Festival for DionysusHonoring the God of WineBegins when the leaves appear on the grapevines;SpringOne of the most important events of the year.Its focus became the theater.Writers, actors and spectators, were regarded as sacred servantsof Dionysus during the festival.
The ancient Greek theaterThree major parts:Orchestra,Altar,Skene,Parados,Koilon.
This is where it all began: the Theater of Dionysus in Athens.Sixth century B.C.E. when Thespis first added a speaking actor tothe chorus’ performances of choral song and dance.
Festival’s Famous CompetitionWriters submitted their performances to be judged for prestigious awards. Actors wore bright robes and masks whose colors were symbolic. The all male actors performed outdoors, in daylight to an... Educated audience of 10,000 or more who identified the fixed expressions on each mask. The actors height increased with thick soled boots and wiglike protrusions on top of the masks.
Based on the fixed expressions relate the mask to a character in literature.
Aeschylus (c.525-456 B.C.E.) •Father of Greek Tragedy Oresteia Trilogy Concentrated on a single passion Plays reveal Greek traditions of greatness. Introduced a second actor on stage Wrote ninety tragediesCLYTEMNESTRA SLAYING HER HUSBANDAn original painting by A. Russell
Sophocles 496-406 B.C. •Understood the cultural spirit of Athens •Oedipus cycle •Wrote 125 plays over 60 years • lived to be in his 90’s•Characters were more human and alive•Characters maintain sense of balance and restraint •Music and dance still played a vital role. •Increased the chorus from 12 to 15•Used grand and majestic language in his odes. •Inspired by the gods •Overwhelmed the spectators with terror and compassion•Combines the struggles of humanity with the irresistible march of fate •Added a third actor•Added, carefully arranged and painted scenery
Aristophanes 456 -380 B.C.E.?•Known for his lyrical melodies•Plato enjoyed his humor•Clouds-ironically demeaning themost moral person in pre-Christian life•Greek comedy, adopting thedisguise of buffoonery to attacksome prevailing form of cant andhypocrisy•Four of his plays are passionateand eloquent pleas for peace•Lysistrata
Euripides 480-406 B.C. •Wrote 92 plays •Lived alone with his books in a cave.•He was a pacifist, a free thinker, and a humanitarian The Bacchae, he explores the psyche of men attempting to deny a natural life-force such as sexuality or emotional release The Medea, he takes a penetrating look at a woman who has lost the interest of her middle-aged husband..Hecuba documents the cruelty of Greek warriorswho enslave the Trojan queen and sacrifice herdaughter at the tomb of Achilles. •Didn’t cater to intolerant and violent Athenians •Introduced the common man to the stage •Exiled from Athens to Macedonia
Delphi Sphinx •Solve the Riddle: •What animal walks on:•Four legs in the morning •Two legs in the afternoon •And three legs at night?
•Student of Plato•Founded the school of Lyceum •Tutor of Alexander the Great•Built the first great library of antiquity
•Raphael’s School of Athens hangs in The Vatican
•Now on to Aristotle’s View of Tragedy from his Poetics•Comedy shows man to be worse than what he is in real life •Tragedy represents man as better than he is in actual life He believed that Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides accomplished this ideal in their plays. Tragic dramatists throughout Western Civilization followed his ideals of a tragedy. •Tragedy: initiation of an action that is serious, complete and of a certain magnitude. •Arouses pity and fear in the audience •Its goal is for the tragic hero to reach a catharsis of emotions •Most important part is PLOT or ACTION•Each drama must have a reversal of fortune: Good to bad; prosperity to adversity to failure;ignorance to knowledge. •Character must be: heroic; true to life; prosperous; consistent in action; morally good •Character must have Hamartia and Hubris •Tragedy provides an outlet for undesirable emotions •Aristotle’s theories must not be taken too literally
And finally on to….Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex What is his tragic flaw?