Good Essay On A Comparison Of Oedipus The King And The First Episode Of Being Mary Jane
Literary works and theatrical productions are artistic creations that play a significant role of education and communication in the modern world. Art and writing are among the oldest forms of communication that began as early as the Greek and Roman empires. Books have been a significant part of human lives, and they play various roles such as entertainment and enlightenment. Based on the scope, title, and content of a book, books can remain relevant to the society in spite of the number of years that they have been in use (Bloom 1). Literature books explore various thematic content, which is a part of society. The attribute makes books written one hundred years ago usable and relevant to today’s societies. On the hand, there are also theatrical productions such as movies and televisions shows that also play the same role as books in the modern society. The paper compares the relevance of the play “Oedipus the King,” written by Sophocles over one hundred years ago and the first episode of “Being Mary Jane”. Being Mary Jane is a television series that started to air in early 2014. The book is relevant today while the episode of the television show may be irrelevant in the next one hundred years.
Oedipus the King differs from the first episode through its thematic content. An evaluation of the themes shows that the author explores issues that will always be a part of the society unlike the episode of the television show. The first theme in the play is the power of politics and organized forms of leadership. These refer to elements that act as the essence of morality within the society culture is enshrined within the existence of the society and as long as people live, they will always have a particular culture. In the play, people fight for power, which is similar to the political setting in many of the modern day nations. Creon conquers the throne held by Polynices so he can lead the people in the dynasty (Cardullo 2). In this light, the author shows that people always want an organized system of leadership and government. Today, and many years to come, people will always have organized systems of leadership based on practices such as fair elections.
On the other hand, the first episode of the television series “Being Mary Jane” introduces the inability to balance between family and work professional life. In the beginning, the main character in the episode is a successful news anchor who has excelled in all aspects of her career. However, she cannot strike a balance between her professional life and family life. She does not have a stable relationship that can lead to marriage. In addition, she has a romantic relationship with Andre, who is a married man, and it takes a long time before she learns the truth. Mary Jane says, “how could I let myself believe in this?” (("TV Review: Being Mary Jane Off to a Solid Start” 2).As such, the evident suggestion reveals that Mary Jane’s professional life makes it difficult for her to attend to other social issues. In the near future, the message conveyed by the episode may not be relevant. The economic pressure and professional pressure individual is expected to increase. As such, people will be compelled to choose between their social aspects and professional output. Portraying the episode in those days may make any meaning to the audience because the conflict between family life and professional requirements will not be in existence.
Another difference also stems from the characterization of the play and the episode in the series. In the play, the characters have distinct social standings. There are leaders, servants, a royal family, and then rest of the community. The play represents an ideal society with an appropriate social stratification witnessed in all societies in the past, today, and in the future (Sophocles, Will, and Knox 3). As long people remain social beings, they cannot eradicate social stratification based on social, political, and economic factors. There will be leaders, servants, the poor, and the rich even in the next one hundred years. For this reason, “Oedipus the King” will remain relevant even to future societies because it contains social stratification that many societies can identify with in the course of their normal lives.
On the contrary, the characters in the first episode of “Being Mary Jane” does not have such a comprehensive societal perspective. Many of the aspects depicted in the episode focus on the personal life of individuals and the struggles they undergo to fit in the modern society. For instance, Mary Jane has to fend for her sibling, his family, and her parents because she is the only child in the family who has a decent job. The thematic content is relevant to today’s society given that there is a high rate of economic dependency in many countries today. However, people are becoming conscious economically and the rate of dependency decline in the future. For example, most of the people who are employed actively contribute to savings schemes to minimize dependency in the future. The episode may not have the intended effect on the future societies because the social and economic setting will be different at that time.
An individual who will not have any dependents would not find the relevance if the roles portrayed by each of the characters. In addition, the episode also portrays the acceptance of gay people in the community. One of Mary Jane’s workmates is gay and his behavior shows that part of the society accepts gay people while the other part does not ("TV Review: Being Mary Jane Off to a Solid Start" 4). In the future, say one hundred years, the character’s role may not have any meaning for the audience. By then, the society may have accepted the existence of gay people in the community, unlike today. As such, the episode will not be relevant because the society will have already reached a conclusion about gay people, relationships, and gay marriages. They will be beyond the debating point to decide whether to accept or deny the existence of gay relationships, unlike today. In this light, the episode differs from the ancient play because of the role played by the characters. The characters in the play have a relevant role today, years after the play was written while those in the episode may have irrelevant roles in the next 100 years.
Literary works and theatrical may differ in terms of relevance based on the nature of their audience. In this context, the play “Oedipus the King” still plays an important role in literary communication and education of a modern day audience. The thematic content, scenes, and the characterization of the play portray the social setting and roles of people in modern day communities. The success of the play, today shows that books can remain relevant in spite of the duration following their publication. On the other hand, the first episode of “Being Mary Jane” may not have the same level of relevance in the next one hundred years.
Bloom, Harold. Genius: A Mosaic of 100 Exemplary Creative Minds. New York: Warner Books, 2002. Print.
Cardullo, Bert. On a Dramatic Note: Short Essays on Multiple Plays, from Sophocles to Shakespeare and from Molière to Mamet. N.p., 2013. Print.
Sophocles, Frederic Will, and Bernard Knox. Oedipus the King. New York: Pocket Books, 2005. Print.
"TV Review: Being Mary Jane Off to a Solid Start." Vulture. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.