You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

RTW Guides and Articles Forum
Moderated by Terikel Grayhair, General Sajaru, Awesome Eagle

Hop to:    
Welcome! You are not logged in. Please Login or Register.12 replies
Total War Heaven » Forums » RTW Guides and Articles Forum » The Tragic Cycle in Athenian Drama
Bottom
Topic Subject:The Tragic Cycle in Athenian Drama
Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 17 September 2012 02:55 EDT (US)         
The Tragic Cycle in Athenian Drama


The Greek tragic cycle played a major role in the production and performance of Ancient Greek drama. The word Tragedy is derived from the Greek word tragodia, which translates to 'goat song' which was a ritual performed in honor of Dionysus. The tragic cycle involved a set pattern that a play must conform to be known as a ‘tragic’ play. The basic cycle involved hubris, aite and nemesis and was all predetermined in the play by fate. The famous ancient Greek tragedians such as Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides all conformed to this set pattern and created great works.



The basis of the tragic cycle lies in the committing of Hubris by a main character such as Jason in the Medea and Creon in the Antigone. Hubris can be defined as the sin of pride and is usually committed when a person though oneself equal to the gods. In Ancient Greek tragedies, hubris was usually committed at the beginning and entailed the main character offending the gods. The sin of pride differed according to the story. In Aeschylus’ The Persae we see Xerxes commit hubris and offend Poseidon, the god of the seas, by bridging the Hellespont and in the Medea when Jason violates the laws of Xenia (laws of hospitality) and acquired the Golden Fleece. In the Antigone Hubris is best shown when the chorus state “Roving ambition helps many a man to good and many it falsely lures to light desires, till failure trips them unawares, and they fall on the fire that consumes them”. This statements highlights how once hubris is committed, a person is predestined to suffer aite and eventually their nemesis. The stage of Hubris in the tragic cycle is extremely important and sets the stage for the eventual suffering of aite and nemesis.

Antigone

The continuation of the tragic cycle after hubris lies in the stage of Aite. Aite can be seen as moral blindness and a person suffering aite was represented as young, rash, foolish, irrational and impetuous. In ancient Greek tragedies, aite was seen in the body of the play with frequent warnings and signs that if the character remained unhumbled he would be struck down. Most of these warnings though were false hope as the characters nemesis was already predetermined. Aite can be seen in all ancient Greek tragedies and can be definitely seen in the Medea as Jason’s moral blindness causes him to decide to divorce Medea which further increases hit intensity and extent of his nemesis. In the Antigone, Creon massively angers he gods by stating “let the eagles carry his carcass up to the throne of Zeus”. This was a grave mistake as Creon is insulting the gods by saying that he will pollute the gods and shows the extent of Creon’s aite. It is through the hubris of the character that he enrages the gods and makes himself more vulnerable to the eventual nemesis.

The end of the tragic cycle housed the nemesis. The nemesis can be seen as the inevitable destruction and is the vengeance of the gods which results in some calamity befalling the protagonist, causing him to regret his hubris. In ancient Greek tragedies the nemesis most normally occurred at the end of the play and showed the total destruction and emasculation of the protagonist. The nemesis befalling the protagonist varied from play to play but usually resulted in the loss of something important to him. In The Persae, Xerxes nemesis centered on the destruction of his fleet at the Battle of Salamis whilst in The Medea, Jason’s’ nemesis is centered on the death of his children, wife and father in law at the hands of Medea. In the Medea we can see that Jason’s nemesis is so total that he takes the subjugated posture in his conversation with Medea and he states “I’ll go. I’ve lost both my sons”. In the Antigone we see Creon’s nemesis through the suicides of both his son and wife. The destruction of the protagonist is the main point of the nemesis but it only comes to fruition through fate.

The concept of fate permeated not only the tragic cycle but Greek society at large. The Greeks themselves were very fatalistic and believed that they had no free will as the gods determined all things. A person also couldn’t escape the future laid out for them by the gods and merely had to accept it. It is through the application of fate to the tragic cycle we see that once a person has committed hubris, then they are predetermined to commit aite and receive their nemesis as well. The epilogue in the Medea shows this when the chorus say “Zeus on Olympus dispenses many things. Gods often contradict our fondest expectations. What we anticipate does not come to pass. What we don’t expect some god finds a way to make it happen. So with this story”. This shows that the gods are the true masters of fate and the ancient Greeks had no say in their own fate. The epilogue in the Antigone also shows the prevalence of fate when they say “…hold the gods in awe. This is the law that, seeing the stricken heart of pride brought down; we learn when we are old”. This show the inevitability in committing hubris and how nemesis will come and it also shows that some learn this lesson too late.

