Aeschylus and  The   Oresteia
Background <ul><li>Born in 525 or 524 B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>Died in 456 B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>Considered the Second Fath...
Background  <ul><li>Plays were mostly written for festivals </li></ul><ul><li>Won 13 times for 52 plays </li></ul><ul><li>...
Aeschylus’ Impact <ul><li>Important to drama for his innovations </li></ul><ul><li>1.  Introduction of second actor </li><...
Aeschylus’ Impact <ul><li>6.  Increased use of dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>7.  Elaborate staging </li></ul><ul><li>8.  Play...
The Greek Theater <ul><li>Greek Drama </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience must visualize the scene through </li></ul></ul><ul><...
Greek Theater <ul><li>Greek drama evolved from religious festivals paying homage to Dionysus, the god of wine and fertilit...
The Greek Theater <ul><li>Two or three male actors played all parts </li></ul><ul><li>Gods were used in Greek theater </li...
The Chorus  <ul><li>Role of the Chorus? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To give background information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To...
The Chorus <ul><li>Who comprised the chorus? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Male volunteers drawn from the public </li></ul></ul><u...
Stylistic Characteristics of Greek Drama <ul><li>1. Emphasis is placed on words </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal, impassioned ...
Stylistic Characteristics of Greek Drama <ul><li>2. Plays were divided into 5 main parts </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1.   Pr...
Stylistic Characteristics of Greek Drama <ul><ul><ul><li>4.  Stasimon  (Choral Ode) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><l...
Stylistic Characteristics of Greek Drama <ul><li>3.  Irony contributes to the final impact of  the tragic experience </li>...
Stylistic Characteristics of Greek Drama <ul><li>4. Audience is reminded of their own  vulnerabilities </li></ul><ul><li>5...
Greek Tragedy <ul><li>1.  Focuses on a courageous individual who confronts powerful  forces </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forc...
Greek Tragedy <ul><li>Greeks drew from tragedy  NOT   that life is not worth living... </li></ul><ul><li>BUT </li></ul><ul...
Tragic Hero <ul><li>1. Human </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not a god </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What makes him human ...
Tragic Hero <ul><li>3.  Has a Tragic Flaw </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Both internal & external forces can lead to downfall <...
Tragic Hero <ul><li>4. Faces conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does not cringe or flee  </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><...
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Aeschylus

