Sunday, March 16, 2008

Homer Simpson... IS Oedipus Rex!!!! (Late Sunday Salon)

I have long believed that the only possible way to take Titus Andronicus seriously, would be to treat it as high farce. For that matter, I think an Anime animation of Paradise Lost would be a great improvement... Picture it! Those angelic beings heaving mountains at one another... the likely content of GWBush's dream life... if only he knew enough to enough to laugh.

But now we have
Fadi Abou-Rihan of The Psychoanalytic Field, asking the question: "Was the classical Athenian theatregoer any more resistant to the temptations of laughter and hooting than the modern day viewer of television talk shows and situation comedies?"

Look out for the noble and upright king who, because of his pierced ankles, has to hobble his way across the stage. Make sure not to miss our hero’s hyperboles for everything about his words and deeds is in line with the basic structure of humour as exaggerated non-sense. Note the sympathy you feel for him as he heaps his misdeeds and confusions one upon the other, à la Lucy Ricardo, desperate for the clear-minded and practical interventions of a Creon, his Ricky. (Might there be a psychoanalytic import to the implicit homosocial contract between king and brother-in-law here?) Keep track of our hero’s familial lines as they progressively blur beyond recognition: his children are his siblings; his brother-in-law is his uncle; his daughter will soon plan to marry the man who is both his nephew and cousin; many of Jerry Springer’s most outlandish of scenarios could only dream of such twists and complications. Last but not least, do not overlook Jocasta, Antigone, and Euridyce’s final suicidal gestures, sacrificial and redemptive only from the point of view of a modernity that has been thoroughly Christianized; to their original, almost exclusively male, audiences, they remained pitiable and laughable.

This is from the second of three (so far) on his Oedipus Rex series... what an extraordinarily liberating reading!

By all means, do pay this site a visit! HERE for the first and top post:

HERE for the most recent to date.

1 comment:

  1. What timing, just re-read Oedipus Rex last week.
    These give great food for thought.