Dr. Bettye Kash
February 9, 2014
Oedipus the King
Oedipus the King is an Athenian tragedy written by Sophocles that was first performed in 429 BC. The certain remake we watched in class was directed by Don Taylor and aired on the British Broadcasting Cooperation network in 1984. Michael Pennington played Oedipus, and Claire Bloom played Jocasta. Oedipus is the king of Thebes and the town is under a curse. Crops, cattle, and people are dying. People from the town come to Oedipus to solve the problem. Oedipus sends his brother-in-law, Creon, to Apollo to get more information. When Creon returns, he explains that the only way to end the curse is to find the murderer of the former king. Oedipus goes on to question several of the townspeople, who send him to talk to the blind prophet. The blind prophet states ...view middle of the document...
Jocasta hangs herself in utter shock, and Oedipus blinds himself and sends himself into exile.
The film seemed at best subpar. The film seemed very old. The picture was grainy and hard to see, and the actors’ dress and makeup were mediocre. The blood was extremely fake and hard to believe. The costumes displayed were better than the makeup. This play had no effect on me emotionally, and I felt distanced from the scene. One could always feel death lurking around the corner, as the tragedy was very obvious. The cast was very monotone, and they did not seem to change emotions even when different events occurred. The scenery only changed at the end of the play. I was always aware that I was watching a film, instead of being a part of the play. It was not very effective in grasping the audience’s attention, and when it did, it was never held for very long. The main character, Oedipus, is played by Michael Pennington. In my opinion, he was a very substandard choice. He did not seem to connect to the dialogue and mood of the play. His voice should have been pained and shaky. His voice was obnoxiously loud and yelled more than necessary. One specific moment where his choice of acting was poor was when Oedipus was in agony over thrusting his eyes out. His mood struck me as way too pleasant for the circumstances.
I believe the play was well performed for when the film was created. I believe that the plot of the play is extremely appealing, and that many people would be interested in seeing a modern version of this play. I would recommend this play for theater classes because it is easier to follow than reading the playwright, and it is more enjoyable. I would not recommend this play for recreation. There are many more plays that would be considered more modern and more entertaining and would be a much better play to watch. Overall, it was a very unpleasing performance, and I do not foresee many people finding this film enjoyable.