En introduktion til græsk tragedie

En introduktion til græsk tragedie


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Græsk tragedie

Græsk tragedie er en form for teater fra det antikke Grækenland og Anatolien. Det nåede sin mest betydningsfulde form i Athen i det 5. århundrede f.Kr., hvis værker undertiden kaldes Lofts tragedie.

Græsk tragedie menes bredt at være en forlængelse af de gamle ritualer, der blev udført til ære for Dionysos, og det påvirkede stærkt teatret i det antikke Rom og renæssancen. Tragiske plots var oftest baseret på myter fra de mundtlige traditioner for arkaiske epos. I det tragiske teater blev disse fortællinger imidlertid præsenteret af skuespillere. De mest anerkendte græske tragedier er Aiskylos, Sofokles og Euripides. Disse tragedier udforskede ofte mange temaer omkring den menneskelige natur, hovedsageligt som en måde at forbinde med publikum, men også som en måde at bringe publikum ind i stykket.


Græsk tragedie. Blackwell Introductions to the Classical World

Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz engagerende introduktion til græsk tragedie er det seneste bind i Blackwells nye serie af “Introduktioner til den klassiske verden. ” Skrevet af “de mest kendte forskere inden for området Barry Powell ’s Homer, Daniel Hooley ’s Romersk satire, og Thomas Habinek ’s Gamle retorik og oratorier yderligere ti bind er under forberedelse), har serien til formål at give kortfattede introduktioner til klassisk kultur i vid forstand. har organiseret Græsk tragedie tematisk, med vægt på to hovedideer: (1) for at forstå stykkerne skal man først lære om deres gamle præstationer, politiske og rituelle sammenhænge og (2) disse skuespil rejste visse bekymrende spørgsmål for athenere, og de tillader os at stille lignende spørgsmål om vores eget liv og tider. Græsk tragedie er skrevet i en uformel, tiltalende stil - dette må være den eneste bog om tragedie, der bruger ordet “fun ” i sin sidste sætning 2 - med hyppige hentydninger (nogle mere eksplicitte end andre) til nutidige begivenheder (f.eks. , krigen i Irak på 42, ​​47, 90, 93, 107, 138, 140, 146 og 187) og en række spørgsmål stillet direkte til læseren, der har til formål at tilskynde til sammenligninger mellem gamle og nutidige problemer (f.eks. på 122, diskussion af Euripides ’ Elektra slutter med spørgsmålet, “Hvad pres former i dag ungdomme til martyrer? ”). Græsk tragedie kan anbefales til studerende, der ikke har forudgående kendskab til emnet, selvom dem, der ønsker mere systematisk dækning i et mere traditionelt format, måske foretrækker endnu en ny Wiley-Blackwell-bog, En guide til oldgræsk drama (Ian Storey og Arlene Allen, 2005). Som dens forord og introduktion antyder, Græsk tragedie er særligt velegnet til de studerende, der er skeptiske over for den græske tragedies relevans for deres eget liv og for dem, der måske undrer sig over, om en interesse for tragedie (eller klassikere generelt, 2-3) er forenelig med deres forpligtelser til feminisme, multikulturalisme eller andre progressive overbevisninger.

Rabinowitz ’s oversigt over den athenske kontekst af græsk tragedie (11-84) er opdelt i tre kapitler (“What was Tragedy? ” “Tragedy and the Polis ” “Tragedy and Greek Religion ”) og omfatter alt hvad du kan forvente: præstationspraksis, gamle synspunkter om tragedie, athensk ideologi, religiøse ritualer, festivaler osv. Rabinowitz bringer et nyt perspektiv på velkendt materiale ved igen og igen at henlede opmærksomheden på de tvetydigheder og udfordringer, vores kilder præsenterer, om vi diskuterer imperialisme , spændinger mellem inklusivitet og eksklusivitet i det athenske borgerliv, traditionelle livscyklusbegivenheder og overgangsritualer eller det irriterede spørgsmål om, hvorvidt kvinder deltog i teatret, understreger Rabinowitz den mangfoldighed af stemmer, som vores kilder taler med, og den samtidige videnskabeliges korrelerede polyfoni debatter om deres betydning. I et kort underafsnit med titlen “Referentiality ” (48-51) standser Rabinowitz f.eks. I sin diskussion af forestillingenes fysiske og sociale indstilling for at behandle nogle af de få referencer til nutidige begivenheder og institutioner i stykkerne . Der er, påpeger Rabinowitz, ikke noget let svar på spørgsmål om, hvad henvisningerne til Rådet for Areopagus i Eumenides beløb til eller hvordan de skal påvirke tolkningsdiskussioner Trojanske kvinder (produceret i 415), foreslår Rabinowitz, at Melos må have været i alles sind, men hun understreger, at der stadig er uklarhed omkring, hvordan stykket og den virkelige verden forholder sig, når man overvejer Ødipus Tyrannus i lyset af den nylige pest i Athen bemærker Rabinowitz, at “ visse elementer kan have mindet publikum om deres eget liv ”, men “ ikke hvert medlem af publikum vil få det samme sæt hentydninger, og de vil heller ikke reagere på dem på samme måde ” (51). Resultatet er en grundlæggende introduktion til kontekstuelle tilgange, der er fri for enkle svar - læseren vil komme væk med en fornemmelse af nogle af de ting, klassikere har gjort for at genskabe de originale sammenhænge i stykkerne, men også med en bevidsthed om, at en sådan påskønnelse er egentlig bare det første skridt i retning af fortolkning.

Anden del (85-179) indeholder fire kapitler om følgende temaer: krig og empire familievold og relationer til magten. I alt ti skuespil får fokuseret opmærksomhed, men Rabinowitz understreger overlapning og sløring af hver af hendes fire kategorier (87), og passager fra andre skuespil introduceres til kontrast og sammenligning. Rabinowitz trækker på feministiske, postkoloniale og marxistiske tilgange i disse kapitler, men den primære linse, gennem hvilken temaerne undersøges, er strukturalisme, hvis “matrix af binære modsætninger ” (4-5) introduceres tidligt i Græsk tragedie især understreger Rabinowitz, hvor produktivt og indflydelsesrig Louis Gernets arbejde, J.-P. Vernant og Pierre Vidal-Naquet har været til undersøgelse af græsk tragedie (f.eks. 33, 51, 65, 71, 168). Som Rabinowitz forklarer, giver strukturisme ’s opmærksomhed på binære modsætninger (f.eks. Mand-kvinde, by-husstand, menneske-dyr, fri-slave, inde-ude) og deres formidling i samfund, myte og poesi ikke kun en ramme for producere afslørende læsninger af stykkerne, kan det også hjælpe os med at forestille os de tankemønstre, som antikke græske publikummer måske har forstået dem (jf. 103 et passim). Denne tilgang har sine åbenlyse grænser, som ikke er tilstrækkeligt behandlet, men den fungerer ekstremt godt i den meget destillerede format af kort introduktionsgenren: Rabinowitz er i stand til hurtigt at føre læseren til de centrale spørgsmål i et stykke, ofte med henvisning til nøglebegreber eller ideer, der allerede er taget op i kapitlet “ -kontekst ”, og derefter for at udforske disse ideer som par af uforenelige på en måde, der er i overensstemmelse med hendes overordnede vægt på de ambivalenser, uklarheder og uløste problemer, tragedien udgør for gamle og moderne publikummer ens. For eksempel i hendes diskussion af Persere (85-95) understreger Rabinowitz de måder, hvorpå den barbaros-græske dualisme (allerede udviklet ved 40) bliver sammenflettet med den kvindelig-mandlige polaritet gennem feminisering af perserne (90-91), hvilket fører til overvejelse af, hvordan de gamle publikum kunne have reageret. To alternativer præsenteres: athenere har muligvis oplevet en slags stedfortrædende sorg, eller de har ignoreret advarselshistorien mod imperium og fordrevet tåbeligheden til perserne. I et mønster gentaget hele vejen igennem Græsk tragedie, afsnittet om Persere afsluttes med refleksioner over, hvordan publikum i dag kan tage stykket: igen bliver der fremsat to alternativer, en “sikker fjernlæsning eller#8221 eller en åbenhed for at se Perser ’“irreligiøst ønske om erobring ” (94) som sammenligneligt med tilstedeværelsen af ​​USA og Storbritannien i Irak (94-95).

