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Introduction to Ancient Greek Tragedy. Life in Ancient Greece. Greece reached its peek in the 6 th and 5 th centuries, specifically in Athens. Athens: The Place to Be:. Named after the goddess Athena Birthplace of Democracy Center of commerce and arts. Athens was on the cutting edge of….

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Life in ancient greece
Life in Ancient Greece

  • Greece reached its peek in the 6th and 5th centuries, specifically in Athens


Athens the place to be
Athens: The Place to Be:

  • Named after the goddess Athena

  • Birthplace of Democracy

  • Center of commerce and arts


Athens was on the cutting edge of
Athens was on the cutting edge of…

  • Philosophy

  • Art

  • History

  • Politics

  • Architecture


Athens sculptures
Athens Sculptures

  • Realistic figures in bronze and marble

  • Perfect human form

  • Influence still felt today

    • Our desire to look perfect has its origins in Greek sculpture


Physical excellence
Physical Excellence

  • Emphasis on physical training

  • No standing army, so this ensured “instant soldiers”


Physical excellence1
Physical Excellence

  • Athletic games were held in Olympia, the Olympics

  • Olive wreaths, a symbol of peace and a major industry


2 greek tragedy
2. Greek Tragedy

  • Ancient Greeks invented the art of drama

  • Some plays from Ancient Greece are still performed today


Modern words from tragedy
Modern Words from Tragedy

  • Orchestra

  • Thespian

  • Drama

  • Dialogue

  • Skene

  • Comedy

  • Tragedy


Greek tragedy
Greek Tragedy

  • Wealthy Athenians subsidized plays

  • Plays performed annually at the spring festival of Dionysus


Greek tragedy dionysus
Greek Tragedy: Dionysus

  • March/early April

  • Disrupted city life and could not be contained—the ultimate block party!

  • Tragedy competition

  • Satyr (means, Risque) competition


Greek tragedy playwrights
Greek Tragedy: Playwrights

  • Aeschylus (525-456 B.C.)

  • Sophocles (496-406 B.C.)

  • Euripides (485-406 B.C.)


Greek tragedy plays
Greek Tragedy: Plays

  • Going to the plays was exceptionally popular

  • Day-long Performances

  • Theater was a sacrament, a form of worship


Greek tragedy plays1
Greek Tragedy: Plays

  • Plays were performed in large semi-circle, outdoor amphitheaters made of stone or wood

  • 15,000 to 17,000 spectators (all male)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwOR4y7JDrY&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=8

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLDXzJEgIVk&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=11


The theater of dionysus today
The Theater of Dionysus Todayhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0


The Theater of Dionysus in Athens, Greecehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

Restored by the emperor Nero in 68 A.D.

(Computer recreation)


Theater of Epidauros http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

(built 330 B.C., near modern day Nauplion, Greece)


Epidauroshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0


Epidauroshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0


Greek tragedy scenery and costume
Greek Tragedy: Scenery and Costumehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Minimal Scenery and props

  • Platform shoes, and elongated togas with high waistbands

  • Masks stood for characters:

    • Grief -Happiness

    • Anger -Bearded King

    • Old Man -Young Girl


Masks in greek theater
Masks in Greek Theaterhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Masks portray character types or character emotions

  • Fit over the head

  • Wig attached

  • Large mouth openings for speech


Tragic and comic masks
Tragic and Comic Maskshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0


Greek tragedy theatrical machines mechanai
Greek Tragedy: Theatrical Machines (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0mechanai)

The ekkyklema (“a wheeled-out thing”) was a cart on wheels which carried a dead body onto the stage.

It was sacrilegious to show a character actually dying on the stage.


Greek tragedy theatrical machines mechanai1
Greek Tragedy: Theatrical Machines (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0mechanai)

  • The mechane (machine) was a crane-like machine that could lift a character up as if flying, or could carry an actor, usually in the guise of a god, to the top of the skene.


Greek tragedy chorus and actors
Greek Tragedy: Chorus and Actorshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0


Greek tragedy who could be in the chorus
Greek Tragedy: Who could be in the Chorus?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • males

  • trained by a poet to sing and dance

  • twelve or fifteen, depending on when the play was written

  • the leader was called the coryphaeus (“head man” or “leader”)

    • All men

    • Chanted or danced


Greek tragedy chorus
Greek Tragedy: Chorushttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Chorus

    • Provided “emotional bridge”

      • How? Through its five functions.


Greek tragedy chorus1
Greek Tragedy: Chorushttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Five Functions of Chorus

    • Set the mood

    • Represent common person

    • Takes a moral side/stand

    • Will warn characters

    • Expresses itself in common language, which is usually in contrast with hero


Greek tragedy actors
Greek Tragedy: Actorshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Who could be an actor?

    • Males


Greek tragedy actors1
Greek Tragedy: Actorshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • One to three actors

    • For most of the 5th century, no more than three were used


Greek tragedy conventions
Greek Tragedy: Conventionshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Play Observed Aristotle’s unities of time, place, and action

    • Time: Took place during a twenty-four hour period

    • Place: One setting

    • Action: No subplots


Greek tragedy conventions1
Greek Tragedy: Conventionshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • All violence took place off stage

  • Emotions of characters most important elements of play


Greek tragedy tragic hero protagonist
Greek Tragedy: Tragic Hero/Protagonisthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Worthy

  • Mature

  • Imperfect

  • Disaster will befall him/her

  • Believes in his freedom to make choices

  • Hubris

  • Suffers

  • Transfiguration—Becomes a better person

  • His/her tragedy causes a life reflection


Greek tragedy structure
Greek Tragedy: Structurehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Encroachment

    • Bites off more than he can chew


Greek tragedy structure1
Greek Tragedy: Structurehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Complication

    • Forces build up against the hero

    • Events become so complex that no single action can resolve them


Greek tragedy structure2
Greek Tragedy: Structurehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Reversal

    • Clear to audience that hero’s expectations are mistaken

    • Hero might have a suspicion as to where his actions will take him. Usually, he/she

      is ignorant though.


Greek tragedy structure3
Greek Tragedy: Structurehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Catastrophe

    • Moment hero realizes full guilt

    • Hero realizes helplessness in the hands of the gods


Greek tragedy structure4
Greek Tragedy: Structurehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Recognition

    • Chorus suggests a larger order and sense of life exists beyond the hero’s downfall

    • Catharsis


What is catharsis
What is Catharsis?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Literally means “to purge” or “to purify”—to cleanse.

  • For a tragedy, catharsis references

    • The release of pent up emotions or energy (many times negative)


Antigone

Antigonehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0


3 antigone
3. Antigonehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • Theme: What is the higher law: humankind’s or the gods’?


Family tree immediate
Family Tree (Immediate)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • King Oedipus (deceased)

  • Queen Jocasta (deceased)

    • Eteocles (son)

    • Polynices (son)

    • Antigone (daughter)

    • Ismene (daughter)


Family tree extended
Family Tree (Extended)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OywHbxZze8o&feature=PlayList&p=E0E10A7C0B790392&index=0

  • King Creon (Uncle: Jocasta’s brother)

  • Queen Eurydice (Aunt)

    • Haemon (Cousin and Fiance)


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