Introduction to ancient greek tragedy
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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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Introduction to Ancient Greek Tragedy

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Introduction to ancient greek tragedy

Introduction to Ancient Greek Tragedy


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)


Amphitheaters

Amphitheaters


Introduction to ancient greek tragedy

http://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 Today


Introduction to ancient greek tragedy

The Theater of Dionysus in Athens, Greece

Restored by the emperor Nero in 68 A.D.

(Computer recreation)


Introduction to ancient greek tragedy

Theater of Epidauros

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


Introduction to ancient greek tragedy

Epidauros


Introduction to ancient greek tragedy

Epidauros


Greek tragedy scenery and costume

Greek Tragedy: Scenery and Costume

  • 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 Theater

  • 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 Masks


Greek tragedy theatrical machines mechanai

Greek Tragedy: Theatrical Machines (mechanai)

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 (mechanai)

  • 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 Actors


Greek tragedy who could be in the chorus

Greek Tragedy: Who could be in the Chorus?

  • 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: Chorus

  • Chorus

    • Provided “emotional bridge”

      • How? Through its five functions.


Greek tragedy chorus1

Greek Tragedy: Chorus

  • 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: Actors

  • Who could be an actor?

    • Males


Greek tragedy actors1

Greek Tragedy: Actors

  • One to three actors

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


Greek tragedy conventions

Greek Tragedy: Conventions

  • 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: Conventions

  • All violence took place off stage

  • Emotions of characters most important elements of play


Greek tragedy tragic hero protagonist

Greek Tragedy: Tragic Hero/Protagonist

  • 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: Structure

  • Encroachment

    • Bites off more than he can chew


Greek tragedy structure1

Greek Tragedy: Structure

  • Complication

    • Forces build up against the hero

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


Greek tragedy structure2

Greek Tragedy: Structure

  • 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: Structure

  • Catastrophe

    • Moment hero realizes full guilt

    • Hero realizes helplessness in the hands of the gods


Greek tragedy structure4

Greek Tragedy: Structure

  • Recognition

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

    • Catharsis


What is catharsis

What is Catharsis?

  • 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

Antigone


3 antigone

3. Antigone

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


Family tree immediate

Family Tree (Immediate)

  • King Oedipus (deceased)

  • Queen Jocasta (deceased)

    • Eteocles (son)

    • Polynices (son)

    • Antigone (daughter)

    • Ismene (daughter)


Family tree extended

Family Tree (Extended)

  • King Creon (Uncle: Jocasta’s brother)

  • Queen Eurydice (Aunt)

    • Haemon (Cousin and Fiance)


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