Fairy Tale Greek Tragedy Project (100 points)

YOUR TASK:  Working alone or in small groups no larger than three, re-write a fairytale or a well-known children’s book using the style and devices found in Greek theater and Oedipus Rex. Please write your play in play format.  Use your Oedipus text as a reference.  Develop each scene to feel complete.  No rushing. 


Your Tragedy Must Incorporate:

The play format (labeled) – see below

Theme/s (amathia, sophia, fate, etc.)               

Psychological motivations of the characters

Chorus [can be updated]

Three actors:  there are only three actors on stage at any one time; actors play multiple roles

Dramatic irony to illustrate character and theme


Hamartia (Hubris is one)

Repeating image/s or symbol/s AKA motifs (eyes, bed, light/dark, blindness, land, etc.)


****** Extra credit will be given to those who perform the play.  Everyone in the group must be an actor. Please have a copy for each actor and one for me. *******


Follow the format (please label each section)

Introduce the main character, the conflict and the setting.  HOOK the audience. Characters speak, perhaps directly to the audience.

Chorus tells us what has happened before the beginning of the action of the play. They should also tell us who they are. If you want, you can have the chorus speak in verse.

Scene 1
Characters act out the beginning of the action of the play. If you want, you can have the chorus interrupt the action to ask questions or make comments. Remember that characters in Greek Tragedy tend to talk a lot about decision making and moral choices ‹what should I do? Am I doing the right thing? Etc. Remember that anything violent should take place offstage, with a character or "messenger" entering to tell us what happened.

Choral Ode 1
Chorus speaks about something connected with the theme of the story, but not necessarily about the story itself. Or, if you prefer, you may use a popular song or poem here that you think expresses the mood or theme at this point in the play. Please include the lyrics in the text (and cite, of course!). 


Episode 2
Characters act out the next part of the story, again with choral comment if you want.

Choral Ode 2
(See Choral Ode 1)


Choral Odes +

(If necessary, you may add more Episodes and Odes here.)


Final Episode
Characters act out the end of the story. The tragic hero has had a reversal in fortune and recognizes how he/she was wrong.
As or after the characters leave, the chorus tells us what we have learned from the story. The “moral” of the story.






Tips and Reminders for the Greek Tragedy Fairy Tale Project

·        Your main character needs to be neither totally good nor totally evil; however, he or she should have a tragic flaw (hamartia) that causes his/her downfall.  Oedipus may be said to be blind or suffering from wisdom.  Others have cited his temper as causing his problems.

·        Since your audience knows the story, you now get to entertain with the character’s motivations.  Build a backstory that can be revealed as the play moves along.

·        Your main character does not need to be the main character of the fairy tale. Sometimes the more interesting characters are the ones we don’t know (the witch, the wolf, etc.) OR your character may be better fleshed out in your play (why does Goldilocks think it’s okay to break in and enter?)

·        In your Prologue, you need to be sure to introduce the main character, main conflict, and setting.  Remember that in Oedipus, the people have come for his help.  He discusses the problem with the Priest.

·        Your entire play may only take place in ONE day and in ONE spot.  Remember that Oedipus takes place in front of the palace the ENTIRE play.  There are NO flashbacks (you can have chorus or characters discuss the past) and no scene changes.

·        Your chorus should make sense to the fairytale to question your tragic hero, to advise, to provide background information.  In Oedipus, the chorus is town elders (reinforcing the notion of Sophia…) Worst case scenario; you can make the audience the chorus since we judge the characters….

·        Each scene should build another problem caused by the original conflict or reveal the problem developing. Look at how each scene in Oedipus builds: 1: Tiresias names Oedipus as murderer and he reacts, 2: Oedipus lashes out at Creon.  Finds out he’s killed Laius and is adopted; 3: the servant reveals the truth about Oedipus; 4: climax – Jocasta commits suicide and Oedipus blinds himself.

·        The chorus appears between scenes to warn, advise, question, provide vital information. 

·        You should label all scenes, etc.  Use the proper play format as used in Oedipus

·        Have fun with this. Your mission is to follow the Ancient Greek Format but you can be creative with the characters.