The Era of Greek Tragedy Essay

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The Era of Greek Tragedy In Athens, during the final thirty years of sixth century B.C. playwrights began creating the earliest drama in all of Europe, Greek tragedy (Sifakis, “Greek Tragedy”). Though now the products of the movement are seen as pieces of literature to be read, they originated as theatrical pieces meant to be performed on the stage. The tragedies were mostly derived from stories about their gods, such as Hades, Zeus and Nyx. In that time period, tales of these immortals were passed down from generation to generation as history, not fairy tales. The Greeks believed the stories were those of their ancestors and revered them much as people today revere the Bible or some other religious text. However, Dionysus is the god …show more content…
These two particularly famous tragedians made the most impact on the Greek Tragic movement. A defining characteristic of the tragedies was the structure around which they were written. Tragedies in Ancient Greece were a lot more like opera than modern plays. They included more singing and dancing than dialogue alone because it was more interesting to the people who would go to watch the productions. Thus, their structure was made differently to accommodate the various songs and dances written into the text. The typical structure of a tragedy is as follows:
1. Prologue, 2. Parode, 3. First Episode, 4. First Statismon, and 5. Exode. (MacLennan, “Typical Structure of a Tragedy”)
Oedipus the King, also known as Oedipus Rex, is a work that flows beautifully with the traditional structure of Greek Tragedies. Going to this play as an example will greatly benefit any person who wishes to study the infrastructure of the tragedies. The clearly defined and separated seconds of Oedipus the King allow for an easy analysis of its structure. The prologue, as far as a tragedy is concerned, is either a dialogue or long monologue at the very beginning of the play (MacLennan, “Typical Structure of a Tragedy”). This is used to introduce the topic early on so that the audience knew what was going on

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