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Article

J. Richard Green

The visual element in Greek theatre is demonstrably strong from the time of the earliest formal drama; the importance accorded to stage production may be judged from *Aristophanes(1)'s *parodies of tragic performances in his comedies, or indeed from the whole development of theatre as a genre in the 5th and 4th centsuries bce; if confirmation were needed, it would come from the reservations *Aristotle expresses about production as opposed to composition in his lectures on composition in the Poetics (1450b17–20; 1453b1 ff.).Theatres in antiquity were constantly modified and rebuilt, and the surviving remains give few clear clues to the nature of the theatrical space available to the Classical dramatists of the 5th cent. In the Theatre of Dionysus at Athens, the wall of conglomerate stone (H, with its projection T), which was traditionally taken as belonging to the stage building of the later 5th century, is now thought by some to date to the mid-4th. (See theatres (greek and roman).

Article

George Chatterton Richards and M. T. Griffin

Tragic actor, “dignified” (Hor. Epist. 2.1.82), contemporary of Q. *Roscius (Quint. Inst. 11.3.111 “Roscius is livelier, Aesopus more dignified”). He gave *Cicero lessons in elocution (Auct. ad Her. (3.21.34) suggests that he was greatly his senior) and supported Cicero's recall from exile (Sest. 120–123); he returned to the stage for *Pompey's *ludi, 55 bce, without much success (Fam. 7.1.2). See Div. 1.80; Tusc. 4.55; QFr. 1.2.14. His son, M. Clodius Aesopus, was rich enough to be a wastrel (Hor. Sat. 2.3.239; Plin. HN 9.122).

Article

Emma Cole

Ancient drama has had a vast influence upon the literary, performance, and intellectual culture of modernity. From ancient Greece thirty-two tragedies, eleven comedies, and one satyr play survive, and from ancient Rome ten tragedies and twenty-seven comedies remain, alongside countless fragments from all genres. Many of the surviving plays are staged in contemporary theatre in both literal translation and more liberal adaptation, and today more ancient drama is seen in professional theatres than at any point since antiquity. Although all ancient dramatic genres have a rich reception history, Greek tragedy dominates the field, particularly in the 20th and 21st centuries. Productions of Greek tragedy today range from masked performances in the original language through to radical, avant-garde, immersive, and postdramatic reinventions. Greek tragedy is also frequently used as a touchstone within literary theory and broader intellectual discourse, from the theorisation of the ideal form of performance (Wagner’s Gesamtkuntswerk) to the development of psychoanalytic theory (Freud’s Oedipus complex) and structuralism (Lévi-Strauss). Ancient drama has also provided inspiration for entirely new dramatic forms; the influence of Roman tragedy, for example, can be felt within the revenge tragedies of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras, while traces of Roman comedy can be felt in slapstick comedy and Italian commedia dell’arte. Current growth areas within both artistic practice, and academic research into the reception of ancient drama, include the performance reception of dramatic fragments, an increased interest in forms such as burlesque and pantomime, and the use of ancient drama as a tool of resistance against oppressive political regimes.

Article

Teucer  

Herbert Jennings Rose and Jenny March

Teucer (Τεῦκρος)(1) In mythology, son of the river *Scamander and a nymph Idaea, and ancestor of the Trojan kings. He married his daughter Bateia (or Arisbe) to *Dardanus, and from this marriage was born Erichthonius, father of Tros (Apollod. 3.12, which also gives the later genealogy).(2) Son of *Telamon(1) by *Hesione. Throughout Homer's Iliad he is a valiant archer, and faithful comrade of his half-brother, the greater Ajax (*Aias(1)). His character is similarly depicted in later works, e.g. the Ajax of *Sophocles(1). He was absent at the time of Ajax's suicide (Ajax342–343), but returned (974) in time to take a leading part in the struggle to secure him honourable burial. After his banishment (see telamon(1)) he founded *Salamis (2) in Cyprus (Hor., Odes 1.

