Tragic Heroines In Greek Drama

Decent Essays

In ancient Greece, societal conventions and norms permeated all aspects of life. The arts were especially influenced by the ideals and beliefs of society. Gender was especially regulated in everyday life, something we see reflected in many art forms. The ancient Greeks were extremely influential in both the visual and dramatic arts. Throughout the development of these styles, we see how society’s established gender norms permeated the works of artists and playwrights alike. This is especially true in the depictions of dramatic heroines. Women from famous legends and myth were popular topics of study in the arts, but this does not mean they were spared from gendered expectations and roles. This paper will study representations of Greek tragic heroines in Athenian drama and on vase paintings. Through case studies of Alcestis, Medea, Electra, and Clytemnestra, I will see how perceptions of these women consistent or varying across the different art forms, how they upheld expectations of decorum, and how they are shown as upholding or challenging gender roles. By examining the intersection of theatre and vase painting, we can have a better understanding of how Greek society viewer these tragic heroines and the themes connected to their narratives. It is important to acknowledge the time frame we are looking at for both the texts and vases. Greek drama greatly developed and rose in popularity during the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, during which all of the texts we will be

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