2 Objectives for todayTo introduce/revisit origins of Greek theater with its beginning in religious ritual of Ancient GreeceTo understand Greek theater within the context of its timeTo understand the basic problem of the play and the major characters through an analysis of the Prologos, Parados, and Scene I.To consider the use, contribution, and nature of dramatic irony
3 The Greeks Golden Age of Greek culture – 5th century BCE We owe debt to for development of Western thought and culture.AKA the “Classic Age”genius in drama – our Greek heritage – we study it for itsuniversalityits extension into modern dramatic literature, including ShakespeareWestern culture = northern hemisphere, excluding AsiaBegan in Ancient Greece, esp. AthensAlmost everything we do, watch, appreciate, participate in as a society had its foundation in the Athenian world.
4 Drama Oedipus Rex AKA Oedipus the King and Oedipus Tyrannous The people in the audience knew this legend.So what Sophocles does is not merely retell an old story, but he transforms it from a tale of individual woe into an archetypal chronicle of human frailty, pride, and punishment.Aristotle called it the most perfect tragedy available in his time
5 In media resIn medias res or medias in res (into the middle of things) is a Latin phrase denoting the literary and artistic narrative technique wherein the relation of a story begins either at the midpoint or at the conclusion, rather than at the beginningThis play begins barely one hour before the destruction of Oedipus, before he discovers the truth of his identity.In medias res or medias in res (into the middle of things) is a Latin phrase denoting the literary and artistic narrative technique wherein the relation of a story begins either at the midpoint or at the conclusion, rather than at the beginning (cf. ab ovo, ab initio), establishing setting, character, and conflict via flashback or expository conversations relating the pertinent past. The main advantage of in medias res is to open the story with dramatic action rather than exposition which sets up the characters and situation. Because it is a feature of the style in which a story is structured and is independent of the story's content, it can be employed in any narrative genre, epic poetry, novels, plays, or film.
6 Greek Theater What do you know? Tied to religious ritual Celebrates the Olympian godsGods often appear as characters in the play determining the fate of humankind, reflecting religious beliefs of the dayLegendary heroes and kings often become protagonists in Greek tragedy.Important enough to shut down business and daily activities for wee-long festivals.Citizens (men who were not slaves) were expected to attend, and even to participate in the performances.Sometimes they were in the chorus, considered a civic duty of a citizen.Or, they might be expected to give knowledgeable responses to direct questions from major characters.
7 Believed plays should be instructive as well as entertaining Audience should take have a take-home lessonPlays showed a pro-Athenian political bias
8 The theater Was a temple Housed 15,000 people Acoustically perfectLack of sceneryActors trained in oratory – as long as the audience could hear, they can follow the playLines in the play denote the setting, the passage of time, the characters’ names, sometimes the emotions the actor was feeling, and sometimes the stage movements.
9 Sophocles Notable as he added a third actor. Started with just a chorus that did dances and songs as part of the religious celebrationto honor Dionysus, the god of wine and procreationThespis became the 1st actor – a character who stepped out from the chorus to speak lines, often as a godPlaywright Aeschylus added a second actor.Made each tragedy an entity unto itself, instead of 3 plays to tell one story.Wrote Electra.Oedipus the King is considered a masterpieceMystery, dramatic development, irony & characterizationAristotle considered it the most perfect tragedythe chorsue because reduced to men
10 Actors An actor would play more than one role. Sometimes one role would be played by more than one actor, all depending on logistics.Actors were highly respected, often exempt from military duty.Women couldn’t be actors, and if they were allowed to see the play at all, they had to sit in the nosebleed seats.
