A History of Tragedies Essay

A History of Tragedies Essay

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Where did tragedy originate, and who decided that killing the main characters of a play was best way to communicate his plot? Tragedy was invented by the Greeks long ago. In the fourth year of the sixty-third Olympiad, or 525 B.C., the first great tragic playwright was born (“Aeschylus”). The playwright's name was Aeschylus, son of Euphorion ("Aeschylus"), and he wrote about ninety plays, though the number is uncertain, seven of which have withstood the tests of time (Kopff). His works have been incredible to the point that he earned the title "Father of Tragedy" (Kopff).
How did Aeschylus write such great tragedies? He looked at his surroundings in the world. His world was in Athens, Greece, and he saw the beginning of democracy, which came to be a theme of The Oresteia (Kopff). In the government in Athens, white males could be citizens with rights to vote. However, the Persians attempted a takeover of Athens, among other Greek city-states, and Aeschylus abandoned his work as a tragic poet to fight for the Greeks. Athens was one of only four cities to refuse to submit to the Persians, who were then provoked to attack at Marathon, outnumbering the Greeks three to one (Lacey 44). In a battle that shocked everyone, the Greeks pulled through and won the battle (Lacey 44). Thereafter, the Greeks who fought at Marathon were known as "hard as oak" (Lacey 44). The Greek continued to win battles at Salamis and Plataea, and they continued to shock everyone (Lacey 44). After the Persian War, the Greeks proposed one and only one explanation for their seemingly inexplicable victory: the Persians were not tough enough to fight (Lacey 45). Soon enough, this idea developed into the stereotype that the Persians are "those soft sons of luxury,"...

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...bly saw in the Persian war to develop his imagery and the stereotype of the Persians. However, he also contributed the most to the development of tragedy, which, in turn, influenced William Shakespeare to write his masterpieces. Aeschylus is responsible for an everlasting mark on the world of theater.

Works Cited
“Aeschylus and His Tragedies.” Theatrehistory.com. Web. 17 March 2014.
Flickinger, Roy C. The Greek Theater and Its Drama. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1918. Print.
Kopff, E. Christian. “Aeschylus.” Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale Group, 2014. Web. 31 March 2014.
Lacey, Jim. “The Persian Fallacy.” Military History 29.2 (2012): 42-51. OmniFile Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson). Web. 31 March 2014.
Ley, Graham. Ancient Greek Theater. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991. Print.

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