The time period of Greek theater’s popularity was a very influential time in our world’s history. Without knowing what Greek theater was all about, how can someone expect to truly understand a tragic play and the history it comes with? The history behind the character of Oedipus, in the play Oedipus the King, is very complicated. His intricate past dealing with prophecies, family members, and murder is the main focus of the story. There are many characteristics that complete Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero; these being the presence of hamartia and peripeteia, a sense of self-awareness, the audience’s pity for the character, and the hero is of noble birth.
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Paul Lautier. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004: 236-237.
Laius receives a prophecy from an oracle that he will be killed by his son. In consideration of this, Laius binds the childs feet and orders his wife to kill him. She cannot do it personally and so orders a servant to do it. The servant is reluctant to kill the infant, but brings it to the mountains and abandons it to die of exposure. A passing shepherd finds the infant with bound feet and takes it in.
The Great Dionysia was an important yearly religious celebration and festival, honoring Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and fertility. The Great Dionysia is where theatre first began. Also, the actors of ancient Greek theatre were treated much differently than actors are today. They heavily impacted ancient theatre and shaped the way performers act today. Most actors performed in tragedies and comedies, the two main forms of theatre.
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Hamlet is the perfect example of this. The play opens, focuses, and ends almost entirely based upon the actions, or reactions, of Hamlet’s quest to avenge his father’s murder. To start, the Ghost of old Hamlet reveals the truth about his death to his son when he says, “But know, thou noble youth the serpent that did sting thy father’s life Now wears his crown” (Hamlet I.v.38-30). It quickly dawns upon Hamlet that he would be able to avenge his father’s death by killing his uncle and taking the... ... middle of paper ... ...o sleepwalk and unintentionally reveals to her doctor and nurses why she and her husband are delving deeper into madness. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Macbeth are both celebrated and popular tragedies that adhere to the majority of the guidelines set by Aristotle in Poetics.