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Greek Theater

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GREAT GREEK TRAGEDIANS AESCHYLUS (ca.525-456 B.C.) PowerPoint Presentation SOPHOCLES (ca.495-406 B.C.) EURIPIDES (c 480-406 B.C.) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Greek Theater


1
Greek Theater
2
Roots in Worship of Dionysus
God of wine and revelry
3
Origins
  • Celebration of Dionysus- God of Wine
  • Performed in circular dancing place (orchestra)
  • A chorus of men dressed in goat skins
  • Trageoia goat song
  • A story about Dionysus by leader of the chorus

4
PRODUCTION
  • Orchestra
  • Chorus (from 12-15 people)
  • Actors- always men, masked and in costumes
  • Early plays of Aeschylus- only two actors by
    about 450 B.C., a third had been added
  • The poet composed the music and the dance as
    well as the text, directed the production, and
    trained the chorus some dramatists also played
    the leading roles.

5
Masks of Greek Theater
6
Masks of Greek Theater
7
Masks of Greek Theater
8
The chorus was dominant because there was usually
one actor and that actor had to leave the stage
several times during a show to change
characters. The chorus was to be a
representation of society, they often served as
the ideal spectator by providing advice,
opinions, questions to the audience and
actors. The main actor(s) stood apart in the
performance space because they typically played
heroic figure that would realistically be
separated from normal mortal beings. Their
costumes and masks added spectacle and their
movement and dance heightened the dramatic
effect. Great actors were characterized by their
voice quality and the ability to adopt their
manner of speaking to the character.
9
Functions of Chorus
  • The beauty of poetry and dancing
  • Relieves tension
  • Interprets events for audience
  • Often converses with the actors gives advice
  • Gives background of events

10
Chorus
11
Tragedy A drama of a character, usually one in
high position, where a conflict usuallydevelops
between the protagonist/heroand a superior
force (such as destiny,circumstance, or
society) and the storyends in some sort of
disaster or great fallof the protagonist.
  • Tragedy
  • n A drama of a character, usually one in a
  • high position, where a conflict usually
  • develops between the protagonist/hero
  • and a superior force (such as destiny,
  • circumstance, or society) and the story
  • ends in some sort of disaster or great fall
  • of the protagonist.

12
Hubris and Hamartia
  • On Hamartia A tragic flaw or error that in
  • ancient Greek tragedies leads to the heros
  • reversal of fortune.
  • On Hubris Excessive pride or arrogance.
  • Often leads to the downfall of the major
  • character in Greek tragedy.

13
Thespis of Athens
  • Ca. 535 B.C.E.
  • Father of Drama
  • Created the first actor
  • Hypokrites

14
Moving on
  • New myths are used, not just Dionysus
  • Aeschylus introduced second actor
  • Dialogue
  • Sophocles introduced third actor
  • Dramatic action

15
GREAT GREEK TRAGEDIANS
  • AESCHYLUS (ca.525-456 B.C.)
  • SOPHOCLES (ca.495-406 B.C.)
  • EURIPIDES (c 480-406 B.C.)

16
AESCHYLUS (ca.525-456 B.C.)
  • The "Father of Tragedy"
  • Addition of a second actor
  • Made much use of imagery
  • His tragedy deals Fates and the justice of the
    gods
  • His plays reflect the contemporary belief that
    the gods, jealous and resentful of human
    greatness, typically inflict great persons with a
    character flaw that brings their ruin

17
Sophocles
18
SOPHOCLES (ca.495-406 B.C.)
  • Won the competition at the Great Dionysia more
    often than any other of the great dramatists
  • He increased the potential for dramatic conflict
    by adding a third actor
  • wrote dramas which were complete in themselves,
    rather than always part of a trilogy
  • Sophoclean drama deals primarily with strong
    characters

19
EURIPIDES (c 480-406 B.C.)
  • Wrote prolifically- some 90 plays, of which 19
    survived
  • He won the prize for the best play only four
    times (but then the Academy Awards usually get it
    wrong too).
  • He wrote of less heroic, more realistic
    characters

20
EURIPIDES Cont.
  • One device he uses (and it is often seen as a
    weakness in his plays) is the deus ex machina, a
    god, not involved earlier in the action, who
    descends in a stage machine to straighten out the
    mess humans have got themselves into.

21
Structure of Tragedy
  • Prologue-First Act
  • Parados- Entrance of the Chorus
  • Episodes- Acts
  • Stasima-Choral Odes
  • Exedus- Action after last stasimon

22
Typical Greek Theatre
  • Theatron- where the audience sits
  • Open air
  • Hillside
  • Seating capacity of the Theatron of Dionysus of
    Athens?
  • About 17,000

23
Dionysus Theater in Athens
24
Dionysus Theater in Athens
25
  • Orchestra-dancing place of the chorus
  • Skene- dressing room for actors
  • Proscenium- the façade of the skene where scenery
    was-
  • No curtains
  • Dues et Machina- technical device- crane atop the
    skene with a dummy hung representing gods.

