Elements of Tragedy
The Author: Sophocles
One of three great Greek tragedians
b. 496 BC in Colonus, Greece
Used Greek myth as basis for plays
Authored the Oedipus Trilogy:
Oedipus the King
Oedipus at Colonus
Structure of the Greek Tragedy
Scenes 1 through 5
Choral Odes separate each segment
of the play
All action conveyed through dialogue
Conventions of the Greek Theater
Large, elaborate masks
Dialogue IS the play– images,
metaphor, irony (poetic expressions)
Flowing, decorative robes
Choral commentary between scenes
A series of interrelated conflicts
Resolution includes catharsis
No blood on stage!
Sophocles was noted for…
Increasing Chorus to 15 members
Adding 3rd character to scenes
Developing and popularizing
“I paint men as they ought to be”
What is TRAGEDY?
Aristotle’s definition of tragic character
1. The hero is “raised” and attains
popularity or sympathy of the audience
2. The hero possesses a tragic flaw
3. The hero must recognize the source of
4. The hero must ennoble self by facing the
Tragic Hero “Test”
Raised in status, popular?
Attains sympathy of audience?
responsibility for error?
Face the truth?