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Lecture 6

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Victoria Wohl

Lecture 6 Jan 25th 2011 Lecture 6 - Men, Gods, Beasts Euripides’Cyclops Is it possible to live a life of “nothing in excess”? = question that the Bacchants asks teaches sophrosune by break breakingApollo’s commands In Cyclops explores human identiy by contrasting humans with monsters and non-humans Odysseus -> human with all the ideal characteristic Cyclops’s -> glutinous excess Wine was the most important gift to man from Dionysus Is ambiguous just like the God it came from City Dionysian = Three day festival in honour of Dionysus Civic and religious festival: teach the audience how to be a good man and a good citizen 3 tragedies then 1 satyr drama Have the satyr drama after the 3 tragedies for comic relief so that you could leave the fest- ival in a happy mood Cyclops’by Euripides is the ONLY satyr drama that has survived but there is evidence of other satyr dramas Tetralogy = Satyr drama based on mythological theme just like tragedies BUT was hilarious, obscene and had a happy ending kind of like a comedy. The chorus was always composed of satyrs. Had close ties to Dionysian religion (via satyrs, wine, chorus sings often) Men and young boys dressed up as satyrs (wore a beard, animal ears and a loincloth) and dressed. Women entered a state of frenzy as if they were really bacchants. By dressing up can experience the excess that was being displaced in the play Desire for balance might be created by denying that same balance.... Odysseus is moderate Cyclops and satyrs are excessive Iliad and Odyssey = adventure of Odysseus who is on his way back home from the Trojan war; written by Homer Were very important texts to Greeks -> were taught to teach literature and etc By basing his story on an important story in Greek culture, just like tragedies Euripides connects the satyr drama to tragedies (both are based on well known myths). So audience will know what changes were made and what effects these changes had on the overall play -> more dramatic irony Action of drama = takes place outside BUT in a poem takes place inside the cave Presence of satyr is a big change These changes make Odysseus’decisions less morally ambiguous. By giving Odysseus a legitimate reason for Odysseus to stop at the island make the audience feel bad for him, in no way did he bring his fate on himself Euripides defines Odysseus against the Cyclops and the satyrs thus enabling to define him as hu- man with all the ideal characteristics of the greek man Cyclops = lawless loner brute; consumes too much; very large monster, has one eye. We don’t know how the cyclops looked on play. Satyr= half man half horse, were HYBRID creatures => had human and animal character- istics. Have an unsatisfiable taste for sex and wine Lecture 6 Jan 25th 2011 May be grotesque sex-fiends BUT they are connected with the signs of civilization -> play music (flute or lyre) and are are connected w/ the creation of wine (“grapes are tamed by the creation of wine”).Are a key part of Dionysus’entourage Odysseus = defined as human by comparing his political, religious and social identity vs the other beings. Cyclopes do have milk NOT wine => don’t have the infrastructure to make wine => which is a hallmark of Greek. No system of hospitality (Xenia -> exchange gifts) which is very important in the Homeric world of Odysseus. Instead of giving gifts, Cyclop ate humans (“I will not keep mys
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