26
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27
Deus ex Machina- God From the Machine
The Machina- a crane that was used to represent
characters who were flying or lifted off of the
earth.
Tunnel from behind the Skene to the center of
the stage. Scenic wagons revealed through doors
on the Skene. Pinakes painted panels that could
be attached to the skene.
28
Differences Drama, Then and Now
  • Greek drama(GD) is a religious
  • GD get its subjects from mythology
  • GD outlines the plot in advance, little suspence
  • GD main intrest is relgioun and ethical
    instruction
  • All Short plays 17,000 longest to 900 shortest

29
Rated G
  • No violent action
  • Scenes of horror happen off stage
  • Reported to the audience

30
Unity
  • Unity of action- no subplots
  • Unity of place-no change of scenery
  • Unity of time- max of one day
  • No intermissions
  • Twice a year in the day

31
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32
Staging an ancient Greek play
  • Plays were funded by the polis
  • Plays presented in competition with other plays
  • Tragedies almost exclusively dealt with stories
    from the mythic past
  • Comedies almost exclusively dealt with
    contemporary figures and problems.
  • The great tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and
    Euripides were performed annually at the spring
    festival of Dionysus, god of wine, and
    inspiration.

33
Theater at Epidaurus
34
Theater at Epidaurus
35
Dionysus Theater in Athens
36
Chorus
37
Aristotles Poetics
38
1. Central Character is of the Elite Class
Usually noble or Royal
39
2. Central Character suffers a Downfall
40
3. Central Character is Neither Wholly good nor
wholly evil
41
4. Downfall is the result of a Fatal Flaw or
error (Hamartia)
42
5. Misfortunes involve characters who are related
or who are friends closely connected
43
6. Tragic actions take place offstage
44
7. Central Character has a moment of recognition
45
8. Audience experiences pity and fear
46
Pity and Fear leads to a catharsis According to
Aristotle, this is one of the most important
purposes of Drama
47
Oedipus and Sphinx
48
Oedipus and Sphinx
49
Oedipus and Sphinx
50
Audience at Theater of Delphi
51
TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA
  • 7th Century BC
  • c. 625         Arion at Corinth produces named
    dithyrambic choruses
  • 6th Century BC
  •  600-570      Cleisthenes, tyrant of Sicyon,
    transfers "tragic choruses" to Dionysus
  •   540-527      Pisistratus, tyrant of Athens,
    founds the festival of the Greater Dionysia

52
TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA
  • 536-533      Thespis puts on tragedy at festival
    of the Greater Dionysia in Athens
  • 525         Aeschylus was born
  •  511-508      Phrynichus' first victory in
    tragedy
  • c. 500         Pratinus of Phlius introduces the
    satyr play to Athens

53
TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA
  • 5th Century BC
  •   499-496 Aeschylus' first dramatic competition
  • c. 496      Sophocles was born
  • 492         Phrynicus' Capture of Miletus
    (Miletus was captured by the Persians in 494)
  •  485         Euripides was born
  •  484         Aeschylus' first dramatic victory
  •  472         Aeschylus' Persians
  •   467        Aeschylus' Seven Against Thebes
  • 468         Aeschylus defeated by Sophocles in
    dramatic competition

54
TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA
  • 463?        Aeschylus' Suppliant Women
  •   458         Aeschylus' Oresteia (Agamemnon,
    Libation Bearers, Eumenides)
  •   456         Aeschylus dies
  • c. 450         Aristophanes was born
  •   447         Parthenon begun in Athens
  • c. 445         Sophocles' Ajax
  •   441         Sophocles' Antigone
  •   438         Euripides' Alcestis
  •   431-404      Peloponnesian War (Athens and
    allies vs. Sparta and allies)

55
TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA
  • 431         Euripides' Medea
  • c. 429         Sophocles' Oedipus the King
  •   428         Euripides' Hippolytus
  •   423         Aristophanes' Clouds
  •   415         Euripides' Trojan Women
  •   406         Euripides dies Sophocles dies
  •   405         Euripides' Bacchae
  • 404         Athens loses Peloponnesian War to
    Sparta

56
TIMELINE OF GREEK DRAMA
  • 401 Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus
  • 4th Century BC
  •   399          Trial and death of Socrates
  • c. 380's        Plato's Republic includes
    critique of Greek tragedy and comedy
  • c. 330's        Aristotle's Poetics includes
    defense of Greek tragedy and comedy

57
Delphi
58
  • Indeed, some say that dramas are so called,
    because their authors represent the characters as
    "doing" them (drôntes). And it is on this basis
    that the Dorians the Spartans, etc. lay claim
    to the invention of both tragedy and comedy. For
    comedy is claimed by the Megarians here in
    Greece, who say it began among them at the time
    when they became a democracy c. 580 BC, and by
    the Megarians of Sicily on the grounds that the
    poet Epicharmas came from there and was much
    earlier than Chionides and Magnes while tragedy
    is claimed by certain Dorians of the Peloponnese.
    They offer the words as evidence, noting that
    outlying villages, called dêmoi by the Athenians,
    are called kômai by them, and alleging that
    kômôdoi (comedians) acquired their name, not from
    kômazein (to revel), but from the fact that,
    being expelled in disgrace from the city, they
    wandered from village to village. The Dorians
    further point out that their word for "to do" is
    drân, whereas the Athenians use prattein.
    (Aristotle Poetics Chapter 3)

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