Back in the 1960s there was a presentation of Oedipus the King in the theater then located in Harriman Hall on the South Campus. In the scene where it becomes clear to Jocasta, but not yet to Oedipus, that he is her son, she slowly turns her head toward Oedipus, and I noticed someone toward the front of the theater growing more and more agitated. When Jocasta finally cries out to Oedipus, “Don’t carry this search of yours any further,” you could hear this person actually talking to the screen: “Listen to her! For God’s sake, listen to her!” That’s when I realized it was Leslie Fiedler. “Listen to her!” he shouted. “For God’s sake, listen to her!” Now that’s what I call really getting into a drama.
John Peradotto is Andrew V. Raymond Professor of classics and a Distinguished Teaching Professor at UB.