- Slides: 14
Greek Theatre and Drama The origins in Dionysus n The amphitheatre n Tragedy n The curse of the House of Thebes n
The Greeks worshipped Dionysus (Bacchus) God of the vine, agriculture, and nature, and the patron god of theatre
The man with two faces n n Dionysus is the god of wine and the grape vine Born twice, life is cyclical, like the season of harvest n n n Zeus kills Semele with lightening Zeus takes Dionysus and gives birth out of his thigh The vine is reaped and sowed; Dionysus is chopped down and reborn. Has two personalities: one comic, one tragic. Drama is about the cycles of life and fate of man. n Stories are either comic (marriage) or tragic (death) to pay tribute to the happiness of a growing vineyard and the sadness of an empty one.
Worship n Patron God of the stage n n Original theatre was a Dionysian temple Dramas acted out Dionysus’ cycle With wine and goats on altar Influence n n Outdoor theatre and genres of theatre Mardi Gras and Carnival
The Amphitheatre Outdoor Greek amphitheatre ruins
The Amphitheatre Orkestra, Theatron, Skene, Altar
The Chorus Stood in the center (Orkestra) n Narrators n Represent the common sentiment (mores of the time) n Signal audience (like an “Applause” sign) n Do not participate in action n Lines are lyric n
Tragedies n n n Tragedies act our worst fear: that man is not in control of his own destiny. We are toys of the angry gods, who smite us to teach us humility. Our fate is to suffer and fail. In Oedipus, there was no way for Oedipus to know enough of his situation to avoid making mistakes; therefore, his prophecy comes true. However, tragic figures have flaws. These flaws (usually hubris) do not cause their downfall; but they help us feel that it is justified.
Tragedies n Therefore, tragedies are cathartic: we feel immense fear and pity for tragic figures, so much so that we are relieved of our emotions after we witness tragic plays.
Tragic Heroes/Protagonists Stage 1 n n n Tragic figures have heroic qualities, which make them great. They are respected members of their communities (usually royal), and therefore others sympathize with them, and they have political or social influence. However, this power usually makes them proud. Their tragic flaw is called “hamartia” and is usually pride, called “hubris. ” They are blind to this flaw and do not recognize omens or listen to wise advice (blindness imagery).
Tragic Heroes/Protagonists Stage 2 n n The tragic figures struggle with an often moral conflict, and their ignorance worsens their problem. However, because they are destined to fail, and because, perhaps, their hubris has further angered the gods, their world crumbles around them. Someone usually dies because of their fate: either the tragic figure or someone important to that figure or both. Their fate is irreversible at this point (if it ever wasn’t)
Tragic Heroes/Protagonists Stage 3 n n n At the lowest point of his story, the tragic hero realizes his flaw and the following mistakes. He is no longer “blind. ” This epiphany is called the “anagnorisis, ” a cathartic realization of his fate. However, all he can do is apologize. The damage is done.
The Curse of Antigone and Creon n n n Begins with Ares (God of war) + Aphrodite (Goddess of love) Who bore Harmonia; she married Cadmus They had Semele (who, with Zeus, bore Dionysus) and Polydorus, the great grandparent of Oedipus was fated to marry his mother and kill his father (often considered the original tragic hero) His children with his mother, including Eteocles, Polynices, Ismene, and Antigone, were considered “rotten fruits”/cursed Creon, Oedipus’ uncle, has dealt with the shame
The Curse of Antigone and Creon n n n Oedipus’s father received a prophecy that Oedipus would marry his mother and kill his father. Trying to escape this fate, his father bound his feet and left him for dead. Oedipus was rescued and adopted. When Oedipus heard his fate, he left home, only to find Thebes and unknowingly carry out his fate. Realizing his mistake, he blinded himself as punishment. (Irony: when he finally sees, he blinds himself) Creon and Antigone are left behind to bear his burden