Presentation on theme: "“Genre Study” and Oedipus. A category of literature. The main literary genres are fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama."— Presentation transcript:
“Genre Study” and Oedipus
A category of literature. The main literary genres are fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama.
An autobiography is a story about a person’s life and is written by the person who lived it. An autobiography can be about the person’s whole life, part of that person’s life, or a single event.
A biography is a selection about a real person's life that is written by another person.
A fantasy is a make-believe story that could never happen in the real world. Some characters and plot situations may be realistic, while others are exaggerated and even silly. The author uses a realistic classroom setting but then introduces fantastic characters who do impossible things.
Fiction stories are stories that the author has made up. Fiction is an untrue story. Characters and events may be realistic, even though they might be unusual or even unlikely in some way.
The original author is unknown and that folk tales often have different versions. These stories are passed down through generations over many centuries.
A myth is a tale that has been passed down through generations and tells about nature and human behavior.
Like a novel or a short story, a play tells a story but it is written to be acted out for an audience. Plays have many unique literary elements such as acts, scenes, stage directions, and speech tags.
Poetry is an arrangement of words in lines having rhythm. Sometimes those lines rhyme, as in this narrative poem.
Tall tales are amusing stories told with great exaggeration and bigger-than-life characters.
Born in Colonus, a small town outside Athens, Greece in 495 B.C.
As a young boy, Sophocles was prized for his exceptional abilities in poetry, music, and dancing. Sophocles began as a performer at age 15, as he was chosen to perform at a celebration in Athens. He went on to become an established playwright in Athens. He was first recognized as a playwright for winning 1st prize at an annual theatrical competition when he was 28 years old. This was significant because he won the prize over Athens’ predominant playwright.
Only seven exist in their entirety today. They are … Ajax445 B.C. *Antigone440 B.C. Electra 440 B.C. *Oedipus Rex430 B.C. The Trachiniae 413 B.C. Philoctetes410 B.C. *Oedipus at Colonus401 B.C.
Sophocles greatly influenced the technical aspects of Greek theatre.
1. Originally, drama was performed on an open-air theatre with few props or sets. Sophocles expanded using stage machinery (utilized technological advances) and sets. He was the first to use a crane to “miraculously” lower and take away actors! He also used painted scenery. 2. Variations in the types of music sung by the chorus
3. Changed cast size (Introduced a third actor and reduced the chorus from 50 people to 12) 4. Used more elaborate costumes, including masks How do you think Sophocles’ new ideas and changes impacted drama?
More complex plot development due to added actors, and costumes (allowed them to portray more characters) Easier to distinguish sets, more developed sets, doesn’t leave quite as much up to the imagination Easier to distinguish characters, due to costuming and elaborate masks Interesting, unexpected events by using machinery
Sophocles was said to have been especially blessed by the Greek gods because he was attractive and had exceptional abilities. Society had much admiration and deep respect for him because of the impact he made on their lives. All of Athens mourned upon Sophocles death in 406 B.C. They established a shrine called Dexion (The Entertainer) for him. Members of society paid respect to him annually by offering sacrifices in his memory.
Sophocles, playwright of Oedipus the King, is known as one of the most famous tragedians of all time. Greek tragedies are considered the theatrical works produced mainly in Greece during the 5 th century. Greek tragedies deal with universal issues and with contemporary politics/topics (themes such as war, incest, and murder). Often times, tragedies involved the hero changing between states of fortune & misfortune. The hero’s flaws and errors were pointed out followed by the hero’s recognition of their actions. Ex. Oedipus the King
Most tragedies were written as connected trilogies that carried a similar storyline. In ancient Greek times (5 th century), tragedies were intended to be performed in a theatre before a live audience. Tragedies were produced and performed during the religious festival in honor of the god Dionysus (god of fertility). The playwrights competed against one another for first prize.
