English 8 can be used as a high school course. Students will focus this year on analyzing literature including poetry, short stories, novels, and plays.
Its subject matter is normally drawn from mythology, except that for the ancient Greeks "mythology" was a kind of historical saga, often perfectly credible oral history, including stories about gods and other supernatural beings, handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth.
Because history raised to the sphere of legend only remembers milestones crucial to the life of the community, sometimes contemporary events viewed as critical for the survival of a people could provide the material for a tragedy. The Persians of Aeschylus, describing the invasion of Athens by a huge Persian fleet in and its defeat in the naval battle of Salamis, is such a play.
However, tragedy is, strictly speaking, neither historical nor mythological; it is a poetic drama in the sense that poetry rises above the particulars of history and expresses human truths of a universal kind.
This is achieved by a combination of heroic characters rising above the ordinary in terms of social status, moral qualities, and intensity of emotions and plots illustrating the impotence of humans in regard to divine powers.
Greek gods did not profess to love humanity, promised no salvation after death, and administered a harsh justice not only to sinners but also to unsuspecting innocents because of crimes perpetrated by their forebears.
Tragic characters often suffer and die for crimes they committed unwittingly, or because they were ordered to do so by a god something possible in the context of Greek polytheismor because they have to expiate an old sin, or fall under a family curse.
When they fully realize the inevitability of their destiny, they act with dignity in accordance with their principles and proceed to do what they believe is right, often precipitating their dreadful end. This is considered a "tragic death," although in modern languages the word tragedy is often used more loosely as a synonym for disaster —particularly a seemingly undeserved disaster that strikes unexpectedly powerful people and happy families.
According to Aristotle Poetics, ch. However, tragedy lost its Dionysiac associations very early, and only one of the preserved plays, indeed the very last tragedy of Euripides, Bacchae, has a Dionysiac content, namely the myth of resistance to the introduction of Dionysus's cult to Thebes, and the god's devastating revenge upon the city.
Dithyramb, too, gradually lost its religious connection to Dionysus and developed into choral poetry that drew its subjects from mythology like tragedy.
Dithyrambs were also regularly performed in the Dionysiac festivals. It is impossible to reconstruct with any certainty the stages of evolution from religious hymn to ritual enactment, and finally to a kind of secular play in which a great variety of myths were presented in dramatic form to a theatrical audience rather than a group of worshipers.
The critical stage in this line of development was the transition from ritual to theater. Ritual must be repeated more or less exactly if it is to be a religious act. But once it metamorphoses into a playful act, its religious ties are loosened and a great potential for development in form and content becomes available to creative artists.
The first poet credited with the invention of tragedy was a minor, if semi-legendary, figure by the name of Thespis. His activity is dated to the s, although the introduction of tragic productions in the form of dramatic contests to the City Dionysia c.
Except for half a dozen titles of plays, nothing survives from his poetry. However, once the first sparks were struck tragedy evolved swiftly by embracing and building on earlier forms of poetry.
Choral lyric was a major poetic genre in Archaic Greece — B. It was incorporated into the new art of drama and retained not only its basic shape division into strophic pairs and complex metrical structuresbut even the Dorian dialect, invariably used by the Athenian poets in all choral parts of the plays.In this lesson, we'll discuss who the tragic hero is in 'Antigone.' Both Creon and Antigone can be seen as the tragic hero, so we will discuss what makes each of these characters the tragic hero.
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;: we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. The tragic hero of this drama is Antigone, the character from which the play derives its title. This is shown by the fact that not only is she the protagonist of the play, but she also holds certain qualities of .
Tragedy (from the Greek: τραγῳδία, tragōidia) is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in audiences.
While many cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, the term tragedy often refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of.
Oedipus The King Is A Greek Tragedy - Oedipus the King is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles around five-hundred BC. The play is set in the royal house of Thebes and is about how King Oedipus, who is portrayed as a reasonable and respected ruler by the citizens of Thebes, is trying to find out the answers to the murder of the previous King, Laius.
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