This paper examines three adaptations of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex for the Modern Greek shadow theatre of Karaghiozis created by the puppeteers Vassilaros (1930, 1973), Kouzaros (1937-38), and Panagiotis Michopoulos (around 1951). Despite the inherent difficulties in studying written transcriptions of works of oral tradition, it attempts to unravel some crucial issues related to the adaptation of texts drawn from the learned tradition to an oral form of art. Initially, the paper investigates the puppeteers’ motives in selecting the specific tragedy. Subsequently, it explores the issue of the conformity of the adaptations to the poetics and worldview of Modern Greek shadow theatre. The established structure of the original compelled the puppeteers to sacrifice many conventions of their genre, especially with regard to patterns of plot and type-characters. However the plot of the myth itself, involving the concepts of fate, honour and family, provided the puppeteers with a chance to adopt a perspective closer to their own tradition and to deviate significantly from the original. On the whole, the singular approach of the subject by each artist indicates that they tended to work outside the collective tradition of the art form of Karaghiozis.
Ο Οιδίπους τύραννος του Σοφοκλή στο ελληνικό θέατρο σκιών