3GREECE TODAY:Greece is located at the southernmost tip of Europe and hasone of the most unique geographic formations of any countryin Europe. Including the islands, it has an area of 50,959square miles and a population of 10.2 million (1991 census).An estimated five million Greeks live abroad.Greece is washed on three sides by seas: by the Ionian Sea tothe west, the Aegean Sea to the east and the MediterraneanSea to the south. To the north lie Albania, Macedonia andBulgaria. To the northeast is Turkey.At the crossroads of three continents, Greece is a steppingstoneto Asia and Africa. Some four-fifths of Greece's landterritory is mountainous. Its coastline, with its many gulfs andinlets, is one of the longest of any country in Europe
5ANCIENT GREECE WHY IT MATTERS TODAY The earliest Greek civilizations thrived nearly 4,000 years ago. Yet, their culture still impacts our lives today, in the arts, in philosophy, and in science, math, literature and politicsAlthough the Greeks were conquered by the Romans, there aremany influences from Greece that can still be found in ourlives today:Democracy - The word 'democracy' is Greek. It means'government by the people.' Our government is a legacy of theAthenians and their assemblies and councils.Theater - The word 'theatre' is Greek. Most modern theatresfollow the Greek plan.The Olympics - The first Olympic Games were held in 776BC at the Greek city of Olympia.Marathon - Pheidippides ran from Athens to Sparta to ask forhelp against the Persians just before the Battle of the Marathon(490 BC).The first alphabet with vowels - The Ancient Greeks playedan important part in the development of the alphabet. The first two letters of the Greek alphabet -alpha and beta - have given us the word 'alphabet'.
6What is Tragedy? The Tragic Tradition: 1) Native Religious Drama.These are primarily morality plays developed independently of the classical tradition, but with the influence of Roman writer Seneca (1st CE)Medieval tragedies are the story of a person of high status who, deservedly or not, is brought down from prosperity to wretchedness by an unpredictable turn of fate.Chaucer: The Canterbury TalesShakespeare: Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet
72) Greek DramaAristotle wrote an essay entitled "Poetics" where he used inductive reasoning based on three prominent playwrights (Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus) to define tragedy:" the imitation of an action which is serious and also, as having a magnitude, complete in itself"Its essential elements include the following:a: the medium of poetic languageb: mode is dramatic rather than narrative
8c: its intent is to arouse "pity and fear"- an interactive involvement with the audience, at the end feeling relieved or exalted by the purging of theses emotions. (Catharsis)d: The tragic hero should be a mix of good and bad but always 'better than we are'.- The hero suffers his fall because of a mistaken act, led to by his hamartia (error of judgement) often mistakenly called a tragic flaw or hubris!
9Tragedy dealt with the big themes of love, loss, pride, the abuse of power and the fraught relationships between men and gods.Typically the main protagonist of a tragedy commits some terrible crime without realizing how foolish and arrogant he has been. Then, as he slowly realizes his error, the world crumbles around him. The three great playwrights of tragedy were Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides.The great philosopher Aristotle argued that tragedy cleansed the heart through pity and terror, purging us of our petty concerns and worries by making us aware that there can be nobility in suffering. He called this experience ‘catharsis’. In his treatise, The Poetics, Aristotle refers to Oedipus the King as the perfect tragedy.
10-The Hero moves us to pity because he was a great man, but also because we recognize the possibility of failure or similar mistakes in ourselves.-The hero must face his destiny with courage and dignity.The plot is of utmost importance: the events develop through a complication to a catastrophe in which there occurs a sudden peripeteia (reversal of fortune from happiness to disaster)
11Tragedy in Greece:-began at festivals in honour of the God of Wine, Dionysus, in form of song and dance.-a cabaret of chorus members disguised as satyrs, a man who engaged others in dialogue, hymnists, and a soloist (acting as the God)-by 530BCE, focus shifted to humans and these tragedies were competing in Athens for an annual prize-Sophocles held 18 first prizes, Oedipus Rex came second!