Article

Aias  

Herbert Jennings Rose and Jenny March

Aias (Αἴας, Lat. Aiax)(1) Son of *Telamon (1), king of *Salamis (1), hence Aias Telamonius, and also known as the Great(er) Ajax. He brought twelve ships from Salamis to Troy (Il. 2.557). In the Iliad he is of enormous (πελώριος) size, head and shoulders above the rest (3.226–229), and the greatest of the Greek warriors after *Achilles (2.768–789). His stock epithet is “bulwark (ἔρκος) of the Achaeans,” and his characteristic weapon a huge shield of seven-fold ox-hide. He clearly has the better of *Hector in a duel (7.181–305) after which the heroes exchange gifts, Aias giving Hector a sword-belt in return for a sword; and he is at his memorable best when with unshakeable courage he defends the Greek wall and then the ships (see especially 15.676–688, 727–746, 16.101–111). He is also a member of the Embassy to Achilles, when he gives a brief but effective appeal to Achilles on friendship's grounds (9.624–642). At *Patroclus's funeral games he draws a wrestling match with *Odysseus, strength against cunning (23.

Article

Ennius was the most prolific poet in the early period of Latin literature and is particularly known for his epic and his dramas. He composed plays for public festivals down to the year of his death, a major narrative epic, a large amount of non-dramatic verse, and at least one work in prose. While Ennius’ entire output only survives in fragments, his life and writings are better documented than those of most other early Republican writers, which is partly the result and an indication of his esteem among the Romans.

Ennius was born in 239bce (Cic. Brut. 72; Tusc. 1.3; Gell. NA 17.21.43; Hieron. Ab Abr. 1777 [p. 133a Helm]) in the Calabrian town of Rudiae (Cic. Arch. 22; Hor. Carm. 4.8.20 with Schol. ad loc.; Strab. 6.3.5 [p. 281 C.]; Ov. Ars am. 3.409–410; Mela 2.66) and claimed descent from the legendary king Messapus (Serv. ad Verg. Aen.

Article

Christopher Gill

The notion of “self” is a non-technical one, bridging the areas of psychology and ethics or social relations. Criteria for selfhood include psychological unity or cohesion, agency, responsibility, self-consciousness, reflexivity, and capacity for relationships with others. “Self” is a modern concept with no obvious lexical equivalent in Greek (or Latin); the question therefore arises of the relationship between the modern concept and ancient thinking, as embodied in Greek literature. Three approaches to this question can be identified. One focuses on the idea that there is development within Greek literature towards an understanding of the self or person as a cohesive unit and bearer of agency and responsibility. Another approach sees certain aspects of Greek literature and philosophy as prefiguring some features of the modern concept of self. A third approach underlines the difference between the Greek and modern thought worlds in the formulation of concepts in this area, while also suggesting that Greek ideas and modes of presenting people can be illuminating to moderns, in part because of the challenge posed by their difference. These approaches draw on a range of evidence, including psychological vocabulary, characterization in Greek literature, and Greek philosophical analyses of ethical psychology. There are grounds for maintaining the credibility of all three approaches, and also valid criticisms that can be made of each of them.

Article

Isabelle Torrance

Euripides was a key figure in the development of ancient drama, and the continuing impact of his work on modern forms of theatre cannot be underestimated. His tragedies were dramaturgically innovative and intellectually challenging. Divine epiphanies, emotionally charged debate scenes, and novel musical performances are all typical in Euripides. Several of his plays exploit the sort of disaster-averted scenario that was one of Aristotle’s favourite plot types and that flourished in operatic adaptations of classical myths. Pointed theological and philosophical questions are raised by characters in Euripides’ plays, and this radical aspect of Euripidean drama explains both why he was a target for contemporary comedians, notably Aristophanes, and why he was dismissed by Nietzsche and others in the nineteenth century. The past century, however, has seen a renewed and reinvigorated appreciation for Euripides, whose dramas have provided a valuable medium not only for artistic expression and experimentation but also for engaging with pressing contemporary social and political issues such as racial discrimination, warfare, postcolonialism, gender fluidity, and PTSD.

Article

Sophocles was one of the three great masters of the genre of Greek tragedy. His life spanned the 5th century bce, and saw him compose approximately 123 dramas, while simultaneously occupying a series of important offices within the democratic state of ancient Athens. His plays demonstrate a mastery of dramatic technique, as well as of the resources of Greek poetic language; driven by a restless searching for innovation, they confront viewers with profound questions about a man’s, or woman’s, position within their city, and the often turbulent nature of their relationship with the gods. The fascination that his dramas exerted on succeeding generations has ensured their survival down to our own day, where their ongoing cultural influence can be documented around the world.Sophocles’ life (497/6–405bce) spanned almost the whole of that century of Athens’s history that later generations would call classical; the enduring reputation of his dramas (see .