Avian Plague: Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus and Alfred Hitchcock's the Birds
Burton, P (2001) Avian Plague: Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus and Alfred Hitchcock's the Birds. Mouseion ; Journal of the Classical Assciation of Canada, 3 (1). pp. 313-341. ISSN 1496-9343
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"0 dear Jocasta, why should one look to the Pythian hearth? Why should one look to the birds screaming overhead?" Oedipus!
In many ways. Alfred Hitchcock's last truly classic film. 1963's The Birds. is a fitting denouement to the director's most ambitious works. a series that began with Rear Window (r954) and climaxed with the artistic
(and commercial) triumph of Psycho (1960). It would not be entirely
inaccurate to characterize The Birds as simply a structural and thematic extension of Psycho: it builds suspense effectively. and attempts
to probe the darker depths of human psychology in much the same way as its predecessor. But whereas Psycho achieved a nearperfect
blend of these two aspects of Hitchcock's work. the director chose to follow up his masterpiece with a film that was-and remains-
decidedly problematic for both critics and audiences alike.
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