Introduction to the Ancient World: Greece

Lecture 10

Early Athens cont'd; theater and tragedy

I. Early Athens (cont'd from Lect. 9): Agora, agoraphobia, Peisistratus (Images 1-5),
and the blueprint for Athenian democracy, i.e. the reforms of Kleisthenes (Image 6),

II.  Tragic drama - key elements

tyche; moira; the question of Job; katharsis; pity and fear; hubris;  catastrophe;
not "tragic" ending but resolution

Dionysiac connection: ec-stasy

III. The setting and production 

A. Development from chorus and protagonist to 3 actors
B. audience; liturgy
C. the theater building: orchestra, skene; deus ex machina; Theater at Epidaurus;
Theater of Dionysus in Athens (see images)
female roles, masks ( @7:30)  

IV. Aeschylus (525-456 B.C.) 

V. The Agamemnon (and the next 2 plays) - trilogy

A. Plot

B. domestic themes; characters, hubris

C. universal themes: the curse on the House of Atreus (see below)

generations 1 and 2:  Tantalus/Pelops
generation 3:  Atreus and Thyestes
next:  Agamemnon/Clytemnestra/ Aegisthus
next: Orestes, Electra, Iphigenia

D. historical and political themes; Areopagus


"ALL IN THE FAMILY": The House of Atreus

Family of Atreus

Please read Oresteia over the weekend and bring texts to class on Tuesday.

Images for Lecture 10

modified Feb. 19, 2014