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Antigone and the Greek theater. Thebes, Greece. The sons shall suffer for the sins of the father. Greek tragedies: Based on suffering of great families, usually mythological Focus on a hero/heroine whose fortunes decline from good to bad because of the Fates or human nature

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Antigone and the greek theater
Antigone and the Greek theater



The sons shall suffer for the sins of the father
The sons shall suffer for the sins of the father

Greek tragedies:

  • Based on suffering of great families, usually mythological

  • Focus on a hero/heroine whose fortunes decline from good to bad because of the Fates or human nature

  • Must arouse emotions of pity and fear in the audience

  • Consists of a plot, characters, thought, diction, spectacle, song

  • One person’s fate symbolizes that of all people

  • Tragedy centers on an individual –the protagonist or hero/heroine

  • Death of a main character is not necessary, but tragedy requires at least the recognition of mortality

    Greenbay.net/oedipus


The oracle
The Oracle

  • The Greeks believed their gods (Apollo) spoke through the Oracle

  • Oracles were almost always female and known as the sibyl or the Pythia

  • The Oracles would breathe the fumes from the cracks in the earth and fall into a trance allowing Apollo to possess her spirit. She would then prophesize. The priests of the temple would translate these trances for the people.

    “It has been postulated that a gas high in ethylene, known to produce violent trances, came out of this opening, though this theory remains debatable” (Pollitt)


Conditions of greek theatre
Conditions of Greek Theatre

  • Drama is written in poetry

  • Episodes containing dialogue are interspersed with shorter sections of more complicated matter—these poems are usually sung by the chorus

  • Chorus comments on choices and or conflicts of the characters; often interprets and foreshadows

  • male performers only!

  • limited number of actors portray all characters

  • use of masks

    Greecebytaxi.com


  • Greek tragedy is short, strong, clear, restrained, controlled

  • Hero has high status, rises to an even higher status by power of his own character.

  • Hero falls due to his on foolishness (hubris) and fateful circumstances

  • Good comes from the tragedies, at least for the audience who views it (catharsis).

    Themindperspective.com


The god of wine and dance
The god of wine and dance controlled

  • Greek tragedy is a way to celebrate the culture of Dionysus, the god of wine

  • All citizens were expected to participate– it was their civic duty

  • Tragedy was a two week public event (prisoners, too!)

  • Festivals of Dionysus: sort of ancient Mardi Gras

    Bacchus, by Caravaggio


Important terms
Important terms: controlled

  • Hubris: arrogance, unbridled ambition

  • Ethos: a man’s “character” as formed by inheritance, habit, and self-discipline

  • Pathos: man’s spontaneous reaction to experiences in the external world


5 th century greatness
5 controlledth century greatness

There were two fundamental forces in Greek thought and expression:

  • Anxiety prompted by the apparent irrationality of experience

  • the drive to allay this anxiety by finding an order which explains experience (5)

  • Classical era:

    -Characterized by art which expresses the triumph of human civilization--

    -and adherence to order which it required--over unthinking barbarism (35)

    Llsu.org


Women in ancient greece
Women in Ancient Greece controlled

  • Considered second class citizens

  • Responsible for domestic duties

  • No political power– only social

  • Irony: (when the expected outcome is the opposite of what actually happens)

    • Creon is astonished that a woman dares to override his decree.


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