New PDF release: A Guide to Ancient Greek Drama

By Ian C. Storey, Arlene Allan

ISBN-10: 1405102152

ISBN-13: 9781405102155

This Blackwell consultant introduces old Greek drama, which flourished mostly in Athens from the 6th century BC to the 3rd century BC.
• A broad-ranging and systematically organised advent 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 matters similar to: the origins of dramatic artwork kinds; the conventions of the gala's and the theatre; the connection among drama and the worship of Dionysos; the political measurement; and the way to learn and watch Greek drama.
• contains forty six one-page synopses of every of the surviving plays.

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Extra info for A Guide to Ancient Greek Drama

Sample text

I shall anoint your entire body with fair-smelling perfume. Won’t you first give me water to wash my hands? Oh yes, as the table is being removed. ” Comedy felt free to laugh at and make fun of its gods, even (especially) the deity for whom it was being produced. Comedians would put Dionysos in the most unlikely situation possible and then watch the fun emerge as this essentially unheroic and pleasure-loving god tried to live up to his situation. Two slaves in Frogs describe Dionysos well: Slave: Your master is a very noble fellow.

In their wilder celebrations the worshipers of Dionysos ran berserk on the mountainside (oreibasia), filled with wine and the intoxication of the group experience, catching and rending their prey (sparagmos) and eating the raw flesh (omophagia). In Bacchae the messenger describes the women on the mountain, both in harmony and in control of nature. They nurse the young of wild animals, and with their thyrsoi produce milk and honey from the earth. Dionysos is a god of the wild, the mountain as opposed to the city, a god of release from the normal routine (two of his most important titles are eleuthereus, “freer,” and lyaios “releaser”).

Here the details of the Athenian rite-of-passage, the ephebeia, would have illuminated the humor of that play. In passing, one should note that the ritual of the sacrifice is never performed on stage. Aristophanes makes good comedy out of preparing and then delaying the ritual sacrifice in both Peace and Birds, with the exasperated hero doing the job off stage. Dionysos himself is a character in Greek drama, but as we have pointed out above, not all that common in tragedy. If tragedy did develop from the choral songs accompanying his rituals, it may have been the case that there were not all that many myths about Dionysos that could become good drama.

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

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