The Theater of Ancient Greece
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
•God of wine, winemaking,
and the grape harvest
•God of ecstasy and
•Enjoys worship and
celebration, festivals and
•During the Festival of
Dionysus, three playwrights
compete for glory on stage
oA serious play in which the chief character – tragic
hero – passes through a series of misfortunes
leading to a final, devastating catastrophe
oDownfall usually occurs as a result of fate, gods,
and a tragic flaw
Hamartia = tragic flaw.
The flaw that makes the character seem more
human is also the flaw that contributes to his or her
Anagnorisis = a realization or transformation that
saves the tragic hero from death.
•A change from ignorance to awareness, usually about
the characteres’ fate, destiny, gods’ will, etc.
Antigone by Sophocles
oWritten ≈ 442 B.C.E.
oThird (chronologically) in The Theban Plays:
oOedipus the King
oOedipus at Colonus
oAnti = “against,” gone = “birth” (daughter of incest)
oAlso translated as “unbending”
oTakes place in Thebes, Greece
oChorus represents Theban elders