En epilog om moderne forestillinger af græsk tragedie (180-198), skrevet med Sue Blundell, fokuserer primært på det britiske og amerikanske teater, men berører også produktioner af Ariane Mnouchkine, Tadashi Suziki og Yukio Ninagawa og tilpasninger af Wole Soyinka og Seamus Heaney, blandt andre. Der lægges vægt på tilpasninger af kanoniske tekster (især i de seneste årtier) som former for modstand eller kritik af den dominerende orden.

Læsere med en baggrund i klassikere finder nits at vælge her og der. Der er et spørgsmål om, hvorvidt nuværende studerende, hvoraf de fleste var små børn i 1990'erne, vil sætte pris på hentydningerne til kulturkrigene (nu ind i deres femte årti), der rammer Græsk tragedie (1-2 ff. Og 180ff.), Med figurer som William Bennet og Lynne Cheney. Men Græsk tragedie er især tilbøjelig til at hæve antennerne for dem, der synes, at vægten på original performance-kontekst begrænser forståelsen for de litterære dimensioner af stykkerne. Rabinowitz ’s præsentation giver, hvad nogle kan synes at være en uberettiget forrang for kulturelle eller historiske “realities ” på bekostning af, hvad der gør hvert spil særpræg. En traditionel strukturalistisk ramme, der tilvejebringer et i det væsentlige tidløst megasystem af menneskelig adfærd, kan sammensætte dette problem og få det til at virke som om formålet med den græske tragedie er at karakterisere dette eller det allerede eksisterende aspekt af athensk liv.

Græsk tragedie er attraktivt produceret, med et slående billede af Medeas flugt fra Korinth (fra en Lucanian calyx-krater i Cleveland Museum of Art) mod en blank-sort baggrund. Den indeholder syv illustrationer og forslag til yderligere læsning i slutningen af ​​kapitel 1, 2, 3, 7 og 8 og en bibliografi. Jeg fandt kun en fejl (“Epebes ” 66).

2. “Det er det sjove ved at arbejde med den fjerne fjerne fortid ” (198).


Syv græske tragedier, syv enkle oversigter

Jeg udfordrer mig selv her til at skrive syv elementære "plot -konturer" - jeg kalder dem oversigter - for syv græske tragedier: (1) Agamemnon og (2) Libation-Bearers og (3) Eumenides, ved Aeschylos (4) Ødipus ved Colonus og (5) Ødipus Tyrannusaf Sophokles (6) Hippolytus og (7) Bacchae (eller Bacchiske kvinder), af Euripides. I mine oversigter forventer jeg af læseren ingen forudgående viden om disse syv tragedier.

Maske af Dionysos, fundet i Myrina (nu i Tyrkiet). Terracotta. 2. – 1. århundrede fvt. Paris. Musée du Louvre. Afdeling for græske, etruskiske og romerske antikviteter (Myr. 347). Stregtegning af Valerie Woelfel.

Tre kommentarer, inden jeg starter oversigterne

-Ordet tragedie, som jeg bruger det her, henviser til den mest prestigefyldte form for oldgræsk drama.

—I mine oversigter vil jeg bruge ordet drama udskifteligt med ordet tragedie. Her giver jeg de grundlæggende historiske fakta om oldgræsk drama i en sætning:

Drama i polis eller 'bystat' i Athen blev oprindeligt udviklet af staten med det formål at uddanne athenerne til at være gode borgere.

—Mine syv oversigter indeholder forklaringer på ord, der er ud over det sædvanlige. For eksempel det gamle græske ord polis, som brugt ovenfor, forklares ved hjælp af definitionen 'by-stat'. Der vil kun være to udtryk, som jeg ikke forklarer her i mine oversigter, men andre steder. Disse to udtryk er heltekult og kulthelt, forklaret i min bog Den antikke græske helt på 24 timer 0§14.

Syv tragedier, syv oversigter

I. Aeschylus: oversigter over tre af hans tragedier— (1) Agamemnon, (2) Libation-Bearers, (3) Eumenides

Dette sæt af tre tragedier sporer historien om Agamemnon og hans familie og fremhæver deres dysfunktionalitet som et symptom på alt, hvad der var ondt i heltenes tidligere æra, for at stå i kontrast til samfundets funktionalitet, som det blev opfattet af staten i "nutiden" ”Æra i Athen i 458 fvt, som var den oprindelige produktionsdato.

(1) Agamemnon.

Historien om dette drama starter på det tidspunkt, hvor Agamemnon, overkonge af prototypiske grækere kendt som Achaeans, vender tilbage til sit hjem i Argos. Han kommer fra Troja, en hellig by, som han og hans hær lige har erobret og brændt. I mellemtiden planlægger hans kone, Clytemnestra, hævn for drabet på parrets datter, Iphigeneia, af Agamemnon selv. Dette drab var blevet rationaliseret af kongen som et menneskeligt offer, der var nødvendigt af hans brændende ønske om, at achaeanerne skulle sejle til Troja, drevet af vind, der blæste fra vest til øst. Inden ofringen var achaeanerne blevet blokeret af vinden, kontrolleret af gudinden Artemis.

Koret af sangere og dansere i dette drama, personificeret som de ældste i Argos, der var blevet efterladt, da deres konge Agamemnon tog til Troja, fremfører en indledende sang-og-dans, der ikke kun genfortæller historien om al ødelæggelsen og drab, der fulgte med Troys erobring af Agamemnon og hans hær, men også en tidligere historie om drabet på Iphigeneia af Agamemnon selv. De to historier hænger sammen, da de begge afslører Agamemnons problematiske moral, hvis grusomhed ved at dræbe Iphigeneia er knyttet til hans fremtidige grusomhed ved ikke at vise barmhjertighed over for ofrene, der blev efterladt efter Achaeanernes erobring af Troy. Artemis, vindens gudinde, havde tilladt omdirigering af vindene, der nu blæste fra vest til øst og dermed drev achæerne til Troja, men hun havde hadet drabet, der førte til denne omdirigering - og hun havde allerede profetisk hadet de fremtidige drab og slaver i Troy, selv før de grumme begivenheder nogensinde var sket.

Når Agamemnon vender tilbage fra drabene i Troy og kommer hjem til Argos, bliver han også voldsomt dræbt. Slagtningen dér begås af Clytemnestra, der handler sammen med sin nye elsker Aegisthus. Et slagtet offer er også et uskyldigt offer, prinsessen Cassandra, som Agamemnon havde gjort til slaver og bragt med sig tilbage fra Troja til Argos som sin krigspris. Cassandras død er et af de mest gribende øjeblikke i tragedien. En vind kommer fra vest og blæser ind i hendes ansigt, da hun kommer ind i paladset, hvor hun vil blive dræbt af Clytemnestra. Denne vind signalerer igen tilstedeværelsen af ​​Artemis, vindens gudinde. Underforstået kan Artemis igen føle had - denne gang, hvad der sker med Cassandra.