Greek drama grew out of the need to honor Dionysus but soon developed into a sophisticated and entertaining art form. Greek Tragedy is seen as one of the three main influences on later roman Drama and theater which in turn has had a large impact on our modern drama and theater. The creation and implementation of the tragic cycle affected the development of some of the world’s most timeless and brilliant plays and through the use of Hubris, Aite, Nemesis and the input of fate allowed Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides to entertain and inform their fellow men, and teach us about Ancient Greece.

By Awesome Eagle

Any additions, fixes, gramma etc?
I know its not particularly total war but still involves the ancient war.

I Did this in class so i dont really have any sources other than:

http://classics.mit.edu/Sophocles/antigone.html
http://classics.mit.edu/Euripides/medea.html
http://classics.mit.edu/Aeschylus/persians.html

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda

[This message has been edited by Awesome Eagle (edited 10-20-2012 @ 10:12 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
General Sajaru
Tribunus Laticlavius
posted 17 September 2012 03:37 EDT (US)     1 / 12       
Interesting article, AE. A few things, as always:
The basic cycle involved hubris, ate and nemesis and was all predetermined in the play by fate.
Throughout the article, this needs to be Atë, Até, or Aite; if you don't have the trema, accent, or 'i' in there, it's rather confusing.

I didn't find any glaring grammatical errors, but I'll pick it over more closely later.
Greek drama grew out of the need to honour Dionysus but soon developed into a sophisticated and entertaining art form. The creation and implementation of the tragic cycle affected the development of some of the world’s most timeless and brilliant plays and through the use of Hubris, Ate, Nemesis and the input of fate allowed Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides to entertain and inform their fellow men, and teach us about Ancient Greece.
You might want to discuss the Greek tragedies influence on Roman and other later playwrights. Just to expand on the idea.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." - Ronald Reagan
"Judge them not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper
"I like my enemies like James Bond likes his martinis- shaken, not stirred."
My first book, The King's Own
Alex_the_Bold
Legionary
posted 17 September 2012 07:02 EDT (US)     2 / 12       
A very nice article Awesome Eagle Just a couple of points:
The word Tragedy is derived from the Greek word tragodia, which was the goat song performed in honour of Dionysus. The tragic cycle was developed due to the need to continue the worship of Dionysus after the older styles of worship were given up.


While the word tragodia does come from the words τραγοs+ωδη the phrase goat song is the word by word translation. Tragodia was a song performed by dancers who wore costumes representing the goat-like followers of Dionysus, the Satyres. Hence the term tragodia.

In addition, the development of tragodia wasn't due to the disappearence of older hymns in honour of Dionysos called dithyramvoi (διθυραμβοι ). In fact, some famous hymns were created by poets such as Bacchelides, who lived after the first tragedy was "taught", as ancient Greeks used to say (6th century BC).

Finally, you should also use the term tisisησιs), tje punishment of a man commiting hubris. In addition, you should mention that atë was often created by the gods.

BTW, Persiae is wrong. The correct term is Persaeερσαι ).

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.
Alex_the_Bold
Legionary
posted 24 September 2012 12:58 EDT (US)     3 / 12       
So, what happened to this article?

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.
Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 24 September 2012 15:48 EDT (US)     4 / 12       
Sorry Guys, just been busy. My girlfriend left on a short holiday this morning so hopefully i can get it done tonight.

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda
Alex_the_Bold
Legionary
posted 17 October 2012 06:34 EDT (US)     5 / 12       
So, do you believe this article is ready, Awesome Eagle?

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.
Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 17 October 2012 14:44 EDT (US)     6 / 12       
not yet, sorry guys life has been hell busy ATM and my time on TWH has been limited. I will endevor to get this done this weekend hopefully. SOrry again

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda
Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 20 October 2012 22:16 EDT (US)     7 / 12       
Fixed the article according to your reccomendations. However i kept the term nemesis due to this being a introductory article to Athenian Drama rather than a definitive explanation.

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 23 October 2012 01:16 EDT (US)     8 / 12       
Are you ready to proclaim the Two Day Rule?

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 23 October 2012 03:53 EDT (US)     9 / 12       
2 day rule in effect..

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda
Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 26 October 2012 17:34 EDT (US)     10 / 12       
2 Day rule completed. Article ready for posting..

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 27 October 2012 08:08 EDT (US)     11 / 12       
Posted and newsied.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 27 October 2012 17:45 EDT (US)     12 / 12       
Thanks Terikel! thats 8

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda
You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Hop to:    

Total War Heaven | HeavenGames