Themes, Symbols, and Motifs in Oedipus

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Oedipus the King / Oedipus Rex


Oedipus - Themes

Example



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Activity Overview


Theme, symbols, and motifscome alive when you use a storyboard. In this activity, students will identify themes and symbols from the play, and support their choices with details from the text. In the classroom students can track symbolism and themes Sophocles employs in to convey the tragedy of Oedipus's story.


Themes, Motifs & Symbols to Look For and Discuss

Fate

Throughout the story of Oedipus, the theme of fate becomes a guiding element. From the moment, the prophecy is foretold to King Laius, until the moment the truth is revealed, both Oedipus and his father try to outrun their fate. With every move, they only bring the prophecy closer to finally coming true.


The Three Way Crossroads

Several time during the play the three-way crossroads, where King Laius was killed, is mentioned. A crossroads suggest a choice or a path that a character could have taken. Do we have the freedom to choose or is everything inevitably chosen for us? Could Oedipus have taken another road, or was he always doomed to meet Laius and travel on to Thebes?


Sight

Sight for the Greeks was a powerful symbolic notion. The language of the play repeatedly references physical sight as Oedipus tries to track down the killer of Laius. It is not a coincidence that the prophet of the story is blind. Although he does not have bodily sight, he has a power to see the truth of situations. Perhaps this is why Oedipus decides to take his own sight at the end of the play. Had he possessed the ability to see beyond what mere mortals see he could have prevented his catastrophic outcome.



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in Oedipus the King. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify the theme(s) from Oedipus the King you wish to include and replace the "Theme 1" text.
  3. Create an image for the example(s) that represents this theme.
  4. Write a description of each of the examples.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.

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Template


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Oedipus the King / Oedipus Rex








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