(2) Libation-Bearers.

En anden datter af Agamemnon og Clytemnestra, Electra, er vred over drabet på hendes far af hendes mor. Det er uklart, om hun også er vred over drabet på sin søster, Iphigeneia, af hendes far, Agamemnon. I begyndelsen af ​​historien, der blev fortalt i dette drama, laver Clytemnestra gesten om at sende Electra på en rituel mission for at ære Agamemnon: datteren formodes at hælde libations - det vil sige rituelle hældninger - i jorden, der dækker hendes begravede krop far. Electra anser denne gestus af hendes mor for at være hyklerisk, og hun beder omkvinden af ​​tjenestepiger om at hjælpe hende med at lære at udføre libationen ved Agamemnons grav. Hun siger, at hun ikke ved, hvad den rigtige form for libation kan være.

Ved graven genforenes Electra med sin bror, Orestes, der ligeledes er søn af Agamemnon og Clytemnestra. Søsteren slutter sig sammen med broderen for at søge hævn mod deres mor for drabet på deres far. De planlægger at dræbe deres mor og hendes elsker, Aegisthus. I deres formulering forestiller de dette planlagte drab som en libation af menneskeligt blod. Men det er ikke den rigtige slags libation, der skal hældes for en forfader - eller for en kulthelt under opbygning, da reglerne for heltekult foreskrive blodoffer fra ofrede dyr, ikke af myrdede mennesker.

Clytemnestra og Aegisthus bliver nu myrdet af Orestes ved hjælp af Electra. Således er sønnen ramt af forureningen af ​​blodskyld for drabet på sin egen mor.

(3) Eumenides.

Historien fortalt i dette drama er centreret om transformation af ondartet Erinyes eller 'furier' til godartet Eumenides, hvilket betyder eufemistisk 'dem, der har en god disposition'. Erinyes, som personificeret 'Furies', er en kollektiv kvindelig legemliggørelse af vrede følt af døde helte, hvis rastløse ånder forfølger deres "ufærdige forretning" med at søge hævn for blodskyld. I begyndelsen af ​​dramaet søger Erinyerne allerede hævn mod Orestes. Denne hævn koncentrerer sig om sønnens blodskyld for at have myrdet sin mor for at hævne sin egen blodskyld for at have myrdet sin far. Erinyerne jagter Orestes og sporer ham som blodhunde.

Orestes søger tilflugt i byen Athen, hvor Athena, der er citadelens gudinde og hele byen og omegn, sørger for den første juryforsøg, der nogensinde er sket i menneskehedens forhistorie. Med hensyn til myte markerer dette øjeblik en overgang fra helternes dysfunktionelle alder til civilisationens funktionelle alder, der starter fra dette øjeblik i en fjern fortid og strækker sig helt til den fiktionelle nutid, 458 fvt (som vi daterer det), hvilket er året, hvor dramaet blev produceret i byen Athen. Igen hvad angår myte, strækker det samme øjeblik sig yderligere, ideelt set, fra nuet og ind i en håbet fremtidig evighed for Athen.

Ved denne oprindelige retssag forsvarer guden Apollo Orestes mod sagsøgerne, der er Erinyerne. Den mandlige guddommelighed påstår, at faderskab er vigtigere end moderskab. Apollos begrundelse er baseret på en gammel ideologi, der hævder, at menneskelig reproduktion skyldes mandligt 'frø', og at der ikke findes noget tilsvarende kvindeligt 'frø'. Med hensyn til et sådant krav er en mors livmoder blot en beholder, som faderen så at sige planter sit 'frø' i. Denne ideologi svarer til en gammel athensk lov, der tildelte athensk statsborgerskab til en mand, hvis far var en indfødt athener, uanset om moderen var en indfødt athener. Men "nutiden" i 458 fvt er en ny tid, hvor en ny athensk lov blev indført. Denne nye lov gav kun en mand statsborgerskab, hvis både hans far og hans mor var indfødte athenere. Denne nye lov, der tjente formålet med at blokere arrangementer af dynastiske ægteskaber med athenske mandlige eliter med ikke-athenske kvindelige eliter, var karakteristisk for en nyere ideologi, der bedst kan beskrives som demokrati. En sådan ideologi var relevant for en nyere version af myten, der var ved at tage form i dramaet fra Aeschylos, som var en fremtrædende statsdigter af statsteatret. I Aiskylos 'æra blev staten omdannet til en mere udtalt form for demokrati.

I myten om dette drama er gudinden Athena afgøreren, og hun er et perfekt eksempel, mytologisk, på en ny politisk virkelighed: hun blev undfanget i livmoderen af ​​Mētis, intelligensens gudinde, der blev imprægneret af Zeus, over -taler om alle guddommeligheder. Athena er et genetisk resultat af både den kvindelige forælder og den mandlige forælder. Men der er en fangst i det: Zeus havde følt sig truet af Mētis 'graviditet. Det blev forudsagt, at gudens søn, båret i livmoderen af ​​gudinden Mētis, ville vælte hans far, når han blev født. Så, Zeus sluger den gravide gudinde, og Athena fødes ud af hovedet, ikke ud af livmoderen på Mētis. Resultatet af denne guddommelige episiotomi er, at Athenes køn i sidste ende er kvinde, ikke mand. Men denne kvinde vil aldrig have sex, vil aldrig reproducere.

Derfor er Athena ikke kun pro-mor, men også pro-far. Hun er ikke kun feminin, men også maskulin. Hvordan vil denne identitet påvirke det første forsøg, der nogensinde er prøvet? Når juryen stemmer, er deres stemme uafgjort. Men Athena bryder slipset og befri Orestes fra dødsstraf for at have dræbt sin mor for at hævne hendes drab på sin far. Dermed ikke sagt, at Orestes ikke er skyldig. Det er ganske enkelt, at han ikke vil blive straffet yderligere for sin blodskyld, ud over de infernale kvaler, som han allerede havde oplevet ved at blive forfulgt af Erinyes. Og hvad sker der med Erinyes? Når de hører dommen, der renser Orestes for hans forurening, skriger de blodigt mord, men Athena formilder dem ved at tilbyde at samarbejde med dem i al fremtidig håndtering af kriminalitet og straf i New Civilization Order. Erinyerne kommer nu til at dele en ejerlejlighed som det var med Athena i Athen, da blodhævnens primitive mentalitet er et mest sigende ord, som hævn- er nu blevet erstattet af den civiliserede sociale orden i polis eller 'by-stat'. Furyerne er ikke længere rasende Erinyes. De er blevet de tempererede Eumenides, og dette navn er, som allerede bemærket, en eufemisme af ønsketænkning, da det betyder 'dem, der har en god disposition'.

II. Sofokles: oversigter over to af hans dramaer - (4) Ødipus ved Colonus, (5) Ødipus Tyrannus

Disse to dramaer af Sofokles er ikke et sæt - i modsætning til de tre dramaer af Aeschylos som beskrevet ovenfor. Det Ødipus ved Colonus blev sammensat af Sofokles i slutningen af ​​livet - han døde i 406 fvt - og dens premiere fandt sted kun posthumt i 401 fvt. Derimod er Ødipus Tyrannus havde sin premiere over et kvart århundrede tidligere, selvom den præcise dato ikke er kendt med sikkerhed. Først at blive overblik her er det senere drama, Ødipus ved Colonusaf en enkel grund: det er relativt lettere, tror jeg, at forstå den overordnede myte om Ødipus ved at læse Ødipus Tyrannus først efter at have læst Ødipus ved Colonus.

