Greek tragedy was a dramatic form that flourished for less than a full century. And yet it remains vibrant, alive, and productive today. And the form's masterpieces help us - as perhaps they helped their original audiences - grasp a fuller sense of the terror and wonder of life. Professor Vandiver has designed these 24 rich and rewarding lectures to give you a full overview of Greek tragedy, both in its original setting and as a lasting contribution to the artistic exploration of the human condition. You'll learn to see Greek tragedy as a genre in its cultural context. What is tragedy's deeper historical background? Did it grow out of rituals honoring the god Dionysus, as is so often said? How did Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides each make unique contributions to tragedy's expressive power?
You'll also uncover what scholarship can reveal about the actual performance of Greek tragedy, including its physical and ritual settings, actors and acting methods, conventions of staging and stagecraft, and even how productions were financed. And with this solid background in place, you'll explore a broad group of tragedies in close detail. In particular, you'll see how individual tragedies used traditional myths (often tales from the Trojan War), and what Aeschylus, Sophocles, or Euripides intended to accomplish by changing or adding to the basic story. You'll examine what certain tragedies imply about the world of 5th-century Athens and the importance, in turn, of the cultural background for explaining those tragedies.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2000 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2000 The Great Courses
Choreographer, Director, Actor, Dancer, Educator. And lover of audio books! They are theatre for the mind!
Professor Elizabeth Vandiver provides a clear and succinct portrayal of Greek Tragedy. The lectures discuss how tragedy was developed, the three extant tragic playwrights, as well as the ways in which Greek Tragedy was staged. For as a professional theatre artist myself, I think many people look at Greek Tragedy as simply literature but in truth it was meant to be preformed. Professor Vandiver's facts are well researched and when she does give her own scholarly opinion she informs the listener. She also is very clear that the evidence on which our knowledge of this period are based is very scant, therefore the listeners should also be cautious of taking opinions as fact. However, I would warn a listeners that if you do not have a basic knowledge of Greek Mythology and/or Greek Theatre you may have a hard time following parts of the lecture. This course does assume that you come to the table with some knowledge.
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