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USC - CLAS 220 - Class Notes - Week 10

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USC - CLAS 220 - Class Notes - Week 10

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background image Classics 220­ Introduction to Classical Mythology­ Week 10 (3/19) (Lecture cancelled 3/21) Introduction to Tragedy What is tragedy? o Performance tradition o Emerges out of lyric o Beings with chorus Play revolves around chorus Provides lyrical interludes Intensifies emotion Develops character Mediates between audience and events Mediates between mythic past and the here and now Provides sense of community 12, later 15, members All men around 18 years old Almost always represent marginal figures At first, only chorus Then 1 actor added (Thespis) Then 2 actors (Aeschylus) Then 3 actors (Sophocles) Being in the chorus is a source of pride and a form of education Physical, intellectual and moral Like actors, chorus wear masks Tragedy: where and when? o Tragedy we know best originates in Athens o Just before 500 BC (as Homeric epic is taking its final form) o Annual festival­ City of Dionysia Held in spring, just as sailing starts for the year Many foreigners are in town Day 1­ Processions and parades Day 2­ the proagon: where dramatists announce plays Day 3­5­ competitions in tragedy Day 6­ competitions in comedy Core of Fest: Tragic competition Everything in Greece tends to be an agon (competition) o The agon of the competition parallels the agony of the hero 3 tragedies compete, then 5 comedies Tragedians each present a trilogy of tragedies, plus a satyr play 
which is more comic and farcical
First day of competition:
background image Ten generals of Athens pour libations Judges of competition are sworn in Tributes from “allies” are displayed Men who have done good deeds for the city are given garlands War orphans (male), now of fighting age, are presented Tragedy as ritual o (Greek) Religion = myth + ritual o Myths of heroes are often about things that go very wrong o Ritual can be about how to restore the natural order o In particular, since tragedy happens in Athens, what goes wrong in other cities is  often put right in Athens The Trilogy o Some early trilogies were on unified themes, like Aeschylus’ Oresteia, about the  murder of Agamemnon and its aftermath o By the time of Sophocles, trilogies were usually unrelated thematically o These 3 Theban plays of Sophocles (497/6 BC – 406/5BC) were produced in very different years Antigone (442 BC) Oedipus the King (429 BC) Oedipus at Colonus (406 BC) The Back Story: Cadmus and Harmonia o Cadmus: Phoenician Prince Is told to follow a cow and build a city where it rests Founds Thebes as a result His men are killed by a dragon, son of Ares He sows the dragon’s teeth, men spring from the ground and fight each 
other
The survivors form leading families of Thebes Is also said to have invented the Greek alphabet o Harmonia: goddess of Harmony o Their daughters: Semele (mother of Dionysus) Agave (tears son to pieces as Maenad) Ino (husband driven mad and while fleeing from him, she jumps into the 
sea and becomes the goddess Leucothea)
Autonoe (son, Actaeon, torn to pieces by hounds after seeing Artemis 
bathing)
Back Story: Laius and Jocasta o Laius (“lefty”)­ great grandson of Cadmus o Takes reguge with Pelops while Thebes is in other hands o Rapes Pelops’ son Chrysippus o Source of curse on Laius and Jocasta: if they have a child, it will kill Laius and  marry Jocasta

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School: University of South Carolina
Department: Classical Studies
Course: Introduction to Classical Mythology
Professor: Osborne
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Greek Myth, Greek Mythology, Classics, Oedipus, and greekgods
Name: Clas 220- Week 10 Notes (3/19)
Description: These notes cover the introduction to tragedy as covered in lecture on 3/19
Uploaded: 03/20/2018
4 Pages 22 Views 17 Unlocks
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