8 All of the actors were men and wore stylized masks with built-in megaphones, long robes, and platform boots.
9 The chorus was a group of actors that spoke, sang and danced in unison. The Choragus, the leader of the chorus, sometimes interacted with the characters in the play (watch for this in Antigone).
10 Parts of Ancient Greek Drama Prologue: Beginning of the play, before the action occurs.Parodos: Song that marks the entry of the chorus.Scene: Presents the action of the play.Ode: Song chanted by the chorus, often a commentary on the preceding scene.Paean: Hymn appealing to the gods, sung by the chorusExodos: Last episode in the play, followed by a final speech addressed directly to the audience by the Choragos.
11 Plays were performed in March during religious ceremonies held in honor of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and revelry.Business would shut down for days, and people would travel from all around to see the drama competitions - even prisoners were temporarily released to see the plays.
13 Types of PlaysFrom the Greek for “ode” – song – comedy finds humor in human foibles and ends happily.
14 Tragedy comes from the Greek “tragos” - goat (tragic performers wore goat skins). A deeply serious play with an unhappy ending showing the downfall of a once-great figure.The hero has a tragic flaw – something in his/her personality that leads to a series of disastrous choices.Intended to provide catharsis forthe audience – to allow spectatorsto experience powerful negativeemotions vicariously and thenrelease them.
15 Sophocles’ AntigoneTo understand Antigone, you have to know about her family – and that story starts with her grandparents and her father, Oedipus.Oedupus’ parents are Laios and Jocasta, king and queen of the ancient Greek city-state of Thebes. Worried about being childless, they consult an oracle.The oracle prophecies that they will have a son, but that he will kill his father and marry his mother!Sure enough, Jocasta soon gives birth to Oedipus.Terrified by the prophesy, his parents give the infant Oedipus to a servant to be left on a hillside to die.
17 The tender-hearted servant can’t bring himself to leave the boy to die, and gives him to a lowly shepherd and his wife to raise.When Oedipus grows up, he learns of the prophesy. Believing the couple who adopted him are his natural parents, he leaves home, thinking he will avoid the fate foretold by the oracle (NOT!).On the road, Oedipus kills an old man in an argument over a chariot fender-bender. Unbeknownst to him, he is on the outskirts of Thebes, and the old man was his father.
18 Continuing on to Thebes, Oedipus defeats the Sphinx, a monster terrorizing the city, in a battle of wits.The people reward him by making him king and giving him Jocasta as his queen.Oedipus and Jocasta rule happily for many years and have two daughters, Antigone and Ismene, and two sons, Eteokles and Polyneices (eeeuuwww).
19 When a plague curses Thebes, Oedipus consults the oracle. The oracle’s advice?Find and punish the killerof King Laios.Oedipus resists the truth, but must finally confront the knowledge that the prophecy has been fulfilled; he has killed his father and married his mother.
20 When the truth comes out – that Oedupus could not escape the oracle and has killed his father and married his mother – Jocasta commits suicide. Oedipus blinds himself and wanders into exile, alone, leaving his beloved daughters in the care of Creon, Jocasta’s bother.
21 Oedipus’ sons Eteokles and Polyneces are supposed to rule the city in alternate years, but Eteokles won’t give up the throne at the end of his year.Polyneces raises an army to enforce what he sees as his right, and Thebes is plunged into war.Eteokles and Polyneces kill each other in battle, and their uncle, Creon (who sided with Polyneces) becomes King of Thebes.
22 Creon gives Eteokles a hero’s burial - and issues a decree against burying Polyneces. Violation of the decree is punishable by death.