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Transcript Sophocles

496?-406 B.C.
Saw Athens rise and fall
 Represented high points of Athenian
 He wrote more than 120 plays.
 Seven of that remain intact.
Contributions to Theater
Won prizes at drama competitions
because of careful plotting and the
“sense of inevitability” in his
 Complex character development
 Innovations for stage
Greek Drama
Classical drama developed from
religious festivals that paid homage
to Dionysus, the god of wine and
 Plays were funded by the state.
 Plays were performed in
Greek Drama (cont’d)
Male actors performed in front of
 Few scene changes.
 Actors wore large masks, padded
costumes and elevated shoes.
 Words emphasized more than
Role of Chorus
Provided background information.
Assessed characters’ strengths and
weaknesses and gave advice.
Provided connection between actors and
the audience because the chorus had two
roles: observer and participant.
Helped structure action.
Used to shape audience’s response to
play’s action and characters.
Greek Tragedy
 Parados
 Episodia
 Stasimon
 Exodus
Presents courageous individuals who
confront powerful forces within or
outside themselves with a dignity
that reveals the breadth and depth
of the human spirit in the face of
failure, defeat and even death.
 Greek tragedy tends to be public.
Someone regarded as extraordinary
rather than typical. Stature is
important because it makes his/her
fall more terrifying.
 Hamartia: Protagonist has error or
frailty that seals his/her fate. An
internal tragic flaw.
 Accepts responsibility for downfall.
More Terms
Reversal: Moment in plot where
protagonist expectations are
changed. Hero's fortunes are turned
in unexpected direction.
 Recognition: character grows, makes
 Dramatic irony: meaning of
character’s words, actions
understood by audience but not by
From The Bedford
Introduction to Literature
Michael Meyer, Ed.