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University of Toronto St. George
Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
Alan Ackerman

10/22/2012 Pseudolus & A funny thing happened on the way to the forum Lysistrata - written during dark times. Civil wars between Sparta and Athens. Lost many youth. Coup. - Giant phalluses- central figure to the play. Dionysian. Wool & Weaving. Civil war seemingly unraveled. - Structure of comedy- think about structure? Why do we care about it? Constrained and enable as well. Frame is just about the structure of painting. - Chorus- prologue- singing verse and dancing. Tragedy- best characterized beginning middle and end. Moment of recognition and reversal. - Share certain experience, give us common viewpoint. Greeks put a lot of emphasis on symmetry and balance and order. Spectator might feel mystified or morally confused. Dramatized story, makes sense of our lives. Reveals the causality of an event. And the motivation of character. There is an universal grounded in grammar. Basic structure. Resonance of the word sentence- Wilde every sentence is a sentence of death. Freedom- and structure. (Ordered Chaos) Why is it important? - Modern works- well made play- structure- neoclassical form- plot powered- exposition, composition, crisis, dénouement, Well made play is a freight train, more concerned to the end than getting into a character. OR Samuel Beckett- nothing happens twice- presents different idea of dramatic action. Structure itself is subject, theme, content of the drama. Meaningful. Can’t separate what the play is about. - 1) What makes Sophocles great is what makes him selects and the order of selection. Condense and powerful economic structure of one single day. Aristotle- selection of details that you put in that you ignore. Model of thinking itself- Aristotle’ poetics. - Structure- skeleton. Bidirectional relationship. Our skeleton is our form. However, there are ways that organs, sensations within our body, gain meaning, happens in certain way because of our structure. Mutually bound together. - Structure of Comedy: episodic. Aristiotle says not good- causation. But comedies move from movement to movement. Spontaneity. Not logical but accident. Accidents- makes things seem funnier. Combine spoken verse. Music and dance- contribute to theatrical effect. No stage directions. Begin with a prologue- exposition where everybody lays out what is happening. Give information through dialogue and towards the audience as well. Agon- fierce contests between two parties. Lysistrata- Agon is between men and women- antagonists. Stichomythia- dialogue in which alternate single lines verbally- verbally parroting- antithesis. Pg149- agon of lysistrata Parabasis- long passage which cuts the play in two about half way through the play, suspends the action. Pg155 Women do have a role- listen to me audience. Divided into two parts. Instability between two choruses. Subverted- know what was expected. Men different action. Komos- rebirth- at the end, central to comedy- sacrifice and feast. - Fight- central conflict- resolution. Agon- central in the play. Variation: we have a divided chorus. Unification of chorus- exemplifies major theme which is reconciliation. No parabasis proper- Chorus not to speak ill because things are already bad enough. Agon- old comedy a really good genre of study of rhetoric. Good debating that happens. Lysistrata- debate of the magistrate- unusual. One character does almost all of the talking, while the others merely ask questions. - Women in Athens- women as the rulers of the state- horrifying. Athenians- amazon- best known local mythology of women trying to take over Athens. Present women’s actions in negative light, but also positive model as well. Lysistrata is a heroic figure- also a woman played by a man. Marriage- taming the wild young woman. Male attitudes toward women- to themselves in relation to women- tension, fear. Women are not part of, not in the male ordered world. Women in power- clearly marked by Greek ideology as abnormal. Times of crisis and in rituals. - Women are claiming to speak useful words and advice on the grounds- city and the men. By doing responsibility by providing rituals and sons. Adonia. Unofficial celebrating the goddess of Aphrodite. Lysistrata- summoned all the women. She summoned by saving Greece- saving sex and seizing the acropolis. More disturbing than the sex strike. Not a festival sanctioned by the men- disordered nature- at the same time- it’s aim is a very praise worthy one, where everyone wants to see- which is potentially good. A number of paradoxes. Army of women- paradoxical to refer to a group of peace keepers as an army of women. Pg151- swear allegiance on a shield. Declaration- make war because of war. War- makes women to declare war- to make peace. Younger women are subverting that marriage is goal of life for women, and the war is goal of life for men. Seized the religious center of the city appearing to be sacrificing- associated by men- Topsy Turvy. Upside down. Basic tension of the play. Komos- drawn together. What do you make of this happy ending? - Greek politics have been deformed- unmanageable. All form one chorus- weaving together- domestic metaphor. Does bring about normality? Not simple. Women bring about peace that they want- ironically they also achieve male control. Two sexuality of politics where all the problems aroused in the same place. Scene of reconciliation. Discussion of her body- earlier admiration- muscular. Symbolism- change of female and male- men admiring reconciliation’s body- divided into geographical of Greece- admirable female. Pg 166 Commissioner- divide the country based on sex. Exposed gap of reality and normality. In no sense is this feminist. Men compare themselves to be the same disruptive dangerous lustful figures- they use to portray women in mythology. Men taken on their feminine positions. Disrupted the household. Men attack the acropolis. Fire- and Athenians own olive woods. Close to those of amazons compared to women. Male lustfulness and desire. Desire for control of the women. Male mythology compared to men. Wish to present the women as a threat to the city, male also do things that are forbidden in the politics. Solve the problem of brief unity in the problem of war. Pg153, 154- Commissioner and Lysistrata- mention of weaving. - Parados- introduction of the Chorus. A moment where the chorus introduces, gets the conflict set up, set up position. - There is a conflict and in some ways- the play gets out of the confliction. No clear parabasis but where moment agon between men and women embodied, resolved. Literally form one chorus
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