Contagion During History
Sophocles, Oedipus the King Preview the document(429 BC), pp. 159-181.
Who is the author? What important information can you find about him?
Where and when did he live?
What is the genre of the text?
In what language was it written?
Key terms and events to look up:
The myth of Oedipus
World Health Organization, “Plague (Links to an external site.)”
As you read, consider:
What metaphors are used to represent this plague? What are some of the implications of presenting it in this way?
What happens to the social order following the outbreak?
How are people of authority—in this case, the King—expected to act during the plague?
What is the role played by the gods in the text?
How is the city supposed to deal with the plague?
How does the reading relate to previous readings/films you have encountered in this course?
* Discussion Board Assignment Questions:
How is contagion presented in Oedipus the King? Through what metaphors?
What similarities do you find between the pandemic in the texts and COVID-19? What might we learn from the text about our current condition?
How does Girard interpret of the plague in Oedipus the King? Do you agree with this reading and why?