Oedipus The King Research Paper

1894 Words8 Pages
Research Investigation How do masks help characterize the characters’ and their emotions in the Greek Tragedy Oedipus the King? Unlike modern styles of theatre where an actor’s physical attributes describes the age, gender, and race describe a character, characters of ancient Greek tragedies use masks to convey the age, emotions, social status, and gender. Since females were not allowed to perform, masks were important to show the audience who the males and females were. In most Greek tragedies, a chorus was a crucial character in the performance; it represented the normal people of the town and their role was to comment on the events that were occurring. The chorus is usually played by ten or more members, so it is important that all members wear identical masks to symbolize unison of one character. Greek masks were larger than the actors’ faces to exaggerate the emotions of the characters. They were made out of organic materials such as wood or linen and the wig was made of human or animal hair. One of the most important reasons why masks were so commonly used was that it allowed the same actor…show more content…
Oedipus has a big royal mask that proudly shows his big crown as well as his authoritative personality through his eyes and hand motions. The audience can tell that Oedipus is stressed in this situation because of the way he looks and the way he acts. On the other hand, Jocasta has a sad mask; she is frowning and her eyes show her depressed emotions. She is standing there isolated and barely moving. This contrast between the characters demonstrates to the audience how each character is feeling. In the earlier days of these performances, there were not many options in terms of color because masks were usually made out of cork and wood and costumes were made out of linen; over decades, color started to become a major factor in the

More about Oedipus The King Research Paper

Open Document