(4) Ødipus ved Colonus.

Oidipus, kongen af ​​Theben, havde blindet sig i fortvivlelse over sin skæve identitet efter at have opdaget, at han ubevidst havde dræbt sin egen far, den tidligere konge Laios, og havde giftet sig med sin egen mor, Jocasta, enken efter Laios. Oedipus forvandler sig fra byen Theben og søger nu tilflugt i byen Athen og ankommer til en deme eller 'distrikt', der ligger i nogen afstand fra centrum af denne by. Demens navn er Colonus, og denne navngivning er markeret med en stiliseret hvid sten, som er en tumulus eller høje belagt med gips, afbildet som skinnende på afstand. Navnet på Colonus refererer ikke kun til dette vartegn, men også i forlængelse af hele demet ved yderligere forlængelse, Colonus er endda navnet på en urkultshelt, hvis lig er placeret et sted i demens 'moder jord'.

Dette land af Colonus, denne deme, er afbildet som et helligt rum, der vrimler med frugtbar vegetation. Rummet er en stiliseret lund, der ikke kun er hellig for kulthelten Colonus, men også for en konstellation af guder, hvoraf den mest fremtrædende er Poseidon. Tilstedeværelsen af ​​denne magtfulde gud i Colonus er afbildet som en seksuel dominans af Moder Jord. Det er i dette land af Colonus, i denne lund, at Ødipus, elendig og frastødende, søger tilflugt.

Ved at søge tilflugt i Colonus søger Ødipus i forlængelse af tilflugt i byen Athen. Moderjorden, der er Colonus, er også i forlængelse af moderjorden, der er Athen. Og det er ikke tilfældigt, som vi vil se, at Colonus er fødestedet for Sofokles selv, yndlings søn af Athen.

For at få tilflugt i Colonus og i forlængelse heraf i Athen har den elendige Ødipus brug for støtte fra helten Theseus, der hersker som konge over Athen og over alle byens dæmoer, herunder Colonos død. Så Ødipus fremsætter en formel anmodning til Theseus, som er ypperstepræst for athenerne i kraft af at være deres konge: specifikt beder Ødipus Theseus om at rense ham for forureningen ved at dræbe sin far og have sex med sin mor. Til gengæld lover Ødipus til Theseus, at han vil donere sin egen krop, nu hvor han er klar til døden, til Colonos død. Det vil sige, at Ødipus lover at blive en ny kulthelt for demoen ved navn Colonus og supplere den tidligere heltekult af den tidligere kulthelt ved navn Colonus.

Anmodningen imødekommes, og løftet bliver holdt. Theseus som ypperstepræst renser den elendige Ødipus for sin forurening, og Ødipus absorberes ved hjælp af en mystisk død som en ny kulthelt i Colonos Moder Jord. Den nye heltekult i Ødipus, forankret ikke kun i Colonus, men også mere generelt i Athen, ses som en moralsk sejr for denne by og som et nederlag for byen Theben, som på tidspunktet for dette dramas produktion var en dødsfiende af Athen.

(5) Ødipus Tyrannus.

Befolkningen i Theben, hvor Ødipus er konge, lider under forureningen af ​​en pest, der rammer alt vegetabilsk og dyreliv, ikke kun menneskers liv. De henvender sig til Ødipus og beder til ham: du skal redde os. Hvis du kan redde os, så vil du være vores frelser igen. Du har allerede reddet os før.

Dette er en dårlig start for historien om dramaet. Folket nærmer sig Ødipus her, som om han allerede var en kulthelt. Men det er han ikke. Du kan ikke blive en kulthelt, før du dør, og Ødipus lever stadig meget.

Befolkningen i Theben har henvendt sig til Ødipus her, fordi de stoler på, hvad de ved om en tidligere gerning af ham: Ødipus havde været deres frelser før, da han havde løst Sfinxens gåde. Denne løsning reddede befolkningen i Theben fra en tidligere pest. Så red os nu igen, de bønfalder ham. Ødipus reagerer ved at udtrykke sin vilje til at løse pestens gåde. Men løsningen på denne nye gåde bliver tragisk nok opløsningen af ​​hans egen identitet som konge. Og denne opløsning vil blive formaliseret af hans selvblindende.

Antropologer fortæller os, at en generisk konge i ethvert givet samfund normalt betragtes som legemliggørelsen af ​​dette samfund. Følgelig vil enhver smerte for samfundets 'kropspolitik' primært være en smerte for kongen selv. Og som Ødipus selv tilstår i begyndelsen af ​​historien, der blev fortalt i dette drama, føler han nu en smerte større end alle de smerter, som hver og en af ​​sine egne mennesker føler. Men den smerte er smerten ved forurening, og den ultimative årsag til forureningen er i dette tilfælde kongen selv. Og denne forurening forårsaget af kongen kan kun helbredes, hvis kongen ophæver sit eget kongedømme ved at fortryde sin egen identitet. Det var det, jeg mente, da jeg for et øjeblik siden talte om en opløsning, der vil blive formaliseret ved selvblindende.

Det er derfor en ironi, at folket beder til Ødipus som deres frelser, idet de ved, som de allerede ved, at denne helt havde helbredt dem for en tidligere pest - helbredt dem ved hjælp af sin intelligens, da han løste Sphinxens gåde. Men nu ser vi, hvorfor historien var gået dårligt fra starten. Den ultimative frelser her er ikke Oidipus, men guden Apollo selv, hvis primære rolle i universet er livets helbredelse - og hvis ultimative karakteristik er den lysende intelligens, der kommer fra selve solens lys. Så når Thebes folk beder til Ødipus om at helbrede dem som deres frelser, ved hjælp af hans intelligens, trækker deres bøn denne helt ind i et antagonistisk forhold til den guddommelighed, som han ligner mest. Den guddommelighed er åbenbart Apollo, der faktisk påberåbes som en frelser i det samme drama. Modsætningen fører til en diskvalifikation af Ødipus som konge af Theben. Den lysende intelligens af Apollo har tilstoppet den ringere intelligens af Oidipus, som nu slukker lyset i sine egne øjne ved at blinde sig selv og dermed lemlæstelse af sine ydre tegn på kongedømme.

Den generiske helt, mens han er i live, er dødsdømt af et sådant antagonistisk forhold til en guddommelighed. Efter døden vil den samme helt imidlertid blive velsignet af det samme forhold, som nu kan gennemgå en radikal forvandling: den gamle modsætning, som vi ser i myterne om heltens liv, vil efter døden blive omdannet til en ny symbiose som vi ser i de tilsvarende ritualer om heltekult, hvor den generiske kulthelt kommer til at blive tilbedt sammen med den guddommelighed, som han eller hun ligner mest. I Sophokles 'to Ødipus -dramaer bliver historien om Oidipus som en kulthelt imidlertid kun en realitet i Athen, ikke i Theben. Og den historie fortælles i Ødipus ved Colonus, ikke i Ødipus Tyrannus.

