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Antigone Intro

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Adam Oyster-Sands

on 23 February 2013

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Transcript of Antigone Intro

Creon is Oedipus’ uncle, Jocasta’s brother (also Oedipus’ brother-in-law)
They have two sons:
Megareus Haemon
/ /
dies during betrothed to Antigone,
siege of Thebes his cousin King Creon of Thebes married Queen Eurydice They had 4 children:
-Eteocles -Antigone
-Polynices -Ismene
/ /
Sons (O’s brothers?) Daughters (sisters?)
Fight for Thebes Go back to Thebes
Cursed by dying father
Kill each other King Oedipus married Queen Jocasta The archon, a state official, selected three poets to compete for the prizes in the tragedy division.
The choregus, a wealthy, prominent citizen of Athens, was required by law to pay for the cost of training and costumes for the chorus.
A jury of 10 citizens selected the winning poet
The playwright served as a sort of teacher, offering plays for the ethical and moral improvement of his fellow citizens to insure the spiritual survival of the community Festival of Dionysus cont. Took place in Athens during 5 days in March or April
First day = procession honoring Dionysus in which all citizens participated
Second day = the choral songs were performed
Last 3 days = three tragedies followed by one satyr (satire – mock heroic tragedies) play and one comedy were performed Festival of Dionysus Excessive pride
Leads to suffering and then to an understanding (catharsis) of man’s place in the system of life
The audience was to learn a lesson through the tragedies that befell the characters on stage because they did not follow the will of the gods or because they tried to avoid their own destiny based in hubris Hubris Originally hymns and prayers honoring the gods, especially Dionysus
Over time, content changed to legends of Greek leaders and heroes
Tragedy = showed what happened to a person who went against the laws of the gods or who was too proud The Stories Consisted of singers and dancers led by a conductor
Started out with 50 people but Sophocles fixed the number at 15
The playwright used the chorus and their songs to:
Add the beauty of song and dance
Set the mood or express the main themes of the play by commenting on the action
Create a bridge between the actors and the audience
Converse with and give advice to the actors
Tell about events that have already happened in the past
Foretell the future by interpreting the actions of the actors The Chorus deus ex machina (“god from the machine”) = type of crane used for suspending figures who portrayed gods
eccylema = moveable or revolving platform
There were no curtains, intermissions, lights, or microphones. Because of this, all scenes took place in daylight settings, all scenes changes had to be built into the dialogue of the actors and the chorus and actors had to have strong voices Greeks’ Special Effects Semi-circular in shape
Theatron = area of seats for the audience hollowed out from the hillside
Orchestra = large area in front of the stage where the chorus sang and danced
Thymele = the altar centered in the orchestra used for sacrifices to Dionysus
Parados = walled walkway used by the chorus to enter and exit the stage
Pro-scenium = a long, low stage behind the orchestra
Skene = building that contained the actors’ dressing rooms The Greek Theatre Prologue – the actors present the opening situation on stage
Parados – the entering song and dance of the chorus
Episodes – periods of more action by the actors
Stasima/Stasimon – choral ode or song commenting on the action
Exodus – the last action of the play Structure of a Greek Tragedy Expanded its format by adding a third actor
Increased dialogue
Decreased the importance of the chorus by fixing its number at 15
Invented painted scenery and added flute music in the background
Made each play of a trilogy stand by itself as a separate story Sophocles’ Impact on Drama In the drama festivals of his day, he won the first place prize for best play twenty-four times.
He wrote more than a hundred plays but only seven remain. The most famous of his plays being: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone and Electra. Sophocles as a Playwright English II PAP
Mr. Sands Introduction to
Greek Drama Tragedy Look at the Oedipus Family Tree…do you notice anything strange? Oedipus Background Developed by ancient Greeks during celebrations honoring Dionysus
Dionysus = god of the vine which produced grapes for wine; associated with resurrection and suffering
Because of the choral songs, the early Greek plays resembled what we call opera today Origin of Drama Stems from the Greek belief that man was subject to the whims of the gods and fate
The root of Greek tragedy is that man can not avoid suffering
Man’s fault = pride, a mistaken belief that he could somehow avoid fate or the will of the gods Tragedy Only 3 actors that wore masks to play multiple parts
All actors were men because it was considered undignified for women to appear on stage
Wore padded costumes, wigs and high-heeled boots to make them taller and give them added dignity and power
Actors had to be able to speak in poetic language and sing using a loud and clear voice The Actors *like an outdoor stadium that could hold from 15,000 – 20,000 people The Greek Theatre Born in Colonus, Greece in 497 B.C.
Died in 406 B. C. at approximately 90 years old
Lived during the Golden Age of Greece
He was a successful musician, athlete and respected playwright
He was also active in social and political life. He held several priesthoods, was imperial treasurer in 443 B.C., and a general in 440 B.C. SOPHOCLES The Perfect Jerry Springer
Episode The Oedipus Family Tree Third of Sophocles’ Theban plays
Antigone = Oedipus’ daughter; princess of Thebes
Breaks the law to bury her brother who has been labeled a traitor by the king, her uncle. Antigone A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately in the parts of the work; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form; with in­cidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions.
-Aristotle Aristotle argued that tragedy cleansed the heart through pity and terror, purging us of our petty concerns and worries by making us aware that there can be nobility in suffering. He called this experience 'catharsis'.
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