Criticism and Theory. Part A Before Twentieth Century. Western theatre originated in Athens and its drama has had a significant and sustained impact on Western culture as a whole. City-State of Athens 550-220 B. C.
Criticism and Theory
Before Twentieth Century
Western theatre originated in Athens and its drama has had a significant and sustained impact on Western culture as a whole.
Panoramic view of the Hellenic theatre at Epidaurus.
Sophocles (c.497-406 B.C.)
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) Poetics
Aristotle the biologist
Based on –
Harmony and rhythm- instrumental music
Rhythm alone -dance
Prose mimes and Socratic dialogues
1. Two natural causes:
2. Harmony & rhythm are natural to us
As tragedy developed from satyr-style, its plots were at first slight and expression comical.
Took a long time to acquire dignity.
“imitation of a serious, complete action, in speech pleasurably enhanced, the different kinds of enhancement occurring in separate sections, in dramatic, not narrative form, through pity and fear effecting the purgation of these emotions.”
What does it represent?
Plot(Most important acc. To Aris.)
2. Complex (with peripeteia and anagnorisis)
Arouse pity & fear
This does not arouse pity or fear , but only a sense of outrage
this would satisfy our human feeling, but would not arouse pity & fear
This is less tragic than anythng, since it has none of the necessary requirements: it neither satisfies our human feeling nor arouses pity or fear
From good to bad
Bitter enemies are reconciled & nobody is killed
II. Poetic imagination
The poet should, more than anything else, put things before his eyes….
…so far as possible one should also work it out with the appropriate gestures.
III. Complication & Denouement (desis & lusis)
Complication – “the section from the beginning to the last point before …[the hero]… begins to change to good or bad fortune
Denouement – the part from the beginning of the change to the end
IV. Species of Tragedy
V. Do not take a large chunk of epic matter for a tragedy
VI. Surprise satisfies our human feeling & so is tragic
VII. Chorus should be regarded as an actor
3 functions of thought:
More chance for improbable