How then does the playwright manage to create and sustain suspense? The answer lies in the difference between suspense and surprise.
Greek tragedy Athenian tragedy—the oldest surviving form of tragedy—is a type of dance -drama that formed an important part of the theatrical culture of the city-state.
The presentations took the form of a contest between three playwrights, who presented their works on three successive days. Each playwright offered a tetralogy consisting of three tragedies and a concluding comic piece called a satyr play.
Only one complete trilogy of tragedies has survived, the Oresteia of Aeschylus. The Greek theatre was in the open air, on the side of a hill, and performances of a trilogy and satyr play probably lasted most of the day.
Performances were apparently open to all citizens, including women, but evidence is scant. The play as a whole was composed in various verse metres.
All actors were male and wore masks. A Greek chorus danced as well as sang, though no one knows exactly what sorts of steps the chorus performed as it sang.
Choral songs in tragedy are often divided into three sections: This event was frequently a brutal murder of some sort, an act of violence which could not be effectively portrayed visually, but an action of which the other characters must see the effects in order for it to have meaning and emotional resonance.
Another such device was a crane, the mechanewhich served to hoist a god or goddess on stage when they were supposed to arrive flying. This device gave origin to the phrase " deus ex machina " "god out of a machine"that is, the surprise intervention of an unforeseen external factor that changes the outcome of an event.
Roman fresco in Pompeii. Probably meant to be recited at elite gatherings, they differ from the Greek versions in their long declamatory, narrative accounts of action, their obtrusive moralising, and their bombastic rhetoric.
They dwell on detailed accounts of horrible deeds and contain long reflective soliloquies. Though the gods rarely appear in these plays, ghosts and witches abound.
Senecan tragedies explore ideas of revengethe occult, the supernatural, suicide, blood and gore. Renaissance[ edit ] Influence of Greek and Roman[ edit ] Classical Greek drama was largely forgotten in Western Europe from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 16th century.
Medieval theatre was dominated by mystery playsmorality playsfarces and miracle plays. The earliest tragedies to employ purely classical themes are the Achilles written before by Antonio Loschi of Vicenza c.
Both were completed by early and are based on classical Greek models, Rosmunda on the Hecuba of Euripidesand Oreste on the Iphigenia in Tauris of the same author; like Sophonisba, they are in Italian and in blank unrhymed hendecasyllables.
Although these three Italian plays are often cited, separately or together, as being the first regular tragedies in modern times, as well as the earliest substantial works to be written in blank hendecasyllables, they were apparently preceded by two other works in the vernacular: In the s, the European university setting and especially, from on, the Jesuit colleges became host to a Neo-Latin theatre in Latin written by scholars.
The influence of Seneca was particularly strong in its humanist tragedy. His plays, with their ghosts, lyrical passages and rhetorical oratory, brought a concentration on rhetoric and language over dramatic action to many humanist tragedies.
The most important sources for French tragic theatre in the Renaissance were the example of Seneca and the precepts of Horace and Aristotle and contemporary commentaries by Julius Caesar Scaliger and Lodovico Castelvetroalthough plots were taken from classical authors such as PlutarchSuetoniusetc.
The Greek tragic authors Sophocles and Euripides would become increasingly important as models by the middle of the 17th century.Try Our Friends At: The Essay Store. Free English School Essays.
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Brutus. Brutus emerges as the most complex character in Julius Caesar and is also the play’s tragic hero. In his soliloquies, the audience gains insight into the complexities of his motives. He is a powerful public figure, but he appears also as a husband, a master to his servants, a .
Introduction 1 Focusing on Background 3 The Life and Work of William Shakespeare () by C. F. Main 3 The Renaissance Theater by C. F. Main 6 Shakespeare's Plays 9. Five brilliant and insightful essays on the political philosophy behind The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Julius Caesar and King Lear along with an essay on the general philosophy to be found in the Shakespeare canon.
Tragedy (from the Greek: τραγῳδία, tragōidia) is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in audiences. While many cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, the term tragedy often refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of.