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Aeschylus

  1. 1. Aeschylus and The Oresteia
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>Born in 525 or 524 B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>Died in 456 B.C. </li></ul><ul><li>Considered the Second Father of Theater </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote 90 plays – 7 survive </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background <ul><li>Plays were mostly written for festivals </li></ul><ul><li>Won 13 times for 52 plays </li></ul><ul><li>Typical to produce 4 plays </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trilogy of Tragedies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One Satyr Drama </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comic Relief </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Satyrs are followers of Dionysus </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Half man/Half goat </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wild creatures constantly engaged in mischief </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Aeschylus’ Impact <ul><li>Important to drama for his innovations </li></ul><ul><li>1. Introduction of second actor </li></ul><ul><li>2. Made dialogue independent of Chorus </li></ul><ul><li>3. Created suspense by letting one </li></ul><ul><li>character remain silent </li></ul><ul><li>4. Reduced Chorus size from 50 to 12 </li></ul><ul><li>5. Made use of special effects </li></ul>
  5. 5. Aeschylus’ Impact <ul><li>6. Increased use of dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>7. Elaborate staging </li></ul><ul><li>8. Plays become moral and theological problems </li></ul><ul><li>As a result, his works become the standard by which all later tragedies are judged </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Greek Theater <ul><li>Greek Drama </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience must visualize the scene through </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dialogue </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Plot/Action </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Character Development </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Greek Theater <ul><li>Greek drama evolved from religious festivals paying homage to Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility, to performing stories of mortal culture heroes </li></ul><ul><li>Greeks viewed drama as important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Funded by the state </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Celebrated Greek civilization </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. The Greek Theater <ul><li>Two or three male actors played all parts </li></ul><ul><li>Gods were used in Greek theater </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Purpose? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To set matters right among mortals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To rescue characters from complications beyond their abilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gods were lowered from roof of skene by mechanical devices </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Known as deus ex machina (god out of a machine) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Chorus <ul><li>Role of the Chorus? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To give background information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To assess a character’s strengths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To chide a character’s weaknesses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To give advice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To be an observer of the action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Could also be a participant </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To help change the scene or mood </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The Chorus <ul><li>Who comprised the chorus? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Male volunteers drawn from the public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rehearsals lasted for approximately 1 year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What did they wear? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Masks with a mouthpiece to amplify voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Padded costumes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elevated shoes </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Stylistic Characteristics of Greek Drama <ul><li>1. Emphasis is placed on words </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal, impassioned speeches rather than physical action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience ponders actions and events rather than seeing them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greek audiences were trained to listen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rhetoric was a large part of their education </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nucleus of play is a formal debate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Builds powerful argument for one side, then the other side – Audience reaches a decision </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Stylistic Characteristics of Greek Drama <ul><li>2. Plays were divided into 5 main parts </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1. Prologue (prologos) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Opening Speech, established the main line of the story </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2. Parados </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Formal entrance of the Chorus </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chorus gives perspective on what audience has learned in the prologue </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3. Episodia (episodes) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Characters engage in dialogues </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Often heated debates over conflicts in the play </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Stylistic Characteristics of Greek Drama <ul><ul><ul><li>4. Stasimon (Choral Ode) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Follows each episode </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chorus responds to and interprets preceding dialogue </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chanted or sung as chorus moves rhythmically </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strophes and Antistrophes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>5. Exodus </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Last scene </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Follows final episode and stasimon </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Resolution </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Characters leave stage </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Stylistic Characteristics of Greek Drama <ul><li>3. Irony contributes to the final impact of the tragic experience </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dramatic Irony </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Character’s actions and words are understood by the audience, but not by himself </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tragic Irony </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Involves twists & turns of fate </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The harder the hero tries to avoid catastrophe, the faster it hits </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Stylistic Characteristics of Greek Drama <ul><li>4. Audience is reminded of their own vulnerabilities </li></ul><ul><li>5. Audience goes through a “cleansing” by end of play </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Realizes how great human beings have become </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Greek Tragedy <ul><li>1. Focuses on a courageous individual who confronts powerful forces </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forces can be either internal and/or external </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Faces forces with dignity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Assertion of the fundamental greatness of mankind </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shows heights human being can reach </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shows the depth of the human spirit in the face of failure, defeat, or even death </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>3. Not sad or depressing </li></ul>
  17. 17. Greek Tragedy <ul><li>Greeks drew from tragedy NOT that life is not worth living... </li></ul><ul><li>BUT </li></ul><ul><li>…that because life is worth living, the obstacles are worth overcoming. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Tragic Hero <ul><li>1. Human </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not a god </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What makes him human is that he suffers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Makes his fall more terrifying </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Of Noble Stature </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Originally nobility </li></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Tragic Hero <ul><li>3. Has a Tragic Flaw </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Both internal & external forces can lead to downfall </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>May involve Hubris </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usually involves Hamartia </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Error, mistake, or moral defect </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Wrong Act” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>* Circumstances outside of personality and beyond one’s control </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Misunderstood Acts” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>* Acts that overtake & thwart the hero’s </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li> intentions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>* Thus, virtue can lead to destruction </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Tragic Hero <ul><li>4. Faces conflict </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does not cringe or flee </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does not accept fate meekly </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Objects with vehemence, logic, defiance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Recognizes who/what he is at the end </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recognizes what is happening </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Moment change occurs ( peripeteia ) leads to recognition </li></ul></ul></ul>

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