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Moran Lit & Comp

Oedipus Rex
Background Webquest
Name: ____________________________

How did the invasion of the Persians contribute to Athens' rise?

Who was Kleisthenes, and why was he important?

Who was Pericles? What kind of leader was he?

What were the major factors in Athens’ loss of preeminence on the Aegean
peninsula?

Who were three important intellectuals in fifth century Athens, and what were their
contributions?

How did the democratization of Athens change how and where ideas were exchanged
in the city?

Why do you think that states (or cities) with a lot of political power are also often
leading centers of intellectual activity?

What is one aspect of Ancient Greek religious practice that can be found in
contemporary mainstream religious practice?

What is one aspect of Ancient Greek religious practice that cannot be found in
contemporary mainstream religious practice?
What was the festival of Dionysus? What set it apart from the other festivals?

What is the significance of the fact that tragedy has its origins in religious ritual?
Given its origins in religion, what qualities do you expect tragic drama to have?

Do you think that it makes sense, generally, to distinguish "religious art" from just
plain "art"? Explain.

Where were tragic plays performed?

What was the Chorus and what function did it serve in tragic drama?

Identify the following terms from Aristotle's discussion of tragedy, and their
significance:
-reversal

-recognition

-suffering

Identify three important facts about Sophocles' life.

What distinguished Sophocles from Aeschylus, his older rival for competition prizes?

Given what this site says about Sophocles, list three adjectives you expect to be able
to ascribe to Oedipus Rex.