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Dating from c 700 BC Religious festivals: Most famously City Dionysia Patterned after Egyptian ceremonies.

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Presentation on theme: "Dating from c 700 BC Religious festivals: Most famously City Dionysia Patterned after Egyptian ceremonies."— Presentation transcript:

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3 Dating from c 700 BC Religious festivals: Most famously City Dionysia Patterned after Egyptian ceremonies in honor of Osiris Processions, sacrifice and tragedy competition Early tragedy in the form of DITHYRAMB: hymns sung and danced by the chorus in honor of the gods 6 days long Winner would get wreath of laurel and their name carved on the theatre wall Origins

4 First actor and inventor of Tragedy – tragic poet who stepped away from the chorus thereby inventing dialog from the dithyrambs. 534 BCE Thespis

5 Aeschylus ( c BCE ) 7 of about 90 plays extant Oldest extant plays Introduction of second actor Oresteia (only extant Greek trilogy) His plays focused on a theme or message. Often one principal against another principal reconciled by an even larger principal Tragic Playwrights

6 Sophocles ( c BCE ) Wrote more than 120 plays but only 7 extant Ajax, Oedipus the King, Electra Won 24 contests, never placed lower than second Introduced third actor Mastery of structure – focused on Plot and storyline Tragic Playwrights

7 Euripides ( c. 480 – 406 BCE ) Wrote about 90 plays, 18 extant Medea, Andromache, The Trojan Women Enormously popular in later periods, but only won two contests at the time Dealt with taboo issues (love for stepson, murder of kids) Questioned the idea of “fate” in tragedy Unclear Dramatic structure Deus ex machina Counterbalanced by realistic characters and dialog; focus on character Tragic Playwrights

8 Burlesque treatment of mythology Rural setting Lewd language and gestures, dancing, colloquial language Performed between tragedies Satyr Plays

9 Comedy (komoidia) was accepted at City Dionysia in BCE. Aristophanes (c 448- c 380) – Old Comedy Lysistrata Eating, drinking, sex, wealth, leisure Political anti-war messages Comedy

10 Role of the Chorus Adds dramatic energy with dances, songs and visual spectacle Establishes ethical and social framework (the voice of the common people) Sets overall mood of the play Slows the action, adds intervals to give audience time to reflect Acts as a character, asking questions, giving advice Greek Chorus

11 Aristotle’s Poetics Somewhere between BCE the philosopher, Aristotle, created drama criticism Poetics was probably notes from a lecture on “poetry” (“making”, includes tragedy, comedy, satyr plays) Described the structure of plays, popular opinion of the playwrights, good and bad acting, elements of drama, etc.

12 Prologue – provides information about what has happened prior to the start of the play Parados – Entrance of the Chorus – introduces chorus, gives exposition, sets mood Episodes separated by Stasima (choral odes) Exodos – conclusion and exit Inciting incident is late in play Death and violence offstage Frequent use of messengers Action is continuous and occurs in single location Tragedy Structure

13 Mythos - plot Should contain reversal, recognition and suffering Should arouse fear and pity Ethos – character Tragic accident should come from a mistake Main character should be good, appropriate and consistent Dianoia - thought Lexus - language Melos – melody Opsis – spectacle Six Parts of Tragedy


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