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Transcript of Greek Tragedy
The tragedies of Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles followed strict structure, which was designed to effectively communicate the Story as well as the underlying
A Greek tragedy consisted of
sections, some of which were repeated as necessary to accommodate the plot. They are:
A monologue presenting the tragedy's Topic.
The entry of the chorus. Use chant and dance to explain what has happened
would be added depending on plot needs.
The protagonist in a Greek tragedy was expected to experience a
reversal of fortune
, usually due to his own
While this downfall could result in death, it could also be followed by a
emotional cleansing meant to suggest redemption
Aristotle suggested three rules of "Unity" for Tragedy: Unity of
, Unity of
and Unity of
. The setting should be just ONE location (Oedipus Rex takes place on the steps outside the palace).
The play should represent the passage of only ONE day (previous events leading up to the present were recounted on stage).
All actions/scenes should contribute directly to the main plot.
played critical roles: The first function of a tragic chorus was to chant an entrance song called a
as they marched into the orchestra.
was comprised of
people, though no more than
appeared in a play. Actors performed multiple roles by using masks, costumes and props.
The main section of the play, where most of the plot occurs. Actors speak dialogue about the plot (all action/violence took place off stage).
The chorus comments on the episode
most important function
was to sing and dance the
clarifying the exposition by warning, or sympathizing with the dilemma of the protagonist
provide time for scene changes and give the principle actors a break
served several purposes in Greek theater.
the characters .
Allowed actors to play more than one role/gender
Projected sound somewhat like a small megaphone
In a Tragedy, masks were more life-like.
In Satyr plays, masks were ugly and grotesque.
Greek theater always contained a group of 12-15 actors called the Chorus.
Song of lament in which the Chorus speaks directly to another character
The final chorus chant where the Moral of the tragedy is discussed.
Deus ex Machina
"God from the machine"