A Greek tragedy is structures as follows: (each genre has a different structure) I. Prologue: Spoken by one or two characters before the chorus appears. The prologue usually gives the background information needed to understand the events of the play. II. Parodos: the song sung by the chorus as it makes its entrance III. Episodes/Scenes: the main action of the play
IV. Odes: a song (and often dance) that reflects on the events of the episodes, and weaves the plot into a cohesive whole A. Choragos: the leader of the chorus who often interacts with the characters in the scenes
B. Chorus: the singers/dancers who remark on the action; react as the playwright hopes the audience will 1. strophe: the movement of the chorus from right to left across the stage 2. antistrophe: the reaction to the strophe, which moves across the stage from left to right.
The chorus was made up of amateur actors. In Oedipus Rex, the chorus acts like a character as well as a group of citizens. They are used to set the mood and heighten the dramatic effects. The chorus adds movement, song, & dance.
They usually entered just after the opening of the play and remained on stage until the end. During their part, they periodically stopped moving to allow the audience to consider what they are saying.
The chorus usually wore similar masks to unify them as a “group,” but actors wore them to distinguish between various characters. Since all Greek actors were men, it was necessary to wear masks in order to portray female characters.
Since there were only three parts, masks allowed for more characters to be portrayed. Each character had a different mask, so the three actors had to be highly skilled individuals to portray each role appropriately. All performers were men, however, anyone could attend theatre productions.
V. Exodos: sung by the chorus as it makes its final exit, which usually offers words of wisdom related to the actions and outcome of the play
his dramatic work portrayed misery and tragedy he also became a distinguished public official
produced 123 plays (only seven survive today) the age of Sophocles in Greece was a time when anything seemed possible through human effort and reason
toward the end of Sophocles’ life, Athens raged a war against Sparta, their bitter rivals there also was a great plague in 430 B. C.
Sophocles’ surviving plays (written after 440 B.C.) are deeply troubling
These plays depict characters caught up in unsolvable dilemmas that test their faith in divine and human justice
1. The need to imitate Fun to pretend to be someone or something else As a means of communication - to demonstrate a situation/storytelling through words and actions 2. The need to worship the gods in order to please them
In Greece, plays were presented out of doors on a flat place, or orchestra, at the base of a hill. At first, they just used open space, no walls or ceiling (little scenery or set). The orchestra was usually circular. The orchestra was the main performing place for actors. The auditorium, or theatron, was the hillside itself where the audience stood and watched plays. Seats were gradually added; eventually permanent sets were constructed of stone.
An alter to the god Dionysus (son of Zeus, god of wine & revelry), called the themele, was always located in the middle of each site. Later, in the 5th century B.C., a skene building, or scene house was added. Provided a place where the actors might dress & wait before going on stage Eventually, they used it to add background & scenery to the stage, as well as a prop
Attending plays was considered a civic duty. The price of a ticket was two obols, which was equal to the wages an unskilled man might earn for a day's work. There was a special fund that citizens could apply for to receive money if they could not afford the ticket on their own.
Tragedy Tragedies treat serious subjects and often focus on the tragic hero’s character. Tragedies usually end with death. Chorus: The chorus was composed of similarly costumed men on the dancing floor ("orchestra"), located beneath the stage. The chorus was in the orchestra for the duration of the performance to observe and comment on the action of the actors. Dialogue consisted of long, formal speeches in versedancing floor ("orchestra")
Tragedy 3 actors: Sophocles influenced the development of the drama, most importantly by adding a third actor, thereby reducing the importance of the chorus in the presentation of the plot Masks: Masks were also made for members of the chorus, who help the audience know what a character is thinking. Although there are twelve members of the chorus, they all wear the same mask because they are considered to be representing one character.
Many say drama originated in Greece over 2,500 years ago as a way to pay tribute to Dionysis Theatres built into the side of a hill Most could seat almost 17,000 people.
