sphinx and the riddle of Apollo
7. ‘The wandering bull” – the first stasimon
8. Creon – the measure of Oedipus’ delusion
CHAPTER 3: JOCASTA AND THE ORACLE OF APOLLO
1. A place where three roads meet
2. The incident (tyche) of the past
3. The oracle given to Laius – two mentions by Jocasta
4. The difference in motivation
5. The difference in expression
6. ‘Who is Oedipus?’ – where does this search begin?
7. Jocasta’s discovery
8. Oedipus’ cry ‘daimon’!
9. Jocasta’s decision – her silence and denial of the oracle
CHAPTER 4: JOCASTA AND TYCHE (CHANCE)
1. Jocasta’s ‘piety’
2. Insult to the oracle
3. ‘It is Chance that rules’
4. ‘Your savior, too, my child’
5. ‘May you never find out who you are.’
- Jocasta’s futile resistance
6. Oedipus the son of Tyche
CHAPTER 5: THE SECOND STASIMON
1. The Second Stasimon’s place within the plot (mythos)
2. The violator of ‘the sublime laws’
3. Hybris breeds the tyrant’
4. ‘With no fear of Justice…’
5. Its connection to Oedipus
6. Oedipus’ life and ‘downfall’
7. Jocasta’s hybris and downfall
8. Tycheor DikeM – Sophocles’ thought
CHAPTER 6: TRUTH (ALETHEIA) AND DAIMON
1. Recurrence of tyche
2. The witness of the truth
3. Oedipus the truth-seeker
4. Opinion (doxa) and truth (altheia)
5. ‘Time’ and Oedipus
6. Jocasta’s suicide and Oedipus’ reaction
7. Oedipus’ daimonic leap
8. Oedipus who blinds himself – the symbolic meaning of his blindness
CHAPTER 7: THE BLIND OEDIPUS
1. Blood runs on the blind man’s mask
2. The leap of the daimon
3. Apollo and Oedipus
4. ‘For some strange doom’
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX