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Sophocles’ antigone. Sophocles Sophocles: born in Athens Greece in 497 BCE and was the best- known of the ancient playwrights. Plays focused on humans.

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Presentation on theme: "Sophocles’ antigone. Sophocles Sophocles: born in Athens Greece in 497 BCE and was the best- known of the ancient playwrights. Plays focused on humans."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sophocles’ antigone

2 Sophocles Sophocles: born in Athens Greece in 497 BCE and was the best- known of the ancient playwrights. Plays focused on humans under the influence of the gods Stories taught moral and social lessons

3 The Role of Government Athenian Government: “Exclusionary democracy,” run by elected officials in the form of an open assembly. Only about 10% of the population was eligible to participate. Women, slaves, and other “non-citizens” were excluded. Inspiration: Although he was a member of the ruling class, Sophocles was aware of the social inequalities in Athenian society. His plays include repeated attempts to warn his fellow Greeks of the divine retribution that would come to them as a result of their prejudices and injustice to the poor.

4 Role of Religion The gods, while immortal and powerful, were not all- powerful. They were themselves subject to fate and to each other’s will. They were also subject to – and bound to enforce – a body of laws. The entire conflict in Antigone stems from the “unnatural” occurrence of two brothers waging war against one another and killing one another. This conflict is further compound by another blood relation’s - their Uncle Creon’s – refusal to grant one proper funeral rites. Antigone’s point against Creon is that his prohibition of a funeral for Polynices is a human law, and that she must obey the older, stronger law, which is the law of the gods.

5 Tragedy A form of art based on human suffering that causes pity and fear within the spectators. This results in a catharsis (emotional cleansing) or healing for the audience through their experience of these emotions in response to the suffering of the characters in the drama

6 Elements of Tragedy Tragic Hero: the main character in a tragedy. The modern use of the term usually involves the notion that such a hero makes an error in his or her actions that leads to his or her downfall or flaw. –The hero discovers that his downfall is the inevitable result of his own actions, not by things happening to him –A tragic hero is often of noble birth, or rises to noble standing –The suffering of the hero is meaningful, because although it is a result of the hero's own actions, it is not totally deserved and may be cruelly disproportionate.

7 Elements of Tragedy Tragic Flaw: –An imbedded flaw in the hero’s character that leads to tragic consequences –Examples of tragic flaw: Hubris (excessive pride) Stubbornness Lack of knowledge Hamartia: –A tragic error committed by the hero (often caused by their tragic flaw) that leads to the hero’s downfall –It is the starting point of a causally connected train of events ending in disaster. –Often, the hero believes he is choosing to do good, but in doing so, chooses something that will lead to unhappiness

8 Ancient Greek Theatre Originated as part of a festival to the god Dionysus Evolved from single performers reciting poems into three actors + a chorus Formed the basis for modern drama

9 Ancient Greek Theatre Theatre sessions were a competition where, at the end of ten days, a winner would be announced Known playwrights: –Thespis: One character stepped forward from the chorus to narrate or tell the story –Aeschylus: Added a second character and dialog –Sophocles: Used three characters and created more realistic dramatic scenes –Euripides: Created psychologically complex characters

10 Ancient Greek Theatre Each play would be performed by, at most, three actors Actors wore masks to identify them with the personage they portrayed; as well as to help project their voices Actors were accompanied by a chorus.

11 Elements of Greek Theater Chorus: a group of 12 or 15 minor actors. Their purpose is to: –Set the tone –Give background information –Recall events of the past –Interpret and summarize events –Ask questions –Offer opinions –Give advice, if asked –Stay objective, in the sense that it did not disagree with the leading character –Act like a jury of elders or wise men who listened to the evidence in the play and reached a moralistic conclusion at the end.

12 Elements of greek tragedy: mask Persona One of the iconic conventions of classical Greek theatre All twelve members of the chorus wear the same mask because they are considered to be representing one character Classical masks were able to bring the characters' face closer to the audience, especially since they had intensely over- exaggerated facial features and expressions Enabled an actor to appear and reappear in several different roles, thus preventing the audience from identifying the actor to one specific character

13 Characteristics of the Buildings Built on a large scale to accommodate large audiences (up to 14,000 people) Mathematics played a large role in the construction of these theatres - acoustics had to be such that actors' voices could be heard throughout the theatre, including the very top row of seats


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