Plays are divided into acts and scenes. Scripts feature lists of characters and stage directions which require the reader to pause and visualize the set up
Chorus = a group of singers that comments on the play, often from the point of view of public opinion of the actions taking place Prologue = an introductory scene that tells the audience important information about the play’s setting, characters, and events immediately preceding the opening of the drama. Episode (episodos)= a passage of dialogue between two or more actors or between actors and chorus
Choral ode = the chorus is alone on stage, singing Éxodos = the final scene of the play Epilogue = after the main characters leave, this is where the chorus comes back on stage to sum up the play’s meaning
Monologue – an extended speech by one character. Soliloquy – an extended speech by one character, alone on stage. Soliloquies are used to express the private thoughts of one character. Aside – a character’s direct address to the audience, which is not heard by the other characters. Situational Irony: Where an event happens where you expected the opposite. Dramatic Irony-Playwrights use dramatic irony when they allow the audience to know more than the characters do.
Monologues, soliloquies, and asides are dramatic techniques that provide direct insight into motives, attitudes, and overall tone. These techniques function like a fictional narrator.
Symbol: Something that represents something else Metaphor: A comparison between two unlike things without using like or as. Personification: Giving something nonhuman, human characteristics Allusion: reference in literature to something else: Classical: Aspects of Greek or Roman information Biblical: The bible Historical: Events from history
His early years Aristotle was born in stagria, on the border of Macedonia in 384 bce His mother, Phaestis, was from a family of doctors His father Nichomachus was court physician to King Amyntus of macedonia and this began his long association with the macedonia court which influenced his life greatly When he was still a boy his father died
His schooling In 367, at the age of 17 his guardian,proxenus sent him to Athens, the intellectual center of the world, to complete his education He joined the academy and studied under Plato,attending his lectures for 20 years It was in later years that he began to lecture on his own account, especially the subject of rhetoric He was known for saying” He loved the truth more than he loved Plato and so he had no mind to remain a mere disciple”
The years after Plato Plato died in 347 Aristotle would have been his rightful succeeded, however his divergence from Plato's teachings made it impossible In 347 Aristotle spent the next four years conducting zoological investigations on the islands of assos and lesbos He was married twice, his second wife Herpyllis bore him a son named,Nichomachus
Back to Athens In 343 he was called to macedonia by King Philip to tutor the king’s son- the future alexander the great Seven years later Aristotle returned to Athens and founded the school Lyceum, which it’s ruins can still be seen today
His teachings Aristotle taught in what later became known as Peripatetics meaning to walk about which he did often as he discoursed He is said to be given two type of lectures one in the morning for a inner circle of advanced students and one in the evening for the general body of lovers of knowledge He taught modern down-to-earth philosphy,biology, politics, and the rules of logic
His writings Aristotle main works are the prior analytics (in which he describes the rules of logic) The physics, the animal history, the rhetoric, the poetics, the metaphysics, the nicomachean ethics, and the politics Most of his writings are lost. What remains are his lectures notes, which were rediscovered in the first century and scholars are re-examining the fragments of his lost works.
Aristotle in exile Aristotle connection to Alexander proved a liability in the end and on Alexander’s death in 323 b.c. the Athenians went on a rampage against all who associated with him The pro-Macedonian government was overthrown and he was charged with impiety he fled Athens He fled to Chalcis in Euboea where he quoted “the Athenians sin twice against philosophy referring of course to the unjust trial and death of Socrates”
Aristotle’s death In his first year of his residence at Chalcis he complained of a stomach illness and died in 322 BCE A popular but again highly questionable story says he drowned investigating marine life however no one knows exactly what happened Aristotle’s philosophy, logic, science, metaphysics, ethics, politics, and system of deductive reasoning have been important ever since. In the middle ages, the church used Aristotle to explain its doctrines
Aristotle’s Poetics, written at about 335 BCE, is considered to be the first systematic critical theory in the world. For nearly 2,000 years it has inspired the thoughts of writers, philosophers and critics.
Aristotle identifies tragedy as the most refined version of poetry, among the three genres (Tragedy, Epic, and Comedy) Aristotle’s defines many key literary components such as mimesis (imitation), muthos (plot), anagnorisis (discovery), periperteia (reversal), hamartia (misjudgment), and catharsis (purifying or relieving of emotions).
