The Arab Oedipus: ancient categories, modern fiction

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This article examines the use of anagnorisis in five Arab adaptations of Oedipus Rex from the 1940s to the early 21st century. The article traces the progressive erosion of the force of anagnorisis in four of these plays—a reflection of a modernist and postmodernist move away from certainty, as well as the specific concerns of the Arab adaptors. The fifth play, Wajdi Mouawad’s Incendies/Scorched, is described as a return to the classical structure of anagnorisis with powerful effect. While this loose adaptation of Oedipus Rex explores universal themes, it is an undoubtedly Arab work and demonstrates that the role of anagnorisis is in large part culturally dependent on who or what we recognize.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-77
Number of pages14
JournalMiddle Eastern Literatures
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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