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Transcript of Antigone
Greek plays were performed during religious ceremonies held in honor of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, agriculture, and fertility. This began in the 5th Century BC.
The plays performed at these festivals usually exposed arrogance which emphasized reverence for the gods and included tragic events.
Structure of the Play
The Tragic Hero
Actors in Greek Theater
There were only three actors to play all roles, and actors could only be male.
The Greek term for mask is
and was a significant element in the worship of Dionysus at Athens and later became part of the theater.
It is the place where the audience of a Greek tragedy sat to view the performance
"The altar to Dionysus": Since Dionysus was the Greek God of Theatre, there is an altar dedicated to him. It is located within the orchestra.
Portion of the stage where actors performed (included 1 to 3 doors in and out) also included area for actors to change costumes.
"Dancing Place" where chorus sang to the audience; also the chief performance place
Areas where the chorus entered the orchestra
An opening to a story that establishes the setting and gives background details, often some earlier story that ties into the main one
The choral hymn in praise of a god (specifically Dionysus). All the plays were made to honor the gods. The paean is where they would honor them.
Used to divide the scenes (similar to how a curtain does in present day performances) through a song that comments on the action of the previous scene; Sung by the chorus (will define later)
Opening ode sung or chanted by the chorus after its entrance into the orchestra using the parados (see Amphitheater notes)
Final exiting scene; everything in the play comes to a conclusion
Chorus and Choragus
A chorus is
a group of performers in plays who comment with a collective voice on the dramatic action
A choragus is the leader of the chorus. He can converse with the actors/characters of the play.
Three Theban Plays
The Theban plays consist of three plays:
Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus
. All three plays concern the fate of the city of Thebes during and after the reign of King Oedipus.Sophocles, however, wrote the three plays for separate festival competitions, many years apart. Although Antigone is the third in chronological order, it is the one we will be reading; therefore, here is some background information about the first two and what is considered the "Oedipus Curse":
The King of Thebes, Laius, finds out from a prophet that his child will kill him and marry his mother (Jocasta), so he sends a shepherd to take the infant Oedipus out to kill him.
He can't do it. He leaves him on top of the mountain with his feet tied, believing the gods would decide if the child lived or died.
A shepherd finds young Oedipus. King Polybus and Queen Merope in the city of Corinth adopt him. No one knows his identity.
And so ....
After Oedipus' death, it was decided that the two brothers, Eteocles and Polynieces, would take turns reigning over Thebes. Eteocles, however, did not want to give away his power causing Polynieces to leave Thebes to set up an army. In the fight against Thebes, the two brothers kill each other. After this event, their uncle, Creon, declares that, as punishment, Polynieces' body must be left on the plain outside the city to rot and be eaten by animals. Eteocles, on the other hand was buried as tradition warranted. That is where
They are usually of noble birth or high rank.
Examples: king duke, president, general, etc.
His downfall seems more impressive due to fall from noble position.
The reversal of his fortune makes the hero have a catharsis (increase of self-awareness and knowledge)
Fate of Hero
His fate must be greater than deserved.
Examples-death, injury, loss of family or fortune, etc.
The hero has a flaw (harmartia) that will lead to his downfall.
Reversal of Fortune
The hero's flaw leads to his downfall or reversal of fortune.
Ever since Anakin Skywalker was a young slave boy on the desert world Tatooine, he wanted to help people. . All in all, Skywalker had great ambitions to help make the universe a better place, and when Anakin Skywalker was given the rare chance to leave his forsaken homeland and train to become a Jedi, a protector of peace in the galaxy himself, his dreams seemed as attainable as ever.
Anakin's charisma and natural Force ability made him a strong candidate for being a future Jedi leader, and perhaps one of the most powerful and influential beings in the galaxy. But the Jedi restrained him because they saw hints of a fatal flaw in Anakin: fear. Anakin feared for the safety of his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, his wife, Padme Amidala, and also the clone troopers placed under his command.
As a military leader in the height of war, Skywalker hated and feared seeing his friends and subordinates die. As a result of the Jedi Council's distrust in Skywalker coupled with the death of his wife Padme Amidala, he became increasing angry and jaded by his grief and passion. Skywalker assumed the name Darth Vader and did in fact become one of the most powerful beings in the universe, but not as a keeper of the peace. Rather ironically, he embodied the evil and corruption he had always vowed to fight.
Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) realized his evil doings in Return of the Jedi when, weak and injured from fighting his Jedi son Luke Skywalker, Anakin saved his son's life from certain death.
He then died in Luke's arms.
He was born and raised in Athens, Greece.
He is regarded as one of the world's greatest playwrights.
He frequently won 1st place at the Dionysian festivals, which were competitions between playwrights.
During his life, he wrote over 100 plays, but only 7 have survived.
Among these seven are:
Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus,
When Oedipus is older, the oracle of Delphi tells him that he is fated to kill his father and marry his mother.
Believing he was fated to murder Polybus and marry Merope, he left Corinth.
During his travels, he met an older man in a chariot coming the other way on a narrow road. The two quarreled over who should give way, which resulted in Oedipus killing the stranger and continuing on to Thebes.
He found that the king of the city (Laius) had been recently killed by some robbers and that the city was at the mercy of the Sphinx.
Oedipus answered the monster's riddle correctly, defeating it and winning the throne of the dead king and the hand in marriage of the king's widow, his mother, Jocasta.
Oedipus and Jocasta had two sons (Eteocles and Polynices) and two daughters (Antigone and Ismene).
In his search to determine who killed Laius (and thus end a plague on Thebes), Oedipus discovered from a prophet that it was he who had killed the late king: his father.
Jocasta also soon realized that she had married her own son and Laius's murderer, and she hanged herself.
Oedipus seized two pins from her dress and blinded himself with them.
Oedipus was driven into exile, accompanied by Antigone and Ismene.
After years of wandering, he arrived in Athens, where he found refuge in a grove of trees called Colonus.
By this time, warring factions in Thebes wished him to return to that city, believing that he would bring it luck.
However, Oedipus died at Colonus, and the presence of his grave there was said to bring good fortune to Athens.
Odysseus - Tragic Hero?
1. He is a leader during the ten year Trojan War.
2. His tragic flaw is excessive pride (called hubris). Remember the story of the Cyclops?
3. He has a reversal of fortune because of this pride. He is taken off course.
4. When he arrives home in Ithaca, he finds that his wife and son have had a rough life without him and that suitors have takn overhis home. He has a catharsis when he realizes that his esxcessive pride had caused this.
5. His ate was the loss of 20 years with his family and the loss of all of his men.
Thousands of Athenians saw the plays in outdoor theaters called amphitheaters. The seats were carved out of stone on a hillside in a semi-circle. This helped with acoustics and sound.
Banks would shut down for days, people would travel from all around to see the drama competitions-even prisoners were temporarily released to see the plays.
First, the amphitheaters were very large and masks helped audience to see features and expressions.
They also enabled an actor to appear and reappear in several different roles, thus preventing the audience from identifying the actor to one specific character.
Their variations helped the audience to distinguish sex, age, and social status, in addition to revealing a change in a particular character’s appearance, e.g. Oedipus after blinding himself.
Because there were only male actors, masks allowed them to play female characters.