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Ancient Greek Tragedy

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Unit 1 Ancient Greek Tragedy

Lesson 1: How do past narratives influence today’s ideas?

Notes: Tragedies often deal with a lot of love, lost, pride, abuse of power, problematic relationships between humans and gods. Protagonist often commit a terrible crime without realizing how foolish or arrogant they have been, then the world crumbles around them.

Satyr plays performed by half goat half men creatures called satyrs who often made fun of the plots and characters of tragedies. Satyrs play at intermissions of tragedies to give the crowd a fun break from the misery they've endured.

Tragedy is derived from the greek term tragos oide, tragos meaning goat oide meaning song, Oides are often songs that singers would sing in competitions much like todays televised singing contests, but the top prize was a goat. Because they were a popular offering.

Aristotle was a famous greek philosopher who had good ideas why people enjoyed tragic plays, he believed they were important because they show how good ordinary people can make terrible mistakes that can lead to their downfall. These events cause the protagonist to suffer or gain insight. The goal of the tragedy is to evoke fear and pity to the audience. Why wouldn't the audience endure a play that makes them feel all these painful emotions? Aristotle explain that pity and fear are natural human responses to pain and suffering. By the end of the play these feelings are replaced by another feeling called catharsis which is an exhilarating sensation feeling of relief which comes after purging these negative emotions . Catharsis is the same kind of guilty pleasure we get after watching a horror film, aristotle lists 6 essential things every good tragedy should have : 1. Plot not the story itself, the structure of the play. A good plot was the result of a cleverly constructed chain of cause and events, which is in his...

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