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Intro to Tragedy
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Intro to Tragedy

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  • Note the locations of the ekuklema and the mechane
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Greek Tragic Theater
    • 2. Tragedy
      • A literary composition in which a central character suffers some serious misfortune. This misfortune is not accidental, but is a logical result of the character’s actions.
      • Tragedy stresses the vulnerability of human beings whose suffering is brought on by a combination of human and divine actions, but is generally undeserved with regard to its harshness.
    • 3. Aristotle’s “Poetics”
      • Tragedy excites pity and fear
      • Character between two extremes of good and evil is needed
        • Of high renown
        • Misfortune brought about by some error or frailty (“tragic flaw”)
    • 4. Oedipus’ “Family Tree”
    • 5. Theater of Dionysos today (ruins c. 86BCE), Lycurgos
    • 6. Artist’s Rendition of the Theater of Dionysos, 4 th century BCE. Est. capacity: 17,000
    • 7. When and Why
      • C. 5 th century BCE, at festivals throughout the year
      • Main one in Athens: festival in honor of Dionysos
      • Used to demonstrate Athens’ political and military power
        • Presentation of tribute
    • 8. Where
      • Major festival at Athens
      • Other places had festivals
      • Most cities had a place for performances of plays
    • 9. Pompeii
    • 10. Greek Theater, Berkeley, CA
    • 11. Who: Playwright
      • Three playwrights
        • Sophocles (24)
        • Aeschylus (13)
        • Euripides (5)
      • Wrote trilogies of three tragic plays and one satyr play
        • Only surviving trilogy: Oresteia
    • 12. What
      • Stories from the mythology of Greece
        • Agammemnon
        • Ajax
        • Medea
        • Oedipus the King
        • The Bacchae
    • 13. Who: The Actors
      • Actors
        • No more than three actors
          • Protagonist, deuteragonist, tritagonist
        • Male
        • Masks / Costumes
    • 14. Who: The Chorus
      • 12-15 young men
      • Amateurs
      • Recruited, trained, and paid for by a wealthy citizen named as that year’s choregos (producer)
      • Sang and danced
    • 15. Key physical components of the theater
      • Orchestra
      • skene
      • mechane
      • ekkyklema
    • 16.  
    • 17. Five “W”s of Greek Tragedy
      • Who
        • Professional actors (2-3)
        • Amateur chorus (12-15)
        • Playwright
      • What
        • stories from mythology
      • Where
        • Outdoor theaters in Athens and other places
      • When
        • C. 5 th century BCE, at festivals throughout the year
      • Why
        • Both a religious festival and a display of cultural and political power
        • Not “entertainment”, but certainly entertaining

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