GREEK THEATER : GREEK THEATER Background Information for “Antigone” PURPOSE OF GREEK DRAMA : PURPOSE OF GREEK DRAMA Dramas presented by the state at annual religious festivals.
Plays were supposed to be presented for the purpose of ethical and moral improvement of the spectators and to ensure the spiritual survival of the community.
Winners of prizes were selected by ten citizens chosen by lots for the duty. MECHANICS OF GREEK DRAMA : Actors were all male. They wore masks.
Scenes of the drama were always outdoors; indoor actions were reported by messengers.
There was no violence on stage
There was “unity” in plot -- no subplots or irrelevancies.
The action always took place in one day.
There were no curtains or intermissions. MECHANICS OF GREEK DRAMA CHORUS IN GREEK DRAMA : CHORUS IN GREEK DRAMA The function of the chorus was to :
set the mood of the drama
relieve the tension
generalize meaning of the action
converse with and give advice to the actors
give background information
emphasize the beauty of poetry and dancing
leader acted as spokesman for the group SUBJECT OF PLAYS : SUBJECT OF PLAYS The subject was almost exclusively taken from well-known myths.
The plays explored the mysteries of life and the role of the gods in human affairs.
The main purpose was ethical and religious instruction. STYLE IN PLAYS : STYLE IN PLAYS There are long, wordy speeches (sometimes about current events or contemporary people). MESSAGE FROM TRAGEDIES : MESSAGE FROM TRAGEDIES Out of great tragedy comes wisdom. CONCEPT OF TRAGIC HERO AND TRAGEDY (from Aristotle) : CONCEPT OF TRAGIC HERO AND TRAGEDY (from Aristotle) Tragedy arouses the emotions of pity, fear, wonder and awe.
A tragic hero must be a man or woman capable of great suffering.
Tragedy explores the question of the ways of God to man.
Tragedy purifies the emotions (catharsis)
Tragedy shows how man is brought to disaster by a single flaw in his own character. Antigone and Greek Theatre Terms : Antigone and Greek Theatre Terms exodus --
thymele -- prologue –
choral ode -- strophe --
unities -- Antigone and Greek Theatre Terms : Antigone and Greek Theatre Terms exodus -- final action of the play
Dionysus -- God of drama
skene -- wooden building with three doors through which actors made their entrances and exits
theatron or orchestra -- dancing place of the chorus
parados -- chorus marching in from the left or right
thymele -- altar to Dionysus on which sacrifices were made, and which was sometimes used as a stage prop Slide 11: prologue -- opening scene (introduction)
episode -- act or scene
stasimon -- choral ode (end of each episode)
chorus -- clarifies experiences and feelings of the characters and expresses conventional attitude toward development in the story; also sets the mood
proscenium -- level area in front of the skene on which most of the plays action took place
choral ode -- lyric sung by the chorus which develops the importance of the action Slide 12: strophe -- a turning, right to left, by chorus
antistrophe -- a turning, left to right, by chorus
choragas -- leader of the chorus
epode -- the part of a lyric ode following the strophe and antistrophe
hubris -- Greek word for excessive pride or arrogance Slide 13: humartia -- Greek word for error in judgment, especially resulting from a defect in the character of a tragic hero; the tragic flaw
sphinx -- a female monster, usually represented as having the head and breast of a woman, the body of a lion, and the wings of an eagle
unities -- time, place, action; a play should have no subplot, should not cover more than 24 hours and should not have more than one locale Conclusion : Conclusion Thank You
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