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Aristotle Aristotle was aphilosopher and critic;wrote nearly 100years after the goldenage of Greek theatre The Poetics, dramaticcriticism written in 335BCE, were a series ofnotes that we still usetoday to define theatre
The Three Unities The most famous of the Aristotelianrules were those relating to the unities: Time - the supposed action of the play islimited in the duration to, roughly, that of asingle day Place – limits to location to one generallocality Action - limits the plot to a single set ofincidents which are related as cause andeffect
On the Unity of Place: Perhaps tacitly he assumed that theobservance of the unity of place wouldbe the practice of good playwrights,since the chorus was present during thewhole performance, and it would indeedbe awkward always to devise an excusefor moving fifteen persons about fromplace to place.Martha Fletcher Bellinger, A Short History of theDrama
The Six Elements of Drama Plot: the arrangement of dramaticincidents Characters: the people represented inthe play Thought or theme: the ideas explored Language: the dialogue and poetry Music Spectacle: scenery and other visualelements
Oedipus – the Ultimate GreekTragedy Aristotle felt thatSophocle’s playOedipus was the bestexample of tragedybecause of: the excellentmanagement of plot andchorus the beauty of thelanguage the irony of thesituations the general nobility ofconception
Satyr Plays Comical play involving a chorus ofsatyrs (mythological creatures who werehalf goat, half man) Parodied the myths presented in dramas Posed fun at honored Greekinstitutions, such as religion and heroes Often included vulgarity
Old Comedy Do not follow the rulesof climactic drama Comedies make fun ofsociety, politics orculture Frequently, thecharacters ofcomedies wererecognizablecontemporarypersonalities
Aristophanes The only OldComedies that survivetoday are byAristophanes Used fantastical andimprobable plots tounderline its satire Employs a chorus withtwo unique elements: Agon: a scene with adebate between twoopposing forces Parabasis: wherechorus speaks directlyto audienceLysistrata
PlaywrightsAeschylus The Father of Tragedy Introduced theSecond Actor Wrote over ninetyplays, only sevenhave survived Most famous playsinclude PrometheusBound and theOresteian Trilogy
Sophocles Took first prize in hisfirst City of Dionysiacompetetion Accomplished actor;performed in manyof his shows Added the thirdactor Famous worksinclude Oedipus theKing and Antigone
Euripedes Considered amisunderstood poet Although he wrote 92plays, was ignored bythe judges of theGreek festivalbecause he did notcater to Atheniancrowd The forerunner of themodern psychologicaldramatist
Euripedes (cont.) Forced his characters to confrontpersonal issues Most famous plays include: The Bacchae Medea Trojan Women
Aristophanes Famous for hiscomedies His first survivingplay, TheAcharnians,is theworlds first anti-warcomedy In he play TheClouds, he skewersfamous philosopherSocrates
Aristophanes (Cont.) Favorite target was Euripedes Wrote Lysistrata twenty-one years intothe Peloponnesian War Although the play is light-hearted, it waswritten out of the poets grief over thethousands of Athenians who hadrecently lost their lives in the terribledefeat at Syracuse