III. Euripides: oversigter over to af hans dramaer - (6) Hippolytus, (7) Bacchae (ellerBacchiske kvinder)

Disse to dramaer om Euripides er kronologisk langt fra hinanden, adskilt af over et kvart århundrede. Den tidligere af de to er Hippolytus, produceret i 428 fvt. Dette drama er allerede langt fra det, vi så i betragtning af de tre dramaer af Aeschylos, som var blevet produceret tredive år tidligere, i 458 fvt. Der så vi drama som statsteater, der afspejler den fremherskende ideologi i den athenske stat, som den eksisterede i Aeschylos 'æra. I Hippolytusderimod, produceret i 428 fvt, ser vi drama som teater af hensyn til teatret. Forskellene mellem Aeschylos 'og Euripides' dramaer bliver endnu mere markante i den anden digters senere værk. Et markant eksempel er Bacchae af Euripides, hvis premiere fandt sted i 405 fvt, engang efter digterens død. Her er selve tanken om Teater sat i tvivl. Så hvad er egentlig Dionysos 'rolle som teatergud? Der er ikke noget let svar. Det er fordi, selvom Euripides dramaer stadig er afhængige af statens sponsorering, kan statens borgerlige dagsorden ikke længere opdages. Sådanne forskelle mellem Aeschylos 'og Euripides' dramaer fremhæves legende af Aristofanes i hans komedie Frøer, produceret i 405 fvt. Forestil dig, at der er en anden verden poetisk konkurrence mellem de to digtere, og det er den borgerligt sindede Aeschylos, der vinder konkurrencen, ikke den eksperimentelle Euripides. Effekten er ironisk nok komisk.

(6) Hippolytus.

I den myte, der genfortælles i dette drama, tilbeder den ungdommelige helt Hippolytus kun gudinden Artemis og tilsidesætter helt gudinden Aphrodite. Han bekymrer sig kun om jagt og atletik. Denne forkærlighed for hans afspejler hans forsømmelse af Aphrodite, og her er hvorfor: både jagt og atletik, som var ritualiserede aktiviteter i det antikke græske samfund, krævede midlertidig afholdenhed fra seksuel aktivitet, hvilket naturligvis var Afrodites primære domæne, seksualitetens gudinde og kærlighed.

Aphrodite, i sin vrede over at blive negligeret af Hippolytus, udtænker en plan for at straffe ham. Hendes guddommelige scenario vil i sidste ende dømme ikke kun Hippolytus, men også kvinden, som gudinden vælger som redskab til straf. Hvad der sker, er at Afrodite får Phaedra, Theseus 'unge kones unge kone til at blive forelsket i Hippolytus, hendes stedsøn, som Theseus havde fået i en tidligere forbindelse - med en Amazonas. Det tragiske efterspil af ulykkelig kærlighed resulterer i ikke én død, men to. Ikke kun Hippolytus, men også den unge dronning Phaedra skal dø.

Efter at Hippolytus afviser et tilbud om Phaedras kærlighed, indirekte formidlet af hendes livslang plejer eller 'sygeplejerske', skriver den unge dronning et brev, hvor hun fejlagtigt beskylder sin stedsøn for at have gjort seksuelle fremskridt mod hende, og hun gør anklagen uigenkaldelig ved at begå selvmord. Når Theseus læser brevet, tror han på anklagen på trods af Hippolytus 'protester, og faderen udsender nu en uigenkaldelig forbandelse mod sønnen. Forbandelsen træder i kraft, da Hippolytus kører afsted i sin vogn og farer langs kysten: pludselig udløses et monster af forbandelsen. Det er en rasende tyr, der kommer ud af havet. Visionen om dette monster får panik over de galopperende heste, der trækker Hippolytos hastige vogn. Han bliver dræbt i det spektakulære styrt, der følger.

As we know from written sources external to the drama, not only Hippolytus but also Phaedra were worshipped as cult heroes in the city of Troizen, which is pictured by Euripides as the dramatic setting for the story. In the context of these hero cults, there were rituals of initiation that corresponded to the myths about the deaths of these two cult heroes. And the functionality of these rituals in the present, that is, in the era when the drama was produced, corresponded to the dysfunctionality of the two heroes in the myth being retold. In other words, young people in the present had the chance to be fortunate in love after they were initiated into adulthood by way of re-enacting, in song and dance, the unfortunate love story of two doomed heroes of the distant past, Phaedra and Hippolytus.

(7) Bacchae (eller Bacchic Women).

This drama is chronologically the latest Greek tragedy—and, by accident, the last to survive (actually, the actual ending of the text has not survived, either). Paradoxically, this last tragedy is the only surviving drama that speaks directly about the Birth of Tragedy—in using this expression, I am borrowing from the formulation of Friedrich Nietzsche.

At a time when the very form of tragedy was getting more and more destabilized, the story of this drama reaches back to the origins of tragedy. According to Athenian traditions, the very first tragedy ever produced was called Pentheus, named after a hero who had persecuted Dionysus and had been punished for his impiety. The punishment was the dismemberment of Pentheus at the hands of his own mother and aunts, who had been driven mad by the mental power of Dionysus. And this same Pentheus is also the main hero in the Bacchae of Euripides. Here too, as in the earliest forms of the relevant myth, Pentheus persecutes Dionysus, who arrives in Thebes to shake things up—that is the way the god actually describes what he intends to do.

For Pentheus, Dionysus is an alien and, as an alien, he is a threat to the social order of the city of Thebes. But Pentheus does not understand that Dionysus, although he looks alien on the outside, is on the inside a native son of the city. Like Pentheus himself, Dionysus too is a grandson of Cadmus, the original founder of Thebes.

Further, Pentheus does not understand that Dionysus is a god. Failing to understand, Pentheus proceeds to persecute the god, abusing him as if Dionysus were not really divine. The god in turn does not reveal fully his divinity to Pentheus until it is too late for that hero to repent. Instead, Dionysus acts as a devotee of the god, and the word for such a devotee is bakkhos. But the irony is, an alternative name for Dionysus himself is Bakkhos, generally spelled today in its latinized form, Bacchus. In the rituals of worship for Dionysus, any devotee of the god can become one with the god, and that is why both god and devotee can be called Bakkhos/bakkhos. Thus, by acting the part of a devotee of the god, Dionysus is in fact acting the part of the god himself.

When the god acts, he is not an actor but the real actant of the totalizing myth of Dionysus. That is why the mask of Dionysus is his face, and his face is his mask. After all, he is the god of Theater.

Mask of Dionysus, found in Myrina (now in Turkey). Terracotta. 2nd–1st centuries BCE. Paris. Musée du Louvre. Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities (Myr. 347). Line drawing by Valerie Woelfel.

Those who are possessed by Dionysus in ritual are moderate, but those who are possessed by the god in myth are immoderate—they are driven mad. That is why the mother and the aunts of Perseus, as characters in myth who failed to revere the god Dionysus, will be driven mad and will ultimately dismember Pentheus. By contrast, the women who are the followers of the god, as represented by the chorus of the drama, are moderate in their worship—and they are authorized by Theater to sing and dance the myth of Dionysus, thus reintegrating the body politic.


Kvinder

One Athenian group that can without absurdity be called an exploited productive class was the women. They were unusually restricted in their property rights even by comparison with the women in other Greek states. To some extent the peculiar Athenian disabilities were due to a desire on the part of the polis to ensure that estates did not become concentrated in few hands, thus undermining the democracy of smallholders. To this social and political end it was necessary that women should not inherit in their own right an heiress was therefore obliged to marry her nearest male relative unless he found a dowry for her. The prevailing homosexual ethos of the gymnasia and of the symposium helped to reduce the cultural value attached to women and to the marriage bond.