Tragedy... is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper catharsis of these emotions.
Poetics was not widely influential during it's time, but during the Age of Enlightenment, Aristotle's views shaped the concept of tragedy.
Aristotle, Malcolm, and Heath. Poetics. 1st ed. New York: Penguin Group Incorporated, 1997. Aristotle, and W. Rhys Roberts. Poetics and Rhetoric. 1st ed. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2006. Waggoner, Ben. "Aristotle." 09 June 1996. UCMP Berkeley. 8 Sep 2008. "Poetics (Aristotle)." Wikipedia. 2008. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. September 9 2008. "Poetics: 1780 Edition." Online Image. Wikisource. No date. September 9 2008. "Tragedy and Comedy Masks." Online Image. civillibertarian.blogspot.com. 2007. Sep 9 2008.
Aristotle on Plot
Types of Plot Simple Unified construct of necessary and probable actions to change future Complex peripeteia or reversal Anagnorsis or recognition The best way of presenting tragic pleasure
Characteristics of Plot Unity of Action – Necessity and probability Unity of Time – Time by action understood by audience
Aristotle’s Definition of Plot “The change of fortune from good to bad should come about as a result, not of vice, but some great error of frailty in character.”
What is a Hero Aristotle felt that the tragic hero was neither completely good nor completely evil. This hero will also be able to provoke our pity and fear.
Our hero…… This hero also must have hamartia, which means a fatal flaw. The most common hamartia in Greek tragedies was pride.
His Character Consistent: Our hero should repeatedly show the same traits through out the play. Lifelike: He should also appear as humanly as possible so we can relate to him.
More on character Good: The hero would have to demonstrate through his speech and actions that he is morally sound. Appropriate: He would also have to maintain society's ideas on social behaviors (men should be manly and so forth).
Our Hero’s Stature The hero was one of moral fiber that behaved nobly. This did not necessarily mean that the person was a king or queen but someone who behaved as one.
Their Outcome Death: Although Aristotle did not fell that the hero should die (because it would provoke ill feelings in the viewers), some of the tragic heroes died. Lesson: Aristotle felt that the best outcome for the tragic hero would be to come out of the tragedy haven realized their error in judgment and gained a life lesson from it.
Works Cited “Aristotle." Defining Tragedy. VCCS Litonline Introduction to Literature. 06 Sept. 2008. Heath, Malcolm, and Malcolm Heath. Poetics. New York: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 2004. The Internet Classics. 1994-2000. 06 Sept. 2008. "More Terms Defined." EGallery of Tragic Heroes. The Process. 06 Sept. 2008. Tartar, Stacy. "Aristotle's Tragic Hero." West Chester University. Fall 2001. West Chester University. 06 Sept. 2008.
Catharsis – κάθαρσις Medicine - Purgation, especially for the digestive system. A purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, especially pity and fear, described by Aristotle as an effect of tragic drama on its audience. A release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit.
Ancient κάθαρσις - Lustration Ritual cleansing with water Burnt offerings – purification through smoke Purges individuals or whole cities of crimes
Aristotle's Catharsis Briefly touched on in Poetics Stirring up pity and fear, then dispelling them is the function of tragedy Promised a fuller explanation, but was probably lost to history with his book on Comedy.
Jakob Bernays – Uncle of Sigmund Freud Classical interpretation comes from Bernays We build up undesirable emotions which are evoked and released through tragedy. These emotions are inherently negative.
Another Interpretation… Aristotle believed emotions important for decision-making and character (Ethics) Example: Too much fear = cowardly, too little fear = foolhardy Catharsis is not, then, elimination; it is the reduction of these emotions from excess to balance.
Cathartic Relief in Literature “Agamemnon” ends with its namesake, his daughter, and his wife dead in a series of murders by one another. The Shakespeare's couple, Romeo and Juliet, lay dead in the end of their play. In Miller's All My Sons, Joe Keller, the father, commits suicide to relieve the burden he brought on his family.