The Gospel at Colonus reimagines Sophocles’s Oedipus at Colonus as a Pentecostal church service. This glossary, compiled by Production Dramaturg Wenke (Coco) Huang, illustrates some of the connections between these two traditions as told in the vocabulary of the play.
|Word/Phrase||Greek Origin||Pentecostal Origin|
|The Book of Oedipus||Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex.||The New Testament books of the Bible.|
|Invocation||The summoning of the divine by the suppliants.||The start of a prayer, sermon, etc.|
|Ode||A “Choral Ode” is sung by the Chorus after every “scene” as concluding commentary. They are lyrical poems accompanied by music and dance.||English odes are lyric poems that praise their subjects with exalted emotions. They have irregular meters, and are elaborate, imaginative, dignified, and sincere. Biblical Odes are chants from the Bible sung in Christian liturgies from the earliest period. They are essential to Orthodox worship.|
|Myrtle Sprigs||Myrtle & the goddess of love, Aphrodite (Venus); Venus is described by Ovid as emerging from the sea on her half-shell holding a sprig of myrtle.|
Myrtle crowns (chaplets) appear in wedding crowns for either the bride or the groom. Sometimes presented to poets and athletic prizes, they were also worn to sacrifices and banquets. As opposed to laurel wreaths, myrtle signified victory from a bloodless battle.
|In Christianity, after losing its Greco-Roman association with female sexuality, myrtle came to be an emblematic symbol of the purity of the Virgin Mary.|
|Consummation||Oedipus’s promised final rest.||The completion of a goal, the fulfillment of a desired outcome, and/or marks the arrival of something. For example, the Consummation the Kingdom is the arrival of Jesus Christ, when this world becomes the Kingdom of God on earth, death for all of the dead is abolished, and all the dead will be raised in Christ.|
|Curse||Rituals and worship of the “primitive” gods of the underworld (as opposed to a misleading triumphalist evolutionary model that elevates Zeus and the worship of the sky gods, the Olympian gods).||“…nothing can separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:37-39), and “greater is He that is in us (the Holy Spirit) than he who is in the world (Satan) (1 John 4:4)”; God’s blessing eradicates all curses. “Curse” belongs to the demonic realm of voodoo, witchcraft, cults, and pagan worship.|
|Love||Goddess Aphrodite. Eros (Cupid) is the personification of love and its resulting madness/mania. There are six different words for “love” in Greek: eros, agape, philia, storge, philautia, xenia.||Total submission and immersion in the love of God.|