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Greek Tragedies as Plays for Performance

David Raeburn, "Greek Tragedies as Plays for Performance"
English | ISBN: 1119089859, 1119089891 | 2016 | 216 pages | PDF | 8 MB

Greek Tragedies as Plays for Performance is a unique introduction to the genre that explores these works as dramatic artefacts intended for performance-instead of as ancient literature solely to be read and studied. Written by a scholar who combines his academic understanding of Greek tragedy with his singular theatrical experience of producing these ancient dramas for the modern stage, this text pays special attention to construction, design, staging, and musical composition in terms of the ancient medium and original resources. The author discusses the masters of the genre-Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides-including similarities, differences, their use and development of Greek tragedy's hybrid form, the significance that each poet attaches to familiar myths and his distinctive approach as a dramatic artist.

The text examines 10 plays in detail, from Persae and TheOresteia to Antigone and Oedipus Tyrannus and then Medea and Bacchae, including the 2 Electra plays. It delves into important components of these dramas, including performances by the chorus and the 3 actors, the need to captivate audiences attending a major civic and religious festival, and the importance of the lyric sections for emotional effect. The book also contains a companion website, available upon publication at, with 136 audio recordings of Greek tragedy that illustrate the beauty of the Greek language and the powerful rhythms of the songs. With extended dramatic analysis of important Greek tragedies at an appropriate level for readers coming to the topic for the first time, this is a fresh and insightful foray into these ancient works of art.

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