Greek Tragedy by u9Zdh3


									Aristotle, author of the Poetics

        An Introduction

     Sophocles, author of Oedipus Rex
Dramas held in honor of
Dionysius, god of wine
and fertility
   god believed to
    empower a human
    being to change
    personality or act

                          Theater of Dionysius
                            Athens, Greece
   Tragedy = “goat song”
     young men, or “kids,” that made up the chorus
     Possible sacrifice or prize won by playwright, or dramatist

   Began as a drama contest
     Contestants wrote three dramas and one satyr play and submitted
     Winner’s play was chosen to be performed at the annual religious
      festivals in honor of Dionysius

   Examined big questions of humanity
     Why are we here?
     What is our purpose?
     Are we masters of our own fate or not?
 Aristotle’s Poetics

 Defines:
     Poetry
     Comedy
     Tragedy

   Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex is
    greatest example of
“An imitation of an action that is serious,
complete, and of a certain magnitude; in
language embellished with each kind of artistic
ornament, the several kinds being found in the
separate parts of the play; in the form of
action, not of narrative; through pity and fear
affecting the proper purgation [catharsis] of
these emotions.” (Aristotle 17)
1. Plot
2. Thought
3. Character
4. Diction
5. Song
6. Spectacle
1.   Peripeteia (Recognition)

2.   Anagnorisis (Reversal)

3.   Pathos (Calamity; Suffering)
1.   Unity of Plot

2.   Unity of Place

3.   Unity of Time
Hegel – “collision of mutually exclusive but equally
       legitimate causes” (Brown)

Nietzsche – “the confrontation of Apollo and
            Dionysos, the Greek gods of order,
            restraint, and form on the one hand and
            impulse, instinct, and ecstatic frenzy on
            the other” (Brown)

The idea of characters “struggling within the limitations of
their mortality to find meaning and purpose to human
activity” (Brown)
Some scholars assert that our present-day dependence on
science and atheistic (agnostic at best) tendencies have
weakened our ability to experience tragedy –

1.     Undermined the grandeur of humanity;
2.     Destroyed sense of supernatural and transcendental

Life is too rational – therefore any thought of tragedy in
the classical or Christian sense is unfounded and
superstitious (Brown)
1. Asks ultimate questions

2. Individuals are pushed to the limits, forcing them to
  live or die by their convictions

3. Individuals challenge the rules of life and the
  ordinances of Fate

4. Strength of will sets the hero apart from humanity
  while offering a vision of human potential (Brown)
Aristotle. Poetics and Rhetoric. trans. S.H. Butcher. New York: Barnes and Noble
   Classics, 2005.

Brown, Larry. “Tragedy After Aristotle.” Larry A. Brown: Webpages for Studies
   of Mythology, Religion and Theater. July 2003. 21 July 2008

McCullagh, Declan. Theater of Dionysius. Oct 2006. Declan McCullagh
  Photography. 20 Jul 2008 <

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