This book deals with the historical context of ancient Greek tragic performances, with the plays themselves, and with later adaptation and re-performance, down to modern times.
Professor Roger Woodard brings together a group of the world's most authoritative scholars of classical myth to present a thorough treatment of all aspects of Greek mythology. Sixteen original articles guide the reader through all aspects of the ancient mythic tradition and its influence around the world and in later years. The articles examine the forms and uses of myth in Greek oral and written literature, from the epic poetry of 8th century BC to the mythographic catalogues of the early centuries AD. They examine the relationship between myth, art, religion and politics among the ancient Greeks and its reception and influence on later society from the Middle Ages to present day literature, feminism and cinema. This Companion volume's comprehensive coverage makes it ideal reading for students of Greek mythology and for anyone interested in the myths of the ancient Greeks and their impact on western tradition.
This series of essays by prominent academics and practitioners investigates in detail the history of performance in the classical Greek and Roman world. Beginning with the earliest examples of 'dramatic' presentation in the epic cycles and reaching through to the latter days of the Roman Empire and beyond, this 2007 Companion covers many aspects of these broad presentational societies. Dramatic performances that are text-based form only one part of cultures where presentation is a major element of all social and political life. Individual chapters range across a two thousand year timescale, and include specific chapters on acting traditions, masks, properties, playing places, festivals, religion and drama, comedy and society, and commodity, concluding with the dramatic legacy of myth and the modern media. The book addresses the needs of students of drama and classics, as well as anyone with an interest in the theatre's history and practice.
Provides a unique panorama of this challenging area of Greek literature, combining literary perspectives with historical issues and material culture.
This book provides an accessible introduction for students and anyone interested in increasing their enjoyment of Greek tragic plays. Whether readers are studying Greek culture, performing a Greek tragedy, or simply interested in reading a Greek play, this book will help them to understand and enjoy this challenging and rewarding genre. An Introduction to Greek Tragedy provides background information, helps readers appreciate, enjoy and engage with the plays themselves, and gives them an idea of the important questions in current scholarship on tragedy. Ruth Scodel seeks to dispel misleading assumptions about tragedy, stressing how open the plays are to different interpretations and reactions. In addition to general background, the book also includes chapters on specific plays, both the most familiar titles and some lesser-known plays - Persians, Helen and Orestes - in order to convey the variety that the tragedies offer readers.
This book is an advanced critical introduction to Greek tragedy. It is written specifically for the reader who does not know Greek and who may be unfamiliar with the context of the Athenian drama festival but who nevertheless wants to appreciate the plays in all their complexity. Simon Goldhill aims to combine the best contemporary scholarly criticism in classics with a wide knowledge of modern literary studies in other fields. He discusses the masterpieces of Athenian drama in the light of contemporary critical controversies in such a way as to enable the student or scholar not only to understand and appreciate the texts of the most commonly read plays, but also to evaluate and utilize the range of approaches to the problems of ancient drama.
The Blackwell Companion to Greek Tragedy provides readers with a fundamental grounding in Greek tragedy, and also introduces them to the various methodologies and the lively critical dialogue that characterize the study of Greek tragedy today. Comprises 31 original essays by an international cast of contributors, including up-and-coming as well as distinguished senior scholars Pays attention to socio-political, textual, and performance aspects of Greek tragedy All ancient Greek is transliterated and translated, and technical terms are explained as they appear Includes suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter, and a generous and informative combined bibliography
Oliver Taplin's seminal study was revolutionary in drawing out the significance of stage action in Greek tragedy at a time when plays were often read purely as texts, rather than understood as performances. Professor Taplin explores nine plays, including Aeschylus' agamemnon and Sophocles' Oedipus the King. The details of theatrical techniques and stage directions, used by playwrights to highlight key moments, are drawn out and related to the meaning of each play as a whole. With extensive translated quotations, the essential unity of action and speech in Greek tragedy is demonstrated. Now firmly established as a classic text, Greek Tragedy in Action is even more relevant today, when performances of Greek tragedies and plays inspired by them have had such an extraordinary revival around the world.
Featuring essays by major international scholars, this Companion combines analysis of themes crucial to Renaissance tragedy with the interpretation of canonical and frequently taught texts. Part I introduces key topics, such as religion, revenge, and the family, and discusses modern performance traditions on stage and screen. Bridging this section with Part II is a chapter which engages with Shakespeare. It tackles Shakespeare's generic distinctiveness and how our familiarity with Shakespearean tragedy affects our appreciation of the tragedies of his contemporaries. Individual essays in Part II introduce and contribute to important critical conversations about specific tragedies. Topics include The Revenger's Tragedy and the theatrics of original sin, Arden of Faversham and the preternatural, and The Duchess of Malfi and the erotics of literary form. Providing fresh readings of key texts, the Companion is an essential guide for all students of Renaissance tragedy.
Mid-fifth-century Athens saw the development of the Athenian empire, the radicalization of Athenian democracy through the empowerment of poorer citizens, the adornment of the city through a massive and expensive building program, the classical age of Athenian tragedy, the assembly of intellectuals offering novel approaches to philosophical and scientific issues, and the end of the Spartan-Athenian alliance against Persia and the beginning of open hostilities between the two greatest powers of ancient Greece. The Athenian statesman Pericles both fostered and supported many of these developments. Although it is no longer fashionable to view Periclean Athens as a social or cultural paradigm, study of the history, society, art, and literature of mid-fifth-century Athens remains central to any understanding of Greek history. This collection of essays reveal the political, religious, economic, social, artistic, literary, intellectual, and military infrastructure that made the Age of Pericles possible.