Against all this, one has to place evidence showing that, whatever the rules, women did as a matter of fact make dedications and loans, at Athens as elsewhere, sometimes involving fairly large sums. And the Athenian orators appealed to the informal pressure of domestic female opinion one 4th-century speaker in effect asked what the men would tell the women of their households if they acquitted a certain woman and declared that she was as worthy to hold a priesthood as they were.

In fact, priesthoods were one area of public activity open to women at Athens the priestess of Athena Nike was in some sense appointed by lot “from all the Athenian women,” just like some post-Ephialtic magistrate. (Both the inscription appointing the priestess and the epitaph of the first incumbent are extant.) The Athenian priests and priestesses, however, did not have the political influence that their counterparts later had at Rome only one anecdote attests a priestess as conscientious objector on a political issue (Theano, who refused to curse Alcibiades), and it is suspect. It is true that Athenian women had cults of their own, such as that of Artemis at Brauron, where young Athenian girls served the goddess in a ritual capacity as “little bears.” Such activity, however, can be seen as merely a taming process, preparatory to marriage in the way that military initiation was preparatory to the male world of war and fighting.

Nevertheless, it was arguably in religious associations that the excluded situation of Classical Athenian women at the political level was ameliorated. At Athens and elsewhere, the rules about women and sacrifice seem to show that the political definition of female status was more restricted than the social and religious. As always, however, there is a problem about evidence. Much of it comes from Athens, yet there is reason to suppose that the rules circumscribing Athenian women were exceptional the “Gortyn code” from mid-5th-century Crete, for example, seems to imply that women held more property there than was usual at Athens in the same period.


Græsk tragedie

Græsk tragedie sets ancient tragedy into its original theatrical, political and ritual context and applies modern critical approaches to understanding why tragedy continues to interest modern audiences.

An engaging introduction to Greek tragedy, its history, and its reception in the contemporary world with suggested readings for further study
Examines tragedy&aposs relationsh Græsk tragedie sets ancient tragedy into its original theatrical, political and ritual context and applies modern critical approaches to understanding why tragedy continues to interest modern audiences.

An engaging introduction to Greek tragedy, its history, and its reception in the contemporary world with suggested readings for further study
Examines tragedy's relationship to democracy, religion, and myth
Explores contemporary approaches to scholarship, including structuralist, psychoanalytic, and feminist theory
Provides a thorough examination of contemporary performance practices
Includes detailed readings of selected plays . mere


Indhold

Agamemnon ( Ἀγαμέμνων , Agamémnōn) is the first of the three plays within the Oresteia trilogi. It details the homecoming of Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, from the Trojan War. After ten years of warfare, Troy had fallen and all of Greece could lay claim to victory. Waiting at home for Agamemnon is his wife, Queen Clytemnestra, who has been planning his murder. She desires his death to avenge the sacrifice of her daughter Iphigenia, to exterminate the only thing hindering her from commandeering the crown, and to finally be able to publicly embrace her long-time lover Aegisthus. [3]

The play opens to a watchman looking down and over the sea, reporting that he has been lying restless "like a dog" for a year, waiting to see some sort of signal confirming a Greek victory in Troy. He laments the fortunes of the house, but promises to keep silent: "A huge ox has stepped onto my tongue." The watchman sees a light far off in the distance—a bonfire signaling Troy's fall—and is overjoyed at the victory and hopes for the hasty return of his King, as the house has "wallowed" in his absence. Clytemnestra is introduced to the audience and she declares that there will be celebrations and sacrifices throughout the city as Agamemnon and his army return. [ citat nødvendig ]

Upon the return of Agamemnon, his wife laments in full view of Argos how horrible the wait for her husband, and King, has been. After her soliloquy, Clytemnestra pleads with and convinces Agamemnon to walk on the robes laid out for him. This is a very ominous moment in the play as loyalties and motives are questioned. The King's new concubine, Cassandra, is now introduced and this immediately spawns hatred from the queen, Clytemnestra. Cassandra is ordered out of her chariot and to the altar where, once she is alone, is heard crying out insane prophecies to Apollo about the death of Agamemnon and her own shared fate.

Inside the house a cry is heard Agamemnon has been stabbed in the bathtub. The chorus separate from one another and ramble to themselves, proving their cowardice, when another final cry is heard. When the doors are finally opened, Clytemnestra is seen standing over the dead bodies of Agamemnon and Cassandra. Clytemnestra describes the murder in detail to the chorus, showing no sign of remorse or regret. Suddenly the exiled lover of Clytemnestra, Aegisthus, bursts into the palace to take his place next to her. Aegisthus proudly states that he devised the plan to murder Agamemnon and claim revenge for his father (the father of Aegisthus, Thyestes, was tricked into eating two of his sons by his brother Atreus, the father of Agamemnon). Clytemnestra claims that she and Aegisthus now have all the power and they re-enter the palace with the doors closing behind them. [4]

I Libation Bearers ( Χοηφóρoι , Choēphóroi)—the second play of Aeschylus' Oresteia trilogy—many years after the murder of Agamemnon, his son Orestes returns to Argos with his cousin Pylades to exact vengeance on Clytemnestra, as an order from Apollo, for killing Agamemnon. [5] Upon arriving, Orestes reunites with his sister Electra at Agamemnon's grave, while she was there bringing libations to Agamemnon in an attempt to stop Clytemnestra's bad dreams. [6] Shortly after the reunion, both Orestes and Electra, influenced by the Chorus, come up with a plan to kill both Clytemnestra and Aegisthus. [7]

Orestes then heads to the palace door where he is unexpectedly greeted by Clytemnestra. In his response to her he pretends he is a stranger and tells Clytemnestra that he (Orestes) is dead, causing her to send for Aegisthus. Unrecognized, Orestes is then able to enter the palace where he then kills Aegisthus, who was without a guard due to the intervention of the Chorus in relaying Clytemnestra's message. [8] Clytemnestra then enters the room. Orestes hesitates to kill her, but Pylades reminds him of Apollo's orders, and he eventually follows through. [6] Consequently, after committing the matricide, Orestes is now the target of the Furies' merciless wrath and has no choice but to flee from the palace. [8]

The final play of the Oresteia, called Eumeniderne ( Εὐμενίδες , Eumenídes), illustrates how the sequence of events in the trilogy ends up in the development of social order or a proper judicial system in Athenian society. [1] In this play, Orestes is hunted down and tormented by the Furies, a trio of goddesses known to be the instruments of justice, who are also referred to as the "Gracious Ones" (Eumenides). They relentlessly pursue Orestes for the killing of his mother. [9] However, through the intervention of Apollo, Orestes is able to escape them for a brief moment while they are asleep and head to Athens under the protection of Hermes. Seeing the Furies asleep, Clytemnestra's ghost comes to wake them up to obtain justice on her son Orestes for killing her. [10]

After waking up, the Furies hunt down Orestes again and when they find him, Orestes pleads to the goddess Athena for help and she responds by setting up a trial for him in Athens on the Areopagus. This trial is made up of a group of twelve Athenian citizens and is supervised by none other than Athena herself. Here Orestes is used as a trial dummy by Athena to set-up the first courtroom trial. He is also the object of central focus between the Furies, Apollo, and Athena. [1] After the trial comes to an end, the votes are tied. Athena casts the deciding vote and determines that Orestes will not be killed. [11] This ultimately does not sit well with the Furies, but Athena eventually persuades them to accept the decision and, instead of violently retaliating against wrongdoers, become a constructive force of vigilance in Athens. She then changes their names from the Furies to "the Eumenides" which means "the Gracious Ones". [12] Athena then ultimately rules that all trials must henceforth be settled in court rather than being carried out personally. [12]

