Historical Context: Greek Tragedy Let’s prepare to perform Antigone!
The Stage Three Main Portions of Greek Theatre: Skene – Portion of stage where actors performed (included 1-3 doors in and out) Orchestra – “Dancing Place” where chorus sang to the audience Theatron – Seating for audience
Actors in Greek Theater • The main actors (playing multiple characters each) • Chorus • 12 or 15 choreutes (dancers) • trained to sing and dance from their youth
Who are the Actors? Must be a young man (women were not allowed to perform) Must be a Greek citizen Must have some money or authority in society Must have the approval of the Honorable Archon
Who is the Chorus? • A group of actors/audience members that interject into the plot of the play • They speak in chorus and would usually have a drumbeat or musical interlude to accompany them • The chorus is there to help the audience consider different view points of the characters. They also pray to the Gods. (Remember this was a religious festival!) • The chorus provides a review for the audience, offers prayers for the group, and helps the reader consider the different view points of the characters
Masks in Greek Theater Masks were used in Greek drama to portray character types or character emotions to the entire audience, which could be up to 20,000 people crowded onto a hillside. These masks fit over the head, with a wig attached, and had large mouth openings so that speech would not be muffled.
Masks in Greek Theater Prevented the audience from identifying the face of any actor with one specific character Allowed men to impersonate women without confusion Helped the audience identify the sex, age, and social rank of the characters Were often changed by the actors when they would exit after an episode to assume a new role
Sophocles The so-called “Sophoclean heroes” include Oedipus and Creon .They dominate six of the plays of Sophocles that have survived through time. These characters are stubborn and strong willed. They pursue their own purposes and fashion their own identities. Athenians had traditionally identified themselves through family. Now that democratic society had begun to focus on the individual, citizens were compelled to define themselves through what their own actions.
Tragedy A drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances
Parts of a Tragedy: Dramatic Irony • A plot device in which the audience's or reader's knowledge of events or individuals surpasses that of the characters • When YOU know something the characters do NOT know • Typically occurs as a part of the climax or turning point in the plot – Helps cause that moment of catharsis!
Parts of a Tragedy: Catharsis • A release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit • Aristotle says it is the effect of tragic drama on its audience • The moment after the main character makes a BIG decision building building Building BUILDING Ahhhhhhhh
Parts of a Greek Tragedy: Stichomythia • Dialogue in alternate lines, a form sometimes used in Classical Greek drama in which two characters alternate speaking single epigrammatic lines of verse • Often used as a means to show characters in vigorous contention or to heighten the emotional intensity of a scene • Characters may take turns voicing antithetical positions, or they may take up one another's words, suggesting other meanings or punning upon them
Parts of a Tragedy: Deus ex Machina • A God or Gods are introduced into a play to resolve the entanglements of the plot • Found in Greek and Roman drama – You may remember this from Odyssey and Oedipus! • Do you remember the 12 Olympians? Let’s review...
Gods Specific to Antigone • Dionysus – God of Festivals and the Arts • Zeus – God of Gods • Athena – Goddess of Wisdom • Apollo – God of Light and Poetry • Ares – God of War • Hades – God of the Underworld
Parts of a Greek Tragedy: Pathos • Greek meaning: suffering or feeling emotions • When a writer uses pathos s/he is... • Appealing to the emotions of the audience in order to persuade • Choosing language that will affects the audience's emotional response • You use pathos too! If you don’t want to go to school how might you describe your “sickness” to your parents? Is it a mere cough? A sniffle?
Parts of a Greek Tragedy: Ethos • Ethos is a Greek word meaning "character" that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. • When a writer uses ethos s/he is appealing to an audience’s character • Example: "If my age doesn’t convince you that my opinion matters, at least consider that I am your grandfather and I love you dearly."
Parts of a Greek Tragedy: Logos • Logos is an appeal to logic, and is a way of persuading an audience by reason. • A writer tries to convince the reader that his or her point is valid because it’s logical • Example: "It’s a matter of common sense that people deserve to be treated equally. The Constitution calls it ‘self-evident.’ Why, then, should I have been denied a seat because of my disability?"
Parts of a Greek Tragedy: Characteristics of a Tragic Hero Character must... • be of noble/high stature • have a tragic flaw • face a downfall • experience enlightenment • ultimately die or be pretty close to it! Oedipus IS a tragic hero...How does he fit these characteristics?
Parts of a Greek Tragedy: Hubris A common fatal flaw TOO MUCH PRIDE; ARROGANCE audacity, bluster, brass,conceitedness, contemptuousness,disdainfulness,ego, egotism, gall, haughtiness, highhandedness, imperiousness, insolence, loftiness, ostentation, pompous, presumption, pretension, priggishness, scornfulness, self-importance, self-love, smugness, superciliousness,swagger, vanity
Shall we review the Oedipus story? • What do you remember?
Oedipus Rex • Work in groups of 4 • Read your paragraph with your group aloud • Summarize what happens in 5 sentences • Prepare to share your summary with a larger group! • Don’t tell what happens and DON’T read ahead!!