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1 Characteristics of Greek Theatre Performed for special occasions (Festivals to worship the Gods) Competitive- 3 playwrights competed, as did actors Choral.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Characteristics of Greek Theatre Performed for special occasions (Festivals to worship the Gods) Competitive- 3 playwrights competed, as did actors Choral."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Characteristics of Greek Theatre Performed for special occasions (Festivals to worship the Gods) Competitive- 3 playwrights competed, as did actors Choral singing was important. The chorus was all men and varied from 3 to 50 people. Closely associated with religion. Stories were based on myth and history.

2 2 The Actors The actors wore large, colorful, decorative robes They wore extra-large white gloves They wore masks that had over-exaggerated features and contained large mouths that were shaped like a megaphone They wore large, platform shoes They were all men, and only one-three actors played all of the parts

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7 7 The Dramatic Structure Ancient Greek Theatre

8 8 The Prologue The opening portion of the play that sets the scene and contains the exposition.

9 9 The Parados The entrance song of the chorus.

10 10 Episodes Scenes in the action of the drama. The episodes are performed by the actors. There are usually four episodes in a Greek tragedy.

11 11 Stasimons (Odes) Choral passages alternating with the episodes of the plot of the drama. The chorus sang and danced these tragic odes. There are usually four stasimons in a Greek tragedy.

12 12 The Strophe & The Antistrophe During the strophe, the chorus danced one way around the orchestra. During the antistrophe, the chorus changed directions and went the opposite way around the orchestra.

13 13 The Exodos The concluding section of the tragedy that ends with the chorus singing their final lines as they exit.

14 14 Characteristics of a Greek Tragedy

15 15 Characteristics of Greek Tragedy Late point of attack Violence and death offstage Frequent use of messengers to relate information Continuous time of action Single setting Stories based on myths Focus is on the psychological and ethical attributes of characters, not physical and sociological.

16 16 Characteristics of a Tragic Hero Developed From Aristotle’s “Poetics”

17 17 The tragic hero is a character of noble stature and greatness. The character must occupy a high position in society.

18 18 The tragic hero is good, but they are not perfect. The audience should be able to identify with the hero.

19 19 Aristotle’s “Poetics” It follows plainly, in the first place, that the change of fortune presented must not be the spectacle of a virtuous man brought from prosperity to adversity: for this moves neither pity nor fear; it merely shocks us. Nor, again, that of a bad man passing from adversity to prosperity: for nothing can be more alien to the spirit of Tragedy; it possesses no single tragic quality; it neither satisfies the moral sense nor calls forth pity or fear. Nor, again, should the downfall of the utter villain be exhibited. A plot of this kind would, doubtless, satisfy the moral sense, but it would inspire neither pity nor fear; for pity is aroused by unmerited misfortune, fear by the misfortune of a man like ourselves. Such an event, therefore, will be neither pitiful nor terrible. There remains, then, the character between these two extremes- that of a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty. He must be one who is highly renowned and prosperous 19

20 20 Peripeteia A reversal of intention: something occurs that is the opposite of what the hero intended.

21 21 Aristotle’s “Poetics” “Reversal of the Situation is a change by which the action veers round to its opposite, subject always to our rule of probability or necessity. Ex: In Lynceus, Lynceus is being led away to his death, and Danaus goes with him, meaning to slay him; but the outcome of the preceding incidents is that Danaus is killed and Lynceus saved. 21

22 22 The character brings about his own downfall. Usually, this occurs through hamartia, their tragic flaw.

23 23 Common Tragic Flaws Hubris Anger Jealousy Irrationality 23

24 24 The hero undergoes anagnorisis: a scene of recognition where the character makes a critical discovery The fall is not pure loss. The hero usually gains some self- knowledge or learns something because of their fall.

25 25 Aristotle’s “Poetics” Types of Recognition: 1. The least artistic form, which is most commonly employed--recognition by signs. Ex: Odysseus’s scar 2. Recognition invented at will by the poet. Ex: The character is artificially made to reveal who they are 3. Memory when the sight of an object awakens a feeling Ex: Odysseus hears the minstrel’s song and cries 4. Recognition by process of reasoning Ex: Hektor recognizes Athena’s trickery and that his own death is at hand when he turns to find Deiphobus gone. 5. The best is that which arises from the incidents themselves, where the startling discovery is made by natural means. Everything that comes to light is a natural result of the plot 25

26 26 The hero undergoes a reversal of fortune. Their status at the end of the tragedy is completely diminished.

27 27 The hero undergoes a final scene of suffering. This may include death on stage or bodily harm.

28 28 The hero’s misfortune is not entirely deserved. Their punishment is usually greater than their crime. At the conclusion of a perfect tragedy, the audience is filled with horror and pity because of the events that have occurred.

29 29 Aristotle’s Thoughts Catharsis- Purification or purgation of emotions--especially pity and fear-- through art. This is the desired effect of tragedy on the spectator. 29

30 30 Achieving Catharsis Aristotle’s “Poetics” 1. Actions capable of this effect must happen between persons who are either friends or enemies or indifferent to one another. If an enemy kills an enemy, there is nothing to excite pity either in the act or the intention- except so far as the suffering in itself is pitiful. So again with indifferent persons. But when the tragic incident occurs between those who are near or dear to one another- if, for example, a brother kills, or intends to kill, a brother, a son his father, a mother her son, a son his mother, or any other deed of the kind is done- these are the situations to be looked for by the poet. 30

31 31 Achieving Catharsis Aristotle’s “Poetics” The Action The action may be done consciously - Medea kills her children to get revenge on her husband The deed of horror may be done, but done in ignorance, and the tie of kinship or friendship be discovered afterwards. Again, there is a third case- to be about to act with knowledge of the persons and then not to act. This is the worst and least effective. The fourth case is when some one is about to do an irreparable deed through ignorance, and makes the discovery before it is done. 31

32 32 Achieving Catharsis Aristotle’s “Poetics” The Character MUST: 1. Be good 2. Have propriety- conventionally accepted standards of behavior or morals 3. Be true to life 4. Show consistency--even in someone who is inconsistent, they must be consistently inconsistent 32

33 33 Achieving Catharsis Aristotle’s “Poetics” Within the action there must be nothing irrational. If the irrational cannot be excluded, it should be outside the scope of the tragedy 33

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