Download A Guide to Ancient Greek Drama by Ian C. Storey, Arlene Allan PDF

By Ian C. Storey, Arlene Allan

This Blackwell consultant introduces historic Greek drama, which flourished mostly in Athens from the 6th century BC to the 3rd century BC.
• A broad-ranging and systematically organised creation to historical Greek drama.
• Discusses all 3 genres of Greek drama – tragedy, comedy, and satyr play.
• presents overviews of the 5 surviving playwrights – Aeschylus, Sophokles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Menander, and short entries on misplaced playwrights.
• Covers contextual concerns similar to: the origins of dramatic artwork types; the conventions of the gala's and the theatre; the connection among drama and the worship of Dionysos; the political size; and the way to learn and watch Greek drama.
• comprises forty six one-page synopses of every of the surviving plays.

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In his view tragedy had passed from whatever initial connection it may have had with the god and his cult to a “political” (in the sense “of the polis”) experience. People went to the theater as a communal activity and for an esthetic entertainment, which in the case of tragedy was “serious” (spoudaios) and raised great issues, but there was no longer any sense of the “religious” or the cultic about the event. Critics were quick to respond, to insist upon an intrinsic connection between tragedy (in particular) and the god.

Drama and Dionysos “Religion” is probably not the best word to use when referring to the beliefs and worship of the ancient Greeks. To the modern ear the word conjures up organized systems of formal rituals and creeds, a hierarchy of officials (“hierarchy” means literally “rule of the sacred”), or the sort of entry one checks off (or not) on a census form. ” Greeks worshiped their gods not from any sense of personal guilt or fervent belief or in an attitude of humility, but because the gods of their myths represented forces beyond humanity in the universe, forces which had control over mortals, and which (it was felt) could be influenced by human worship and offerings.

When the production of comedy and tragedy at the Lenaia became a formally state-sponsored competition about 440, these will have been moved to the theater, although some will argue that production continued in the agora through to the end of the fifth century. On this theory at least four of Aristophanes’ extant eleven comedies were produced in a venue different from that of the comedies at the Dionysia, and indeed some scholars believe that they can detect differences in staging between comedies at the Dionysia and those at the Lenaia.

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