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Lecture 6

CLA232H1 Lecture 6 - Cyclops .docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Victoria Wohl

Thursday, September 27, 2012 The Baccae, Euripides cont’d  The Bacchant worship can be very unifying and terrifying at the same time  The power of theatre o Makes us experience Dionysiac experience o Memesis – imitation of reality o Greeks were very interested in artistic memesis – greek statues o Imitating the human body o Imitations of reality o “tragedy is a memesis of an action”  What is reality and what is illusion? o Agave thinks she’s this great huntress who has the head of a lion on her spear, when in reality she has her son’s head o Pentheus thinks the women up in the mountains are having orgies, but in reality they’re not o Dionysus is imitating a human being = a man on stage dressed as Dionysus dressed as a man o Pentheus dresses up as a Bacchant to go up and spy/conquer the Bacchants – however right when he puts on the dress, he starts becoming the Bacchant he’s pretending to be. He thinks he’s just going to spy, but he gets so drawn into the show that he becomes a Bacchant, loses his identity, and loses his humanity and becomes an animal  City Dionysia o Also known as “the greater Dionysia” o 3-day festival, every spring o In Athens, in the theatre of Dionysus o 3 tragedies each, followed by a satyr play = 4 in total each day o 9000-15000 citizens = Athenian men  Whether women were present there or not, we don’t know o The festival is a festival of Athens, for Athenians o Instead of just paying your taxes regularly, you can pay your taxes by sponsoring the festival o In the 4 century, tickets were subsidized by the state – if you couldn’t afford a ticket, the state paid for you  Civic festival o Before the actual play, they had many civic events o Awarding of crowns to generals who were victorious that year o Awards to benefactors o Parade of orphans, whose parents had been killed in war and were raised by the city = children of the city o What lessons did this play teach themselves of what it meant to be an Athenian?  Conclusions of the play o Very ambiguous o Presents complex situations in an ambiguous way and forces the individuals to come to their own conclusion o Is this a god we really want to worship? o Tragedy doesn’t teach us what to think, but how to think o We need to reach our own conclusions  Satyr play o Short comedy based on mythic or epic scenes o The heroes tend to be the same heroes but are put in a ludicrous situation, not a tragic situation o Full of vulgar jokes, sex jokes o The satyr – mythic character  Part human, horse tail, goat legs, face of a savage (big nose, bushy eyebrows, bushy ears) o Dionysus, satyrs, and maenads  Dionysus was seen with satyrs o Satyrs are famous for their rowdiness, drinking and partying = worshipping Dionysus o Satyrs appear at the bottom of the wine bowl o Having sex with maenads, and anything/anyone they can get their hands on  Other satyrs, trees, a pot, their own hands, etc o They’re not violent or anything, just their whole life is filled with pleasure o The Chorus in the satyr play were young men, wearing satyr masks, and short shorts with a horse tail at the end and a phallus at the front o The Pronomos Vase o The point of the play 
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