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Understanding and Appreciating the Backdrop of ANTIGONE

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1 Understanding and Appreciating the Backdrop of ANTIGONE
Greek Drama Understanding and Appreciating the Backdrop of ANTIGONE

2 Greek Theater Religious Festival Act of Worship Cultural Centrality
Dionysus Cult of drunkenness and sexuality Beginning of Spring Judges vote on best playwright Sophocles was king of plays

3 Greek Theater Greek tragedies and comedies were always performed in outdoor theaters. Early Greek theaters were probably little more than open areas in city centers or next to hillsides where the audience, standing or sitting, could watch and listen to the chorus singing about the exploits of a god or hero

4 Structure of Plays a. Prologue: Spoken by one or two characters before the chorus appears. The prologue usually gives the mythological background necessary for understanding the events of the play. b. Parodos: This is the song sung by the chorus as it first enters the orchestra and dances. c. First Episode: This is the first of many "episodes", when the characters and chorus talk. d. First Stasimon: At the end of each episode, the other characters usually leave the stage and the chorus dances and sings a stasimon, or choral ode. The ode usually reflects on the things said and done in the episodes, and puts it into some kind of larger mythological framework. For the rest of the play, there is alternation between episodes and stasima, until the final scene, called the... e. Exodos: At the end of play, the chorus exits singing a processional song which usually offers words of wisdom related to the actions and outcome of the play.

5 Acting Greek Theater Actors were usually chosen by the poet but later became competetive for auditons. The most essential part of their disguise was the mask. These masks were made ad hoc and they had big holes for the mouth and the eyes. The mask was absolutely necessary as it was necessary in the Dionysian religion. The CHORUS originally had 12 member, but Sophocles added 3 more for 15. The chorus, was considered to be the mouthpiece of society and morality, and they were suffering along with the heroes.


7 Sophocles Won prize at Athenian festival 18 times
Involved in political and military affairs Prolific writer Writer of: - Oedipus the King - Oedipus at Colonus - Antigone

8 Different Types of Plays in Greek Theater
Tragedies: The first type they invented was the tragedy. In tragedies, one or more major characters always suffered a disastrous end.  Comedies: Comedies were invented next. In comedies, plays always had a happy end. The third type was the satire.  Satires: Satires were plays that made fun of mortal legends and of real people. In ancient Greece, you did not poke fun at the gods - not in a play, not in real life, not ever. But you could poke fun at your leaders. And that was uniquely Greek. Satires in ancient Greece were often political in nature, and could indeed affect people's opinions about current events.  

9 Definition of Tragedy The Tragic Hero
The tragic hero is "a [great] man who is neither a paragon of virtue and justice nor undergoes the change to misfortune through any real badness or wickedness but because of some mistake." a) a great man: "one of those who stand in great repute and prosperity: conspicuous men from families of that kind." -neither a villain nor a model of perfection but is basically good and decent. b) "mistake" (hamartia)[This Greek word, which Aristotle uses only once in the Poetics, has also been translated as "flaw" or as "error." The great man falls through--though not entirely because of--some weakness of character, some moral blindness, or error. We should note that the gods also are in some sense responsible for the hero's fall.

10 Definition of Tragedy Plot
The best tragic plot is single and complex, rather than double ("with opposite endings for good and bad"--a characteristic of comedy in which the good are rewarded and the wicked punished). All plots have some pathos (suffering), but a complex plot includes reversal and recognition. a) "reversal" (peripeteia): occurs when a situation seems to developing in one direction, then suddenly "reverses" to another. b) "recognition" (anagnorisis or "knowing again" or "knowing back" or "knowing throughout" : a change from ignorance to awareness of a bond of love or hate. A plot with tragic reversals and recognitions best arouses pity and fear. c) "suffering" (pathos): Also translated as "a calamity," the third element of plot is "a destructive or painful act." The English words "sympathy," "empathy," and "apathy" (literally, absence of suffering) all stem from this Greek word.

11 Definition of Tragedy "purification" (catharsis): tragedy first raises (it does not create) the emotions of pity and fear, then purifies or purges them. Whether Aristotle means to say that this purification takes place only within the action of the play, or whether he thinks that the audience also undergoes a cathartic experience, is still hotly debated. Others say that the play arouses emotions of pity and fear in the spectator and then purifies them (reduces them to beneficent order and proportion) or purges them (expels them from his/her emotional system).

12 Other terms I want you to know
ALLUSION: a reference made to a person, event, or place from a historical, literary, geographical, biblical, mythological source. * The Pearl is a novel by John Steinbeck in which a Mexican Indian couple discovers the Pearl of the world and is consequently corrupted by it. This is also the name of one of the hatches. Jacob means "cheater". This could make Jacob Prometheus, who tried to cheat Zeus, and was constrained by Zeus to a mountain summit. The Bible. The episodes "Exodus" and "The 23rd Psalm" are direct references. Many episodes have other biblical allusions. Of Mice and Men: Book Sawyer is reading in prison flashbacks; Ben quotes from it, in episode 3.04.

13 Other terms I want you to know
Symbol is using an object or action that means something more than its literal meaning. *The practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships. *A system of symbols or representations. *A symbolic meaning or representation. Example: the bird of night (owl is a symbol of death)

14 Literary ALLUSION/ SYMBOL Scavenger Hunt
You will be on the hunt for examples of these terms in commercials, magazine, comic strips, advertisements, newspapers, etc. You must collect 3 examples of allusions And 2 examples of symbols You must provide the example with an explanation of what is being referenced to and WHY (same for symbols) Due: Tuesday, April 16th

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