• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What is the main contribution made by the Chorus in The Burial at Thebes? Answer with specific references to the text of the play.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Option 2 The Burial at Thebes What is the main contribution made by the Chorus in The Burial at Thebes? Answer with specific references to the text of the play. A chorus is a common element to Greek tragedy's and in ancient theatre consisted of a group of people who provide a number of different contributions to a play, providing a historical perspective, acting as counsellors and advisors to the plays characters and at times representing various groups such as villagers or a jury. Within this essay, I will consider the main contributions of the chorus within "The Burial at Thebes" The first time that we are introduced to the chorus is within the Parados, which is sung on the Audio CD. Sophocles uses the Chorus and the parados here to outline the history in a strong poetic style. The chorus sing about the battle that has just been fought, beginning with a cheery image "glory be to brightness and the gleaming sun" and they give the first insight that the people of Thebes are unhappy that Polynices betrayed and attacked them. ...read more.

Middle

The chorus continue throughout the play to act as an advisor to most characters throughout the lay - reprimanding Antigone for being hasty in her disobedience of Creons orders "The wildness in her comes from Oedipus, she won't relent" and also encouraging Creon to listen to his son Haemon to relent on his decision about Antigone " You should take good note, Creon, of Haemons words And he of yours. Both of you say sound things". One main function of the Chorus is mostly prevalent in their choral odes as these produce the ambiguity about whose fault it all is, which continues as the play unfolds. The chorus is very central to providing a balance of what is right for the individual and right politically. In the first ode, the chorus sing about the accomplishments of man but with strong reference to the Gods and their roles in human lives, but they then change to a warning at the end "Overstep what the city allows, tramp down right or treat the lay wilfully as his own word, then let this wonder of the world remember, he'll have put himself beyond the pale when he comes begging we will turn our backs". ...read more.

Conclusion

The chorus gave insightful historical and mythical perspectives which provided the structure and context which was essential for this play. A key theme which was continually emphasises by the chorus was loyalty to the gods and the function of the chorus who continually reflected this to Creon, ultimately contributed to his epiphany and change of mind, albeit it too late. In my personal opinion, the key function of the chorus was to keep the audience continually engaged by giving unbiased views and therefore keeping the moral ambiguity heightened at all times. This role meant that the viewer/listener had to attend to the story at all times and make views and decisions based on their own personal views. The chorus never put fault at any ones person door; it gave all sides of the story and allowed people to judge independently. I personally felt that this role was crucial to making this a readable and enjoyable play. There were times when I was somewhat irritated by the chorus interruptions and found sometimes that these detracted from what was a build up in dramatic tension but overall the chorus role was crucial and added to the enjoyment of the play. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Classical Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Classical Studies essays

  1. Alcestis. In Euripides play, Alcestis, the chorus serves as a way to observe and ...

    The viewer would assume if Ademtos was such a thoughtful man, he would respect his father; however, as the Chorus points out, he disregards what his father says and shuns him. Throughout the play, the Chorus is constantly drawing the audiences' attention to the contradictions in Admetos' behavior, in order to ensure they perceive his true nature and characterization.

  2. Free essay

    Could a female be as heroic as a male character in Greek tragedy?

    woman with the distinctly male attributes of bloodlust and rage, she would further antagonise the ancient Greek audience: 'Medea's famously unfavourable comparison of the terrors and pains of a woman's childbirth to the frontline battle experience of a male hoplite was no doubt undercut somewhat by her status as a woman, barbarian and sorceress, in short, an outsider.'

  1. What were the roles, privileges and rights of women in both public and private ...

    But the release of land to ownership by women conferred on them a share equal to men's share in the chief means of production.' (1988: 711) Deborah Hobson focuses particular attention to women as property owners, especially in the Fayum village of Socnopaiou Nasos.

  2. What do the literary and historical texts tell us about Roman attitudes towards Egypt?

    Apuleius displays none of the prejudices that Roman writers often did; it is very possible he simply had a genuine interest in Egypt. Jo-Ann Shelton discusses why despite harsh oppression of the cult in the 30's BC by Augustus, the worship of Isis remained relatively persistent: 'The compassionate goddess and

  1. Shakespeare one word play in King Lear

    We may well say that Hamlet is about the character of Hamlet, but not so well that King Lear is about the character of Lear. Shakespeare has indeed produced a good number of "character tragedies" ( Othello, Macbeth, Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra, etc., in addition to Hamlet).

  2. 4.Universal truths? Discuss the role of Greek myth in modern theory.

    abstract nouns, "cunning, inventive" imply motive that is both conscious and unconscious. Sophoclean additions to the myth of Oedipus in Oedipus Tyrannus compound the horror of his unwitting parricide with incest, leading to his self-discovery. Freud was one of the most influential of the modern theorists, whose reading of this

  1. Analysis on Tesss Tragedy Through

    Under the influence of the local scholars, Hardy paid much attention to literature and philosophy, which laid the foundation of his early works, for most of which are connected with the life of the lower-class people, such as Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Far form the Madding Crowd.

  2. In the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, Sophocles examines the idea of a just and ...

    Sophocles is able to drive his message about the pitfalls of human arrogance through Oedipus' fatal flaws. One of the clearest reasons Oedipus is responsible is that by the end of the play Oedipus has taken responsibility for his actions.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work