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Greek Dramas - Feb 4th.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Johnathon Burgess

Greek Drama - CLA160 04/02/2013 12:23:53 PM Greek Drama  Spoken poetry – with choral song and dance o Words are organised with a meter o No narration, story relies on characters o Usually spoke of tragedy o Not just entertainment  Raised, remarked and/or provided insight on issues of the time  Origins: late archaic age – by the Greeks o looks like it started in 6 century, but all was found in the 5 century BC o sponsored by the state o said that choral song came first, then drama  chorus became less important – only comments on the plot o Age of Pisistratus?  He wanted to make sure drama was a public event that the government supported o „Thespis‟?  Legendary figure, first choral member, invented drama o Cult of Dionysus  City Dionysia -- Festival in Athens  held in honour of Dionysus (god of wine)  Could be common in worshipping gods, dancing, sports, singing etc.  Rituals at temple, ritual procession in theatre complex  3 tragedies + 1 satyr play by each of three authors (contests)  5 separate comedies (contests)  Audience 10000-15000  Mix of genders  Note legalistic rhetoric  Line by line debate, opposing speeches  Teach people to be persuasive  based on Greek literature o Homeric epic? [character dialogue]  Homeric sympathy for the other o Coral song? Major Athenian Dramatists - Aeschylus Greek Drama - CLA160 04/02/2013 12:23:53 PM o Prominent early-mid 5 Century o Author of trilogy = Oresteia  Ft. Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Orestes o Features creation of Areopagus homicide court – aristocratic jury  Commenting on contemporary events - Sophocles o Prominent mid-late 5 century o Over 150 plays, 7 survived o Author of ex. Oedipus Rex : Theban king unwittingly, by fate, kills father, marries mother  And Oedipus at Colonus  And the Antigone o A mythological, heroic age story o Set in Thebes – but reflects Athenian contemporary issues o Heated argument b/w her (princess) and her unc
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