The Oedipus Cycle
Aristotle tells us in his Poetics of the innovations that
Sophocles brought to the field of drama. He increased the
number of actors, he introduced the painting of scenes, he
reportedly wrote his dramatic lines with specific actors in mind.
But the power of his drama persists long after these practices
became commonplace. Freud found a universal key to human
psychology here, while others have discovered a profound
commentary on the role of destiny or character on the events
of our lives. From another perspective, Oedipus represents
the ancient Greek's fascination with the quest after truth, and
the unravelling of riddles, as well as their fears of what such
pursuits may uncover. Yet a modern audience can put all of
these interpretations aside -- whether Freudian or fatalistic --
and merely enjoy the drama for clash of personalities and
powerful unfolding of events it presents.