Discuss the function of theater in the classical period using oedipus rex as an example
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In addition to being a source of entertainment, theater was a source of communal pride and a reinforcement of community. Nietzsche, in his essay THE BIRTH OF TRAGEDY, argues that tragedy was a way for a community to accept the tragic insignificance of man in the face of the universe, while also celebrating the community that could make a man great. So by gathering together, they would open themselves to tragic truth and then share catharsis.
Oh and Oedipus is clearly all about tragic insignificance - the great Oedipus is swallowed by fate. But the community is saved through his sacrifice to the truth in the play, and similarly might the Greek audience consider themselves saved through shared catharsis.