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Darker Face Of The Earth

             "The white power structure must have seemed as all-encompassing as the implacable will of Zeus," Rita Dove states in an interview. This statement inspired a new awareness, in trying to comprehend the feelings of those enslaved in the nineteenth century. Having read Oedipus Rex, and after seeing the play Darker Face of the Earth, it allowed me to recognize the similarities and differences of powerful white slave owners and Greek Gods. .
             Gods of ancient Greece were viewed as being superior to humans although they shared many of the same traits. This is the same in relation to slaves and their owners. Just as the gods choose the fate of the people of ancient Greece, the owners choose the fate of their slaves? The gods in Oedipus were harsh in creating his fate just as many slave owners were harsh in shaping the fate of their slaves. The difference between the powerful white slave owners and gods are few. The fact the slave owners were mortal and lack supernatural abilities are the only things that set them apart from the gods. .
             The theme of Mrs. Dove's play closely resembled that of Oedipus Rex, however there were a few changes. I was disappointed that the theme of sight and blindness was excluded. I felt that this was an intriguing part of Oedipus Rex that added great philosophy to the text. The literal and metaphorical relationship between eyesight and insight is a theme that can be applied to any ones "everyday life" I feel that Dove's work would have been enhanced with the addition of this theme. There was also a change in character in her work. Tiresius was cut out and a conjure woman that would prophesize the curse was substituted in his place. The conjure woman was wonderful in the play, however I feel that the presentation could have benefited from a character more like Tiresius.
             The play was easy to follow and had the ability of comprehension without prior knowledge of Oedipus Rex.

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