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Sophocles and Ancient Greek Theatre
Transcript of Sophocles and Ancient Greek Theatre
Theater The Typical Greek Theatre: How did it all begin? Actors: It all started with Dionysus (around 700 B.C.)
- He was worshiped by the Greeks.
- Greek citizens sang choral lyrics
(or Dithyramb) in his honor.
- Thespis of Attica created the first actor,
deciding that someone should act out
what the chorus was singing of. At first, the playwright took the lead role.
-For example: Aeschylus starred in all
of his own plays. Sophocles' life: A General Overview Sophocles was born in 497 B.C.
in Colonus, Athens. He was very involved in his community, both politically and religiously. He held several priesthoods, was an imperial treasurer, and a general. He was a firm believer in the Athenian government and religion. He confirms this by saying: "No deed is shameful which the gods direct." His Influence & Impact on Greek Society: What he Created Sophocles wrote 125 plays (it is assumed), and won 24 prizes (18 of them 1st place from the city of Dionysia). What he contributed to Greek Drama: His most famous plays include: Considered the "Master of dramatic irony." Added a 3rd actor. (Before this Greek plays were always performed by only 2 male actors.) Increased dialogue, while decreasing the importance of the Chorus. Invented the painted scenery. (Before this acting was more focused on rather than the setting. Example: Night/Day) Ajax Antigone (447 B.C.) (441 B.C.) The Trackers (440 B.C.) Oedipus the King (430/29 B.C.) Electra (418-414 B.C.) Maidens of Trachis (approximately414 B.C.) Philoctetes (409 B.C.) Oedipus at Colonus (written before his death,
though produced in 401 B.C.) Sophocles passed away in 405 B.C. More than anything, Sophocles believed in revernce towards the Gods.
Each of his plays taught a lesson. (Mostly "wisdom through suffering, which teaches humility and the limitations of man.") What else is he remembered for? Ancient Greek Theatre: The Good Old Days... Tragedy became offically aknowledged in 534 B.C. All actors were male.
-They played several roles, including
- (Greek tragedy began with one actor,
then progressed into at least 3.) Extras were used in the form of mutes.
- There was also a flute player,
orchestra, and chorus, all of whom
participated in some way. The Structure of Tragedy: Prologue: Action before the entrance of the chorus.
Parodos: Entering dance of the chorus.
Epsiodes: Action between choral odes.
Stasima: The choral odes.
Exodos: Action after the last stasimon. A Final Note: Did You Know? Sophocles' voice was too soft for projection, therefore he rarely ever perfomed. Oedipus at Colonus was produced by Sophocles' grandson after his death. It is said that Sophocles died while reading Antigone aloud.