Proteus ( Πρωτεύς , Prōteus), the satyr play which originally followed the first three plays of Oresteia, is lost except for a two-line fragment preserved by Athenaeus. However, it is widely believed to have been based on the story told in Book IV of Homer's Odyssey, where Menelaus, Agamemnon's brother, attempts to return home from Troy and finds himself on an island off Egypt, "whither he seems to have been carried by the storm described in Agam.674". [13] The title character, "the deathless Egyptian Proteus", the Old Man of the Sea, is described in Homer as having been visited by Menelaus seeking to learn his future. In the process, Proteus tells Menelaus of the death of Agamemnon at the hands of Aegisthus as well as the fates of Ajax the Lesser and Odysseus at sea and is compelled to tell Menelaus how to reach home from the island of Pharos. "The satyrs who may have found themselves on the island as a result of shipwreck . . . perhaps gave assistance to Menelaus and escaped with him, though he may have had difficulty in ensuring that they keep their hands off Helen" [14] The only extant fragment that has been definitively attributed to Proteus was translated by Herbert Weir Smyth as "A wretched piteous dove, in quest of food, dashed amid the winnowing-fans, its breast broken in twain." [15] In 2002, Theatre Kingston mounted a production of Oresteia and included a new reconstruction of Proteus based on the episode in Odysseen and loosely arranged according to the structure of extant satyr plays.

In this trilogy there are multiple themes carried through all three plays. Other themes can be found and in one, or two, of the three plays, but are not applicable to the Trilogy as a whole and thus are not considered themes of the trilogy.

Justice through retaliation Edit

Retaliation is seen in the Oresteia in a slippery slope form, occurring subsequently after the actions of one character to another. In the first play Agamemnon, it is mentioned how in order to shift the wind for his voyage to Troy, Agamemnon had to sacrifice his innocent daughter Iphigenia. [16] This then caused Clytemnestra pain and eventually anger which resulted in her plotting revenge on Agamemnon. Therefore, she found a new lover Aegisthus. And when Agamemnon returned to Argos from the Trojan War, Clytemnestra killed him by stabbing him in the bathtub and would eventually inherit his throne. [2] The death of Agamemnon thus sparks anger in Orestes and Electra and this causes them to now plot the death of their mother Clytemnestra in the next play Libation Bearers, which would be considered matricide. Through much pressure from Electra and his cousin Pylades Orestes eventually kills his mother Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus in "The Libation Bearers". [16] Now after committing the matricide, Orestes is being hunted down by the Furies in the third play "The Eumenides", who wish to exact vengeance on him for this crime. And even after he gets away from them Clytemnestra's spirit comes back to rally them again so that they can kill Orestes and obtain vengeance for her. [16] However this cycle of non-stop retaliation comes to a stop near the end of Eumeniderne when Athena decides to introduce a new legal system for dealing out justice. [2]

Justice through the law Edit

This part of the theme of 'justice' in Oresteia is seen really only in Eumeniderne, however its presence still marks the shift in themes. After Orestes begged Athena for deliverance from 'the Erinyes,' she granted him his request in the form of a trial. [1] It is important that Athena did not just forgive Orestes and forbid the Furies from chasing him, she intended to put him to a trial and find a just answer to the question regarding his innocence. This is the first example of proper litigation in the trilogy and illuminates the change from emotional retaliation to civilized decisions regarding alleged crimes. [17] Instead of allowing the Furies to torture Orestes, she decided that she would have both the Furies and Orestes plead their case before she decided on the verdict. In addition, Athena set up the ground rules for how the verdict would be decided so that everything would be dealt with fairly. By Athena creating this blueprint the future of revenge-killings and the merciless hunting of the Furies would be eliminated from Greece. Once the trial concluded, Athena proclaimed the innocence of Orestes and he was set free from the Furies. The cycle of murder and revenge had come to an end while the foundation for future litigation had been laid. [11] Aeschylus, through his jury trial, was able to create and maintain a social commentary about the limitations of revenge crimes and reiterate the importance of trials. [18] Oresteia, as a whole, stands as a representation of the evolution of justice in Ancient Greece. [19]

Revenge Edit

The theme of revenge plays a large role in the Oresteia. It is easily seen as a principal motivator of the actions of almost all of the characters. It all starts in Agamemnon with Clytemnestra, who murders her husband, Agamemnon, in order to obtain vengeance for his sacrificing of their daughter, Iphigenia. The death of Cassandra, the princess of Troy, taken captive by Agamemnon in order to fill a place as a concubine, can also be seen as an act of revenge for taking another woman as well as the life of Iphigenia. Later on, in Libation Bearers, Orestes and Electra, siblings as well as the other children of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, plot to kill their mother and succeed in doing so due to their desire to avenge their father's death. Eumeniderne is the last play in which the Furies, who are in fact the goddesses of vengeance, seek to take revenge on Orestes for the murder of his mother. It is also in this part of the trilogy that it is discovered that the god Apollo played a part in the act of vengeance toward Clytemnestra through Orestes. The cycle of revenge seems to be broken when Orestes is not killed by the Furies, but is instead allowed to be set free and deemed innocent by the goddess Athena. The entirety of the play's plot is dependent upon the theme of revenge, as it is the cause of almost all of the effects within the play.

The House of Atreus began with Tantalus, son of Zeus, who murdered his son, Pelops, and attempted to feed him to the gods. The gods, however, were not tricked and banished Tantalus to the Underworld and brought his son back to life. Later in life Pelops and his family line were cursed by Myrtilus, a son of Hermes, catalyzing the curse of the House of Atreus. Pelops had two children, Atreus and Thyestes, who are said to have killed their half-brother Chrysippus, and were therefore banished.

Thyestes and Aerope, Atreus’ wife, were found out to be having an affair, and in an act of vengeance, Atreus murdered his brother's sons, cooked them, and then fed them to Thyestes. Thyestes had a son with his daughter and named him Aegisthus, who went on to kill Atreus.

Atreus’ children were Agamemnon, Menelaus, and Anaxibia. Leading up to here, we can see that the curse of the House of Atreus was one forged from murder, incest and deceit, and continued in this way for generations through the family line. To put it simply, the curse demands blood for blood, a never ending cycle of murder within the family.

Those who join the family seem to play a part in the curse as well, as seen in Clytemnestra when she murders her husband Agamemnon, in revenge for sacrificing their daughter, Iphigenia. [20] Orestes, goaded by his sister Electra, murders Clytemnestra in order to exact revenge for her killing his father.

Orestes is said to be the end of the curse of the House of Atreus. The curse holds a major part in the Oresteia and is mentioned in it multiple times, showing that many of the characters are very aware of the curse's existence. Aeschylus was able to use the curse in his play as an ideal formulation of tragedy in his writing.

