By Ruth Scodel
"This publication offers a short and obtainable advent to Greek tragedy for college students and normal readers alike. even if readers are learning Greek tradition, appearing a Greek tragedy, or just attracted to interpreting a Greek play, this ebook may also help them to appreciate and revel in this hard and profitable style. An creation to Greek Tragedy presents historical past info; is helping readers relish, enjoy, and have interaction with the performs themselves; and offers them an concept of the $64000 questions in present scholarship on tragedy. Ruth Scodel seeks to dispel deceptive assumptions approximately tragedy, stressing how open the performs are to assorted interpretations and reactions. as well as normal heritage, the ebook additionally contains chapters on particular performs, either the main ordinary titles and a few lesser-known performs - Persians, Helen, and Orestes - on the way to exhibit the diversity that the tragedies provide readers"-- Read more...
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Extra resources for An introduction to Greek tragedy
Usually events outside the defined setting and violent actions must be reported. In Euripides’ Heracles, the chorus and audience hear the cries of Amphitryon as the mad Heracles attacks his family, and then a messenger comes from inside the house to narrate in detail what has happened. In most tragedies, a messenger enters to describe offstage events to the chorus and characters, like the messenger in Euripides’ Medea who reports to Medea how her poison has killed Jason’s bride and King Creon, or the messenger who tells the chorus about the suicide of Jocasta and the self-blinding of Oedipus in Oedipus the King.
All the evidence tells us that the words were the single most important element in tragedy for ancient audiences. People from the fifth century on read plays, as well as watched them. Aristotle thought that it was just as good to read a play and to imagine it as actually to see it. This was surely not a normal view, but it was not ridiculous either. Athenian spectators memorized speeches and turned lines into catchphrases, and they memorized the songs for pleasureÂ€– that is, they picked out the parts that they liked and valued.
Sometimes these doublings of roles seem to be significant. In Sophocles’ Women of Trachis, for example, the same actor played Deianeira, the wife of Heracles who kills him with a poison that she thinks is a love-potion, and Heracles himself. We do not know, however, to what extent audiences really noticed that the actor inside the costume and mask was the same person. A strong and beautiful voice was important for an actor, but the sources do not say to what extent the actors tried to sound different in different roles.
An introduction to Greek tragedy by Ruth Scodel