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Classic Drama. Engl 210 Preview to the Study of Sophocles. Aristotle:. Drama conveys humanity’s need to imitate experience Aristotle’s Principles of Unity Unity of Action Unity of Place Unity of Time Events, words, and images all work to convey meaningful human events .

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classic drama

Classic Drama

Engl 210

Preview to the Study of Sophocles

aristotle
Aristotle:
  • Drama conveys humanity’s need to imitate experience
  • Aristotle’s Principles of Unity
    • Unity of Action
    • Unity of Place
    • Unity of Time
    • Events, words, and images all work to convey meaningful human events
what constitutes a show
What constitutes a show?

Actor

+ Audience

+ Space

= Theater

Theatron [Greek “seeing place”]

why drama
Why Drama?
  • Entertainment
  • Instruction
  • Motivation
  • Persuasion
  • Shock & Awe 
theatrical formats
Theatrical Formats
  • Presentational
    • Greek Theatre
    • Shakespeare
    • Musicals
    • Asian Theatre
  • Representational
    • Realism
    • Naturalism
key factor audience
Key factor: Audience
  • Shares the performance
  • Provides feedback
  • Catalyzes the message(s)
  • Reviews the actors, action, themes
  • Affects popularity and notoriety
  • $$$$$
greek theatre
Greek Theatre
  • Originally hymns to Dionysus (Greek god of fertility)
  • Performed in spaces mirroring the threshing circle (agrarian roots)
  • Open-air performances in 20,000-seat ampitheaters
  • Based on legends and history
the theatre at athens
The Theatre at Athens
  • http://www.theatron.co.uk/ - virtual
dramatis personae
Dramatis Personae
  • Actor(s) (1, 2, and later 3)
  • Chorus
  • Choragos
  • Musicians
conventions of the greek theatre
Conventions of the Greek Theatre
  • Staging areas defined by arches or doorways
  • Chorus “sang and danced” the odes
  • Actors wore large, elaborate masks
  • Richly decorated costumes indicated status of actors
  • Little physical action – dialogue!
  • Violent scenes occurred offstage
the plot of a greek tragedy
The Plot of a Greek Tragedy
  • Parados (1-2 actors)
  • Chorus
  • Acts separated by choral odes
  • Choral odes (comment on and help reveal the play action, history, etc.)
  • Exodos
greek theatre religious ritual
Greek Theatre = Religious Ritual
  • To explain the ways of the gods to mankind.
  • To explain the relationship of humankind to the material world.
  • To explain the nature of violence and its consequences.
  • To resolve issues in the material and divine worlds.

In other words, these dramas are highly didactic.

aristotle s dissection of tragedy
Aristotle’s Dissection of Tragedy
  • Plot (Mythos)
  • Character
  • Thought
  • Diction (Language)
  • Music
  • Spectacle
the myth of oedipus
The Myth of Oedipus
  • The Oracle at Delphi predicts the fate of the child to be born to Laius and Jocasta, King and Queen of Thebes:
  • The child will kill his father and marry his mother.
  • After his birth, the couple drives a rivet into the child’s ankles and instructs a servant to abandon it on Mt. Cithaeron.
  • Remember?
essential questions
Essential Questions
  • What are the characteristics of human nature?
  • What is the role of fate in our lives?
  • What circumstances are within our control?
  • What principles should guide our lives?