‘Oedipus Rex’ and ‘Streetcar’
| Clever Points
Actions / Events
| Both ‘Oedipus Rex’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ have scenes where a character’s past is revealed, whether it is to other characters or to the audience (e.g. Oedipus’ parentage or Blanche’s past). This shows an underlying tone that they cannot fully escape their past, whether it is an eventual surfacing (in A Streetcar Named Desire) or an abrupt revelation (in Oedipus Rex). This is linked to the theme of the inevitability of fate.
| There are hardly any action scenes in ‘Oedipus Rex’, while there are action scenes in ‘Streetcar’ (e.g. the beating of Stella and rape in ‘Streetcar’). This could be due to the fact that ‘Oedipus Rex’ is a Greek drama and emphasis is placed on the unity of action. There is therefore a gradual build up to a single point of tension, which emphasises the tragedy of the moment when Oedipus realises the truth. There isn’t a single point of tension in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and this is because the play is about the smaller tragedies in life rather than one significant tragedy.
| Although there are no sexual scenes in ‘Oedipus Rex’, the characters and course of events in both plays are greatly affected by this action. Oedipus sleeps with his mother and fulfils the prophecy, thus causing both Oedipus and Jocasta to inflict harm on themselves. After Stanley rapes Blanche in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, Blanche’s sanity fails and she appears to be permanently stuck in her fantasy world.
| The male protagonists in both plays are portrayed as impulsive, rash and guided by their emotions. Stanleyshows his aggression after a small incident (Blanche turning on the radio) and Oedipus makes rash decisions that harm him in the end (the decision to exile Laius’ killer). Females on the other hand, are shown to have a more submissive role.
| While characters in both plays find out...
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