11 Masks and mouthsWould clue the audience to what character was being played.Costumes were larger than life and made it easier to see the actors, but they also gave elevated status to the roles.Actors wore platform shoes. Makes the actors quite immobileOratory style is lengthy monologues and stichomythic dialogues, or debates, a rhetorical style of the period.So you should be able to see that the text is one part of the performance and the conditions of the performance influence the text.www2.bc.edu
12 Big g and little g: Write it right From Grammar Girl:Do You Capitalize the Word "God"?One of the most common questions people ask about religious words is whether to capitalize the word “god.” The name of any specific deity is capitalized just like any other name, so when “God” is used to refer to “the one God,” (in other words, in any monotheistic religion) it is capitalized.For example, you’d capitalize “God” in this sentence:Some Christians give thanks to God before every meal.When referring to gods in general, however, or using the word "god" descriptively, keep it lowercase:The Romans believed a god named Jupiter ruled the heavens.The Greek gods were always causing trouble for humans.The same rule holds true for Yahweh, Allah, Zeus, and the names of gods in other religions. They are capitalized.
13 Hamilton’s Mythology Everyone would have known the Oedipus legend Not about how it turns out; IS about how Sophocles plays it outCreates dramatic ironyoccurs when readers know more about a situation or a character than the characters doEffectsuspense, dramaWords or acts of characters carry a meaning unperceived by the character but understood by the audienceUsually, character’s own interests are involved in a way that he/she cannot understandIrony resides in contrast between what character intends and the different significance seen by othersIn tragedy, known as tragic irony – when character uses words that mean one thing to the speaker and another to those better acquainted with the real situation, esp. when the character is about to become a tragic victim of fate.
14 Let’s readP. 194, Prologue – opening scene of exposition; sets time, place, and situation of the drama; creates toneNeed Oedipus, Priest, CreonRead with dramatic gusto!Discuss:What does the priest say to Oedipus?What qualities do we immediately see in Oepidus?What ironies are introduced in the prologue?What news does Creon bring from Delphi?
15 Parados Parade of entry; entrnace ode by chorus Chorus – 12- 15 men A group of actors in Greek tragedy who commented on the action of the play, giving insights into the themes. They represented the voice of public opinion responding to the tragic events unfolding in the drama. Between scenes the chorus sang and danced to musical accompaniment.Choragus – leader of chorus who participates in dialogue with the actors; only member of chorus who does soRead stanza by stanza, popcorn-style, with dramatic gusto!
16 Discuss What is the mood of the chorus upon its entrance? What appeals do they make?
17 Scene 1 New people: Need Oedipus, Choragos, Tiresias With dramatic gusto!Discuss:What initial signs of rashness do we see in Oepidus?What seems to be Tiresias’ philosophical attitude?What ironies arise in the scene?What false conclusion does Oedipus reach as a result of his quarrel with Tiresias? What effect will this conclusion have on him?What role does the Choragos (sometimes called the first senator) play in the quarrel?
18 Assignment for tomorrow Read the Ode I through Scene II, pages answer the questions in pink packet, page 3 for tomorrow. (Ignore the handwritten stuff in parentheses. That was for another edition of text.)Please bring your Oedipus text and pink packet to class EVERY DAY until further notice.Reminder: V3 quiz tomorrow.Extra Credit opportunity: Look online for details.
19 Today Vocab 3 quiz. Objectives: To emphasize the importance of enquiry, rational thinking, and debate in Greek lifeTo understand and experiment with stichomythia, a poetic device originating in classical Greek tragedy
20 Discussion: Ode I, scene ii Answers to pink packet questions.
22 Assignments for Monday: Finish reading the play. Make notes and be prepared to discuss at least 4-5 specific examples of the use of dramatic irony. There may be a reading quiz.A: Stichomythic dialogue: (Study handout page on Stichomythic Dialogue in pick packet)With one other partner (from any class period*) or on your own, create an example of stichomythic dialogue between two people with opposing points of view on any topic (school appropriate please).Consider the characteristics of stichomythia we discussed and mimic those in your dialogue. (Avoid name-calling or personal insults. Instead, create intelligent arguments on both sides of the issue.)Be prepared to perform the dialogue for the class. *Print or make two copies so each performer has one; print four if you choose a student from another class period to work with because singles or those with partners from another class will use a stand-in from your class period to read in place of your writing partner if you are selected to perform.You may speak as yourselves, or you may create characters.Create a minimum of 8 exchanges (each character speaks 8 times).Dialogues must be typed or handwriting must be very legible.Due Monday, No late work accepted; these will be shared in class Monday.Please bring your vocab books Monday.