The history of European drama began at the festivals of Dionysus in ancient Athens, where tragedy, satyr-drama and comedy were performed. Understanding this background is vital for students of classical, literary and theatrical subjects, and Alan H. Sommerstein's accessible study is the ideal introduction. The book begins by looking at the social and theatrical contexts and different characteristics of the three genres of ancient Greek drama. It then examines the five main dramatists whose works survive - Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes and Menander - discussing their styles, techniques and ideas, and giving short synopses of all their extant plays. Additional helpful features include succinct coverage of almost sixty other authors, a chronology of significant people and events, and an anthology of translated texts, all of which have been previously inaccessible to students. An up-to-date study bibliography of further reading concludes the volume. Clear, concise and comprehensive, and written by an acknowledged expert in the field, Greek Drama and Dramatists will be a valuable orientation text at both sixth form and undergraduate level.
Greek tragedy, the fountainhead of all western drama, is widely read by students in a variety of disciplines. Segal here presents twenty-nine of the finest modern essays on the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. All Greek has been translated, but the original footnotes have been retained. Contributors include Anne Burnett, E.R. Dodds, Bernard M.W. Knox, Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Karl Reinhardt, Jacqueline de Romilly, Bruno Snell, Jean-Pierre Vernant and Cedric Whitman.
A team of experts discuss Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey," exploring their background and composition and their reception to the present day.
These critically diverse and innovative essays are aimed at restoring the social context of ancient Greek drama. Theatrical productions, which included music and dancing, were civic events in honor of the god Dionysos and were attended by a politically stratified community, whose delegates handled all details from the seating arrangements to the qualifications of choral competitors. The growing complexity of these performances may have provoked the Athenian saying "nothing to do with Dionysos" implying that theater had lost its exclusive focus on its patron. This collection considers how individual plays and groups of dramas pertained to the concerns of the body politic and how these issues were presented in the convention of the stage and as centerpieces of civic ceremonies. The contributors, in addition to the editors, include Simon Goldhill, Jeffrey Henderson, David Konstan, Franois Lissarrague, Oddone Longo, Nicole Loraux, Josiah Ober, Ruth Padel, James Redfield, Niall W. Slater, Barry Strauss, and Jesper Svenbro. "[A] valuable volume.... [The essays] are generally not only adventurous and various, but ... thought-provoking advances".--Oliver Taplin, The Times Literary Supplement
Peter Arnott discusses Greek drama not as an antiquarian study but as a living art form. He removes the plays from the library and places them firmly in the theatre that gave them being. Invoking the practical realities of stagecraft, he illuminates the literary patterns of the plays, the performance disciplines, and the audience responses. Each component of the productions - audience, chorus, actors, costume, speech - is examined in the context of its own society and of theatre practice in general, with examples from other cultures. Professor Arnott places great emphasis on the practical staging of Greek plays, and how the buildings themselves imposed particular constraints on actors and writers alike. Above all, he sets out to make practical sense of the construction of Greek plays, and their organic relationship to their original setting.
A new and definitive guide to the theatre of the ancient world The Guide to Greek Theatre and Drama is a meticulously researched and accessible survey into the place and purpose of theatre in Ancient Greece. It provides a comprehensive author-by-author examination of the surviving plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Menander, as well as giving an insight into how and where the plays were performed, who acted them out, and who watched them. It includes a fascinating discussion of the function of the essential characteristics of Greek drama, including verse, rhetoric, music, comedy, and chorus. Above all it offers a fascinating viewpoint onto the everyday values of the ancient Greeks; values with a continuing influence over the theatre of the present day.
Russia's size, the diversity of its peoples and its unique geographical position straddling East and West have created a culture that is both inward and outward looking. Its history reflects the tension between very different approaches to what culture can and should be, and this tension shapes the vibrancy of its arts today. The highly successful first edition of Rzhevsky's Companion has been updated to include post-Soviet trends and new developments in the twenty-first century. It brings together leading authorities writing on Russian cultural identity, its Western and Asian connections, popular culture and the unique Russian contributions to the arts. Each of the eleven chapters has been revised or entirely rewritten to take account of current cultural conditions and the further reading brought up to date. The book reveals, for students, academic researchers and all those interested in Russia, the dilemmas, strengths and complexities of the Russian cultural experience.
The Roman statesman, philosopher and playwright Lucius Annaeus Seneca dramatically influenced the progression of Western thought. His works have had an unparalleled impact on the development of ethical theory, shaping a code of behavior for dealing with tyranny in his own age that endures today. This Companion thoroughly examines the complete Senecan corpus, with special emphasis on the aspects of his writings that have challenged interpretation. The authors place Seneca in the context of the ancient world and trace his impressive legacy in literature, art, religion, and politics from Neronian Rome to the early modern period. Through critical discussion of the recent proliferation of Senecan studies, this volume compellingly illustrates how the perception of Seneca and his particular type of Stoicism has evolved over time. It provides a comprehensive overview that will benefit students and scholars in classics, comparative literature, history, philosophy and political theory, as well as general readers.
After examining controversies and archaeological data regarding the fifth-century performance space, Wiles turns to the chorus and shows how dance mapped out the space for purposes of any given play. Through an examination of contemporary material, including vase paintings and altars, as well as the structure of extant theatres, he shows how the performance as a whole was organized in respect of axes embodying oppositions such as inside and outside, east and west, above and below. The audience was both outside the performance and embraced as part of it; we as readers are brought closer to understanding the dramatic action and staging of classical Athens.
An easy-to-use guide to the nature and stagecraft of ancient plays

Best Books