13Sophocles' plays are concerned with the attainment of knowledge Sophocles' plays are concerned with the attainment of knowledge. His characteristic emphasis on the ironic contrasts appearance vs. reality.The climactic moments of reversal and recognition illustrate how humans come to terms with the truth about themselves-Appearance vs. reality created through sustained use of imagery of blindness and sight-Reversal- a change in which the action veers round to its opposite-Recognition- a change from ignorance to knowledge
14EpiphanyAt this moment the character perceives the operation of the powers that are destroying him.Acceptance of this recognition is the mark of a great human being or Hero.
15LanguageCHORAL ODES- lyric function; stanzas (Strophes and antistrophes)long passages of narrative description (active colourful, imaginative language) often spoken by messengers to reveal past or action offstage.speeches between protagonist and antagonist dealing with philosophical issuesemotional speeches by protagonist dealing with inner torment or conflict with the Gods.e) STYCHOMYTHIA- series of one line statements and responses conveying argument, anger or enquiry
16Action - highly concentrated - focuses on logical revelation of action - nothing irrelevant - unity, this places characters in intense relationships - action is contained in economic and direct examplesA sense of DECORUM is maintained by acts of violencetaking place offstage, information being given by thechorus
17Delivery and Performance The plays were adapted to the physical structure of the auditorium; performances were in daylight, with little or no artificial scenery used.There was a direct actor / audience relationship
20Orchestra: The orchestra (Orchesina--literally, "dancing space") was normally circular. It was a level space where the chorus would dance, sing, and interact with the actors who were on the stage near the skene. The earliest orchestras were simply made of hard earth, but in the Classical period some orchestras began to be paved with marble and other materials. In the center of the orchestra there was often a thymele, or altar. The orchestra of the theatre of Dionysus in Athens was about 60 feet in diameter.Theatron: The theatron (literally, "viewing-place") is where the spectators sat. The theatron was usually part of hillside overlooking the orchestra, and often wrapped around a large portion of the orchestra (see the diagram above). Spectators in the fifth century BC probably sat on cushions or boards, but by the fourth century the theatron of many Greek theaters had marble seats.Skene: The skene (scene--literally, "tent") was the building directly behind the stage. During the 5th century, the stage of the theater of Dionysus in Athens was probably raised only two or three steps above the level of the orchestra, and was perhaps 25 feet wide and 10 feet deep. The skene was directly in back of the stage, and was usually decorated as a palace, temple, or other building, depending on the needs of the play. It had at least one set of doors, and actors could make entrances and exits through them. There was also access to the roof of the skene from behind, so that actors playing gods and other characters (such as the Watchman at the beginning of Aeschylus' Agamemnon) could appear on the roof, if needed.Parodos: The parodoi (literally, "passageways") are the paths by which the chorus and some actors (such as those representing messengers or people returning from abroad) made their entrances and exits. The audience also used them to enter and exit the theater before and after the performance.
21The Riddle of the Sphinx One of the most famous riddles in history is the Riddle of the Sphinx. In Greek legend, the Sphinx devoured all travelers who could not answer the riddle she posed: "What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three in the evening?" The hero Oedipus gave the answer, "Man," causing the Sphinx's death.Some other riddles:A cloud was my mother,I can run but never walkthe wind is my father,I have a mouth but never talkmy son is the cool stream,I have a bed but never sleepand my daughter is the fruit ofI have a head but never weep.the land.What am I?A rainbow is my bed,(Answer: A river.)the earth my final resting place,and I'm the torment of man.This thing devours all things Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;(Answer: Rain.)Gnaws iron, bites steel;Grinds hard stones to meal;Slays king, ruins town,And beats high mountain down.What is this thing?(Answer: Time.)Oedipus and the Sphinx, 1864Gustave Moreau (French, 1826–1898)
22The players consisted of: 1) Chorus: 15 men, a group of citizens trained for the event-they are on stage for most of the play-they would sing and dance-their function was to give advice, express opinions and ask questions
232) Actors- usually only 3 men 2) Actors- usually only 3 men. They played multiple roles, wearing masks to assume different characters.- the masks were multi-functional- acting as megaphones in addition to character identity.
24CREDITSThe preceding Oedipus the King materials were researched andcompiled by Sarah Carlton, Kelly Mednis and Rob Zellers. Theywere assembled from various publications about the play and itstime, including the sources listed below: