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Role of Chorus

Role of Chorus

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Published by: hotmail1009 on Mar 28, 2010
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In Sophocle’s drama
“Oedipus Rex”
the Chorus is used astechnique to intensify emotions and accentuate events in thedrama.As translator 
Paul Roche
expressing in his introduction to thisdrama,
The Chorus is used to connect happenings between thePlayers and Audience. The Chorus which is a group of Thebanelders, comments on experience in a tragic drama and itsprogressions, thus intensifying emotions stirred up in theaudience/readers.”
Roche claim that the choruses are,“Swift, energetic and moving but they are not easy.”Chorus is also used to speed up the play. It helps the writer toconvey the audience, the message that cannot be dramatized e.g.the fight between the gods.It is also a kind of prediction. It is just like guide for the hero aswell and, we find that Greek society depends much on poeticalstyle, chorus helps to fulfill the requirement.According to Aristotle,“The main function of the poetry is to harmonize the feelings and passion of man, which chorus satisfied them fully.”
It is also said that chorus is a “Neutral commentator”infact, inalmost all the plays, the chorus has a very stance, slaint andidentity.In this sense they are vital dramatic tool for the dramatist,switching their sympathies between the principal actions and their viewpoint from that of the characters to that of the audience. Theythus mediate the dramatic experience, focus the audience’sresponse and introduce a symbolic and ritualistic element.Sophocle’s Oedipus Rex was perhaps the finest addition tothe long dynasty of Greek tragic most notably the way in which thetragic protagonist act out their defiance of the limits subscribed bythe gods for man, which the chorus expresses the fear, hopes and judgment of the polity, the average citizen.According to Aristotle’s theory of tragedy, “The function of the chorus is to comment on the action and sometimes to narrateevents.”The major role in Oedipus of the chorus as previously outlined isthat of commentary. The chorus clarifies the situation to theaudience in a way that enables the audience to fully comprehendthe native and general ebb and flow of the plot. For example whenat the end of the play, when Creon ‘s final words have beenuttered, the chorus comments on the fate of Oedipus saying,“From hence the lesson learn ye, to reckon no man happy tillye witness the closing day.”Here we can see the role of commenting on the action in giving thesubsequent verdict of history. The chorus comments on the plotlucidly, enabling us to reach a greater understanding of the play

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