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CLAS 131 Notes 17

CLAS 131 Notes 17 - CLAS 131 Notes 17 Introduction to Greek...

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CLAS 131 Notes 17 Introduction to Greek Tragedy Be able to: - Describe the cultural and physical context in which Greek tragedies were first performed - Identify the chief conventions of Greek tragedy as a genre - Explain the significance of context and conventions for an understanding of Greek tragedy Cultural Context Contemporary western society: theatrical performances available at all times and in many places Fifth-century BCE Athens: drama available only at annual religious festivals in honor of Dionysos (esp. City Dionysia in late March) City Dionysia First day: public procession of temple of Dionysos (adjacent to theater), ending with sacrifices to the god at altar in theater One day: competition of dithyrambs (choral songs in honor of Dionysos): each of the ten city subdivisions sponsored a men’s chorus and a boy’s chorus One day: five writers of comedies competed, each producing one play each Three days: competition of tragedies - City official commissioned three poets to compete -
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