Antigone and the greek theater
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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

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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

  • 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 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

  • 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

  • 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:

  • 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


5th 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

  • 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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