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Teaching Goldhill: The Actor's Role
Transcript of Teaching Goldhill: The Actor's Role
“When ancient philosophers or novelists talk about character, they are interested not so much in individualism for its own sake, but in general types.” - Goldhill
Speaking The Language
Speaking The Words
We, as a contemporary theatrical culture, rely so heavily upon props and realistic dialogue. In juxtaposition is Ancient Greek theatrical culture and their support being simply themselves, their movement, and a few very meaningful and important props.
The modern actor is trained to approach characters by find the deep back story and creating solid characterization. This is difficult with Greek tragedy.
Greek tragedies only include a few indicators like class, language, or education.
Goldhill uses Creon and Agamemnon as an example of tragic characters that can not be characterized by psychoanalysis but by how they act as rulers. Tragedy uses events to give insite.
There is also a large amount of symbolism that prevents modern day actors from having complete freedom. Goldhill use the example of Clytemnestra laying out a blood red tapestry for Agamemnon to march over (as if trampling over his wealth and the well being of their home).
"HUNTING FOR MOTIVATION"
Have to find motivation through the progression of words
Can not psychologically analyze characters to motivation
the formal exchange of single lines between two actors or between actor and chorus.
Often between characters in conflict
Tragedy is the genre of conflict
Economical dramatization of communication
NOT establishing dialogue
“Prime medium of this violent war of words”
Precision of language
Put demands on actor’s expression of emotion/articulacy
Powerful emotions in dense, articulate, single verse
Flow of conflicting emotions
Careful precise language inhabiting through acting
Example: Goldhill gives the example of The Importance of Being Earnest and the safety of that opening scene in which the stage direction is written directly in the script; just as well, the meticulousness of the props and nuanced dialogue/blocking in that show is what is important to making it an adequate adaptation. While Greeks, on the other hand, rely very heavily on grandeur in physicality and long, winded lines that are quite to the point.
Continuation of Example