Antigone and Greek Theater

  1. parodoi (singular, parodos)
    Two huge entrances that admitted audience members and the chorus
  2. theatron
    Seating area wrapped around much of the orchestra with stone seats like bleachers - could seat as many as 25,000 spectators
  3. orchestra
    Large circular of semicircular area at ground level in which the chorus performed
  4. thymele
    Altar in the center of the orchestra (priest of Dionysus had a front-row seat)
  5. proskenion
    • Raised platform where actors performed - behind the orchestra
    • (proscenium now means a structural frame or arch above a stage)
  6. skene
    • Wooden building at the back which served as a backdrop and allowed actors to change clothes and wait for their upcoming scenes
    • Death of any character heard "ob skene" ("behind the skene") (violence considered inappropriate to show audiences) (explains word "obscene")
  7. dithyramb
    Wild or ecstatic song of praise
  8. hypocrites
    • One member of the chorus who stood apart, probably wearing a mask, to play the role of the god and sing lines in response to the chorus
    • "One who answers back"
    • Modern word "hypocrite"=Someone who pretends to be something he or she is not
  9. thespians
    • Actors
    • Named in honor of Thespis, father of acting, earliest known hypocrites who first performed in 534 B.C.E.
  10. archon
    Administrator of Athens who chose three writers for the Great Dionysia, a large, famous festival
  11. trilogy
    • Three related tragedies
    • Performed during the morning
  12. satyr play
    A play to lighten the mood in the afternoon
  13. tetralogy
    A trilogy and a satyr play
  14. prologue
    Opening scene by the actors (all men or boys) followed by the chorus (group of fifteen or more)
  15. deus ex machina
    • A crane that held an actor above the stage while he spoke the lines of a god
    • "God from a machine"
    • Today is used to name any miraculous rescue of a character in potentially dire straits
  16. hamartia
    • An error in judgment
    • i.e. breaking a moral law or ignoring a god's warning
  17. hubris
    Arrogance or excessive pride
  18. peripeteia
    • A reversal of circumstances
    • i.e. starting out happy and eventually experiencing misery
  19. anagnorisis
    • The discovery or realization of the truth
    • The character admits the fault and can then take personal responsibility for mistakes
  20. catharsis
    • A satisfied feeling
    • After the terror and pity of the story, spectator should feel that order has been restored and that there is hope for the future
  21. tragedy
    Any story which ends unhappily for the protagonist
  22. comedy
    Ends happily for the protagonist but does not have to be funny
  23. protagonist
    Main character
  24. Aeschylus
    • Lived from 535-456 B.C.E. - earliest great play-writer of ancient Greece, considered the founder of tragedy
    • Added a second actor to drama instead of allowing the poet to speak all the lines
    • Wrote Prometheus Bound about the Titan who gave fire to humans
  25. Euripides
    • Lived from about 480-406 B.C.E. created the deus ex machina
    • Wrote The Trojan Women, a play that presents the cruelties of war
  26. Sophocles
    • Lived from about 496 to 406 B.C.E. - wealthy, talented, and active in public life
    • Occupations included priest and military genearl as well as poet
    • At age of 27, defeated Aeschylus in a drama competition
    • Wrote more than 120 tragedies, including Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, and Atigone, all about the doomed royal family of Thebes
    • Added a third actor, made the chorus larger, made the characters speak and behave more realistically, wrote a complete and self-contained plot for each of the plays in a trilogy, and introduced scene painting (made theater more like acting)
  27. Aristophanes
    • Lived from 450 to 385 B.C.E. - remembered mostly for his comedies
    • Wrote Lysistrata, a social satire where the women of Athens and Sparta, two city-states at war, refuse sexual contact with their husbands until the men agree to make peace
  28. Oedipus
    • Biological son of King Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes, adopted son of King Polypus and Queen Merope of Corinth (had no children), husband of Jocasta, defeater of the Sphinx, father of Polyneices, Eteocles, Ismene, and Antigone
    • Blinded himself
    • Died near Athens
  29. King Laius
    King of Thebes, father of Oedipus, husband of Queen Jocasta
  30. Queen Jocasta
    • Queen of Thebes, mother and wife of Oedipus, wife of King Laius
    • Hung herself
  31. King Polybus
    King of Corinth, husband of Queen Merope, no biological children of his own, adopted father of Oedipus
  32. Queen Merope
    Queen of Corinth, wife of King Polypus, adopted mother of Oedipus
  33. Sphinx
    • Creature with a lion's body, the head of a woman, and the wings of an eagle
    • Asked to all who passed outside Thebes, "What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening?"
    • Ate those who could not answer
    • Oedipus answered "Man" correctly, causing her to leap to her death
  34. Polyneices
    • Son of Oedipus and Jocasta, brother of Eteocles, Ismene, and Antigone
    • Raised an army from his wife's people, the Argives (from the city-state of Argos and the surrounding territory) and stormed the seven gates of Thebes when Eteocles refused to hand over power
    • Killed Eteocles
  35. Eteocles
    • Son of Oedipus and Jocasta, brother of Polyneices, Ismene, and Antigone
    • Kept throne after his year in power
    • Killed Polyneices
  36. Ismene
    Daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, sister of Polyneices, Eteocles, and Antigone
  37. Antigone
    • Daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, sister of Polyneices, Eteocles, and Ismene
    • Cared for the blinded Oedipus until his death
  38. Creon
    • Jocaste's brother
    • New king of Thebes
  39. Haemon
    • Son of Creon
    • Engaged to Antigone
  40. Aristotle
    • Philosopher
    • Student of Plato
    • Alexander the Great's tutor
    • Wrote Poetics, which further defined tragedy (includes his nine rules of tragedy)
  41. Plato
    • Philosopher
    • Aristotle's tutor
Card Set
Antigone and Greek Theater
An assortment of vocab and information related to Antigone and to Greek theater overall