This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: Plots The stories used in tragedy were taken almost exclusively from the great cycles of mythology, although occasionally, as in The Persians of Aeschylus, a poet might draw upon a contemporary theme. These ancient myths and heroic legends were like a bible to the Greeks, for they recorded what was thought to be the collective social, political, and religious history of the people and included many profound and searching tales about the problems of human life and the nature of the gods. The custom requiring the use of these mythological stories in tragedy satisfied an essential requirement of the religious function of drama, for it enabled the poets to deal with subjects of great moral dignity and emotional significance. From a dramatic point of view, the use of plots and characters already familiar to the audience gave the poet many opportunities for the use of irony and subtle allusions that...
View Full Document
- Fall '08