The similarities and dissimilarities between Greek tragedy And Elizabeth tragedy

         The similarities and dissimilarities between Greek tragedy
And Elizabeth tragedy
There are various similarities and dissimilarities between Elizabethan tragedy, particularly through the works of Shakespeare, and Greek Tragedy. Some of these include the mixing of prose and Poetry, the linear formula of a character with a suffer from a tragic flaw, which leads to the character's downfall, versus the Elizabethan idea of the Wheel of Fortune. However, one of the largest dramatic differences between Greek tragedy and Shakespearean tragedy has to be the use of violence on stage. And what it boils down to is that the perfect combination of dialogue and action that Shakespeare uses in Othello can be more powerful than just the allusion, emotion, and metaphor that Sophocles uses in Oedipus the King."



The structure of Greek tragedy is characterized by a set of conventions. The tragedy usually begins with a prologue, (from pro and logos, "preliminary speech") in which one or more characters introduce the drama and explain the background of the ensuing story. The prologue is followed by the parados, after which the story unfolds through three or more episodes. The episodes are interspersed by stasima. Choral interludes explaining or commenting on the situation developing in the play. The tragedy ends with the exodus, concluding the story. It should be noted however that some plays do not adhere to this conventional structure. Aeschylus' "The Persians" and "Seven against Thebes" for example, have no prologue among his finest productions
Elizabethan Tragedy is simply the genre of theatre originating in England during the latter half of the 16th Century, being written and performed chiefly during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I from 1558-1603. It includes, but is in no way limited to, the works of William Shakespeare (his historical plays and comedies as well as his tragedies).

The greatest master of Tragedy was Shakespeare, and in Tragedy he reached his greatest height. Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth are
1. Unity versus Variety
Greek drama focused on a single theme and plot. The story was one that its audience would recognize and treated upon that single story without any subplots. Shakespeare, on the other hand, wove a wealth of plot threads through his plays with multiple story lines, themes and goals occurring in each play. Each play had secondary story lines that sometimes were directly related to the main plot and other times simply fleshed out the world of the play.
2. Characters
In Greek drama, the characters had to be considered "great" in order to be the subject of a play. They were military generals, royalty or children of gods. Also, Greek drama tended to have fewer characters with a chorus filling in all of the roles surrounding the three or four main characters. In Shakespeare's plays, characters came from all walks of life. He even used fairy-type creatures and ghosts in several of his works. There was a larger company, and most plays have roles for at least a dozen characters, some many more.
3. Subject Matter
Greek drama was almost always instructive and dealt with great matters. The plays were political or religious. Most of the subject matter came from histories or myths that the audience already knew, removing the need for much exposition. The plays explored the meaning behind these great events and focused on the story's moral and ethics. Shakespeare, on the other hand, borrowed widely from as many sources as he could find. His subject matter included the stories of private individuals and lovers as well as kings and nobles. He produced histories, but he also produced pastoral plays, and the subject could be as personal as a love affair or the paying of a bad debt. Shakespeare mixed comedy and tragedy within a single play, and some of his works defy an easy fit into one genre or another.
4. Staging
Greek theater was performed at religious festivals in large outdoor amphitheaters. The stages were large and the audiences even larger. Greek drama made frequent use of masks, in part to amplify the voices of the actors. Shakespearean plays took place on smaller stages. They were performed in courtyards and eventually in more permanent structures such as the Globe. They also were performed in parlors and traveled during parts of the year. There was very little use of masks, though they did use a great number of costumes and wigs.
                 
                      Some other dissimilarities between Greek tragedy
And Elizabeth tragedy
There are many important differences between Greek tragedy and Shakespearean tragedy. Greek tragedy was performed as part of a religious festival (like a church Christmas play) - so the stories were already known to the audience, and everyone knew what was going to happen next.  Elizabethan theatre was commercial entertainment. The stories were usually new, and an element of suspense was nearly always present.
Greek actors wore elaborate costumes and masks, and parts of the dialogue was sung (parts were even danced). Murders, fights and battles had to take place off-stage (a character would tell the audience what was happening) - as usually happens in opera or a ballet.
Elizabethan actors wore ordinary clothes (though they might be 'in period' for a historical play). They could scuffle, fight - even 'die' - onstage. (Shakespeare has Tybalt die onstage in Romeo and Juliet, to good effect).
Because Greek drama was semi-official, Greek playwrights tended to be highly respected public servants. Most Greek plays take a broadly politically conservative stance (though the best plays can be quite subtle in the points they make).
Elizabethan players were seen as anti-establishment (they were called 'masterless men'). Many Elizabethan plays are critical of official government positions - though there was rigorous state censorship to make sure they never went too far. Shakespeare's plays, however, consistently adopt a position supportive of the government (and he was far from a "master less man", being one of the King's Men).
Another difference is that in Greek tragedies logic over rules emotions (characters try to find out the truth and how things really happened) and in Shakespearean tragedies emotion over rules logic (characters worry about their emotions and what they think is going on rather than finding out the truth).
In Greek tragedy, the chorus is always present on stage as a commentator; in Shakespeare choruses only introduce the scene or the play (see Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV Part II, and Pericles for examples)
Greek tragedies usually have one continuous simple plot; Shakespeare's plays have complex plots often involving intertwining subplots.
                      …

No comments

Powered by Blogger.