Some scholars believe that the trilogy is influenced by contemporary political developments in Athens. A few years previously, legislation sponsored by the democratic reformer Ephialtes had stripped the court of the Areopagus, hitherto one of the most powerful vehicles of upper-class political power, of all of its functions except some minor religious duties and the authority to try homicide cases by having his story being resolved by a judgement of the Areopagus, Aeschylus may be expressing his approval of this reform. It may also be significant that Aeschylus makes Agamemnon lord of Argos, where Homer puts his house, instead of his nearby capitol Mycenae, since about this time Athens had entered into an alliance with Argos. [21]

Key British productions

In 1981, Sir Peter Hall directed Tony Harrison's adaptation of the trilogy in masks in London's Royal National Theatre, with music by Harrison Birtwistle and stage design by Jocelyn Herbert. [22] [23] [24] In 1999, Katie Mitchell followed him at the same venue (though in the Cottesloe Theatre, where Hall had directed in the Olivier Theatre) with a production which used Ted Hughes' translation. [25] In 2015, Robert Icke's production of his own adaptation was a sold out hit at the Almeida Theatre and was transferred that same year to the West End's Trafalgar Studios. [26] Two other productions happened in the UK that year, in Manchester and at Shakespeare's Globe. [27] The following year, in 2016, playwright Zinnie Harris premiered her adaptation, This Restless House, at the Citizen's Theatre to five-star critical acclaim. [28]


An Introduction to Greek Tragedy - History

In this course, Professor Simon Goldhill (University of Cambridge) explores several aspects of Greek tragedy and comedy, focusing in particular on Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, Euripides’ Bacchae, and Aristophanes’ Frogs. The first module provides an introduction to Greek tragedy and comedy, focusing in particular on the particular time and place in which these plays were written and performed ¬– fifth-century Athens. In the second module, we think about the rituals and ceremonies that preceded the performance of the dramatic works themselves – and why they are important in how we think about tragedy and comedy. Each of the three modules after that focuses on a single play –Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, Euripides’ Bacchae, and Aristophanes’ Frogs – and we think about some of the play’s key issues and preoccupations. The sixth module provides some concluding thoughts on the genre as a whole.

About the Lecturer

Simon Goldhill is Professor of Greek Literature and Culture and a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. His research interests include Greek Tragedy, Greek Culture, Literary Theory, Later Greek Literature, and Reception. His many publications include Reading Greek Tragedy (1986), Love Sex and Tragedy (2004), Victorian Culture and Classical Antiquity (2011), and Sophocles and the Language of Tragedy (2012), the last of which won the 2013 Runciman Award for the best book on a Greek topic, ancient or modern.


An introduction to. ancient Greek theatre

Seeing a Greek tragedy performed in English, let alone in the ancient Greek, may sound like hard work to many nowadays. But for the first audiences of plays like the Agamemnon, Medea og Bacchae, the theatre was the ancient equivalent of Hollywood – mass entertainment and big business. The early Greek comedies too, such as Aristophanes’ Frøer, had huge appeal, combining slapstick, literary parody (particularly of tragedy), not to mention a ‘Have-I-Got-News-For-You’ style treatment of politics and politicians.

The highlight of the dramatic calendar in the fifth century BC was the ‘City Dionysia’ held in Athens every year at the beginning of spring. This festival in honour of the god Dionysus lasted about a week, and over half of that time would be dedicated to back-to-back theatrical performances – up to seventeen plays over the course of four days. During that time audiences would be swept away by the rhetoric of heroes, would marvel at the coordinated dance and song of the choruses, have their sides split by the japery of comic actors and their aesthetic appetites indulged by the whole lavish spectacle.

The theatre in democratic Athens was a forum for exploring the most contentious of political issues. For the duration of the festival law courts would be closed, governmental and municipal business suspended and people who lived in the neighbouring rural townships would leave their agricultural tasks and flock to the city. The Athenian prisons would even release inmates for the duration of the festival so that they could attend the processions, plays and sacrifices.

In the days leading up to the festival, the whole city would be buzzing with excitement. Workmen brought in by the cartload would begin building the rows and rows of wooden benches on the southern slope of the Acropolis (there was no permanent theatre in Athens until the mid-fourth century). Merchants would trundle in from out of town to set up their stalls selling food, ‘sacred’ objects and other festival wares, while behind closed doors, boys and young men would be obsessively going over their words and walking through their steps in preparation for their performances. On stage in front of anything between six and twelve thousand spectators, there was nowhere to hide if you missed a beat.

The City Dionysia was also something of a PR exercise for the Athenians. They would be able to show off their dramatic prowess but the processions and ceremonies that preceded the performance days also honoured the bravery of their fallen soldiers, revelled in the splendour of the city’s buildings and publicly displayed their wealth. Visiting delegates from tribute-paying allied cities were given seats of honour in the theatre so that they might better observe the power of their ‘mother’ city.

Although the deaths of Sophocles and Euripides in 406 BC were felt keenly throughout Greece, theatre continued to grow and evolve. If anything, theatre became more popular and, as it spread beyond Athens and rural Attica, was increasingly important for the Greek economy. In contrast to the somewhat ambiguous status of actors for much of history, actors in fourth-century Greece were well-respected artistes and celebrities, in demand and obscenely well paid. Long before Angelina Jolie ever became a Goodwill ambassador for the UN, actors like Neoptolemus and Aristodemus were performing the duties of ambassador and promoting peace between the warring nations of Athens and Macedon.

In a way lost to us now, going to the theatre in the ancient Greek world was a communal activity and one that was hard-wired into the social, political and religious rhythms of the ancient city. But for all the differences, we can still find those moments on the modern stage when the spirit of ancient theatre lives and long-dead poets speak once more.


Introduktion Antigone, Sophocles

Ancient Greek poetry and myth is complex and inherently multiform. Singers who recomposed myths in performance and audience members who interact with singers could draw upon shared traditions, themes, and language that resonated with associations and meanings developed over centuries of performer and group interaction. For ancient Greeks engaging with such a living mytho-poetic system, Antigone would need no introduction.

First-time modern readers, however, may at find it helpful to know just the basic facts about Sophocles’ use of this myth before beginning. In this tragedy, Antigone is the daughter of Oedipus the former king of Thebes who brought about his own destruction by unknowingly killing his father and marrying his mother Jocasta. After Oedipus’ self-blinding, exile, and death, his two sons (and Antigone’s two brothers), Eteokles and Polyneikes, end up quarreling for control over Thebes. War ensues when Polyneikes and six other heroes attack the seven gates of the city (the mythical “Seven Against Thebes”). In a final military confrontation, the brothers kill each other. Antigone’s uncle Creon takes control of the city and decrees that Eteokles should be given the funeral of a hero, while Polyneikes must be left unmourned and unburied. Anyone who defies this edict faces death. The tragedy begins here.

Some brief explanations about other myths cited in this texts will be offered in a forthcoming appendix. Readers seeking additional information about the myth of Antigone will find valuable resources on the Perseus Digital Library and on theoi.com. But overall, we believe that the best introduction to ancient Greek poetry and myth is the poetry itself. For an accessible and general introduction to ancient Greek tragedy and poetics, we refer readers to Gregory Nagy’s introduction in the Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours.

This edition of Sophocles’ Antigone has been prepared by members of the Hour 25 community to match and complement the Sourcebook of Primary Texts in Translation as used in HeroesX. Our base text for this was a Gregory Nagy revision of a Richard Jebb translation that is in the public domain and available on Perseus. To this text, we added tags with transliterations of key Greek terms in context. See the Core Vocbulary and forthcoming Supplementary Vocab lists for additional information about these terms and our approach. We have at times revised the translation slightly to enhance clarity and understanding of the core vocabulary and key passages. This is a work in progress and we share our current progress knowing that this project will continue to evolve over time.

If you are moved, confused, or inspired by what you read here, we invite you to join our ongoing conversations in the Forum.

In the spirit of Nietzsche’s description of philology, may you read slowly, with delicate fingers and eyes, looking cautiously before and aft, and with many doors left open.


Se videoen: Clash of the Titans 2010 - Medusas Lair Scene 610. Movieclips