TMA 07: Myths and Conventions
TMA 07: Myths and Conventions With careful reference to two of the works studied in Block 5 (Medea and Pygmalion), show how attributes traditionally associated with masculinity and femininity are contrasted. Medea by Euripides (431 BCE) and Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (1913 ACE) are plays that share common themes of sexuality and alienation with both their roots firmly set in mythology. Euripides and Shaw employ a range of techniques to present the compelling personas of their female protagonists, Medea and Eliza Doolittle respectively. The plays revolve around the powerful and physiological transformation of Medea and Eliza's striking aesthetic reform through the writers' skilful use of stage direction, language, tone and theme development. The actions and dialogues of the supporting characters also manipulate the audiences' and other characters opinions. The playwrights have carefully considered each effect when constructing and developing their lead character. Euripides has already launched the transformation of his protagonist at the opening of the play. Medea the queen, wife and mother shows signs of a more masculine and at times, an extremely 'barbaric' role, through her howling lamentations. The play begins with Medea's nurse setting the scene, she introduces the main
What has drawn so many writers and dramatists to the story of Oedipus or Antigone?
What has drawn so many writers and dramatists to the story of Oedipus or Antigone? Sophocles' Antigone, written circa 441BC, deals with the protagonist Antigone's fight to give her brother, Polyneices, the proper burial that had been denied him by the king, Creon. It is considered among the great Greek tragedies of the time, and is still translated in modern times. When Greece was succeeded by Rome as the great city of the West, the Romans were more concerned with power and commerce rather than culture, therefore Greek drama was pushed aside by the majority, except a small number of Roman playwrights (Bowra, 1970, p. 154), such as Seneca. However, around 16 centuries after the birth of Christ, a collection of the plays were put into print, heralding the return of Greek drama, which is now present in countless different ways in our culture. As Knox explains in his preface to the plays, Sophocles was known to be one of nine generals campaigning against the revolt of Samos at the time the play is assumed to have been written (Sophocles, 1984, p. 35). His knowledge of politics is clearly reflected in his writing, and Antigone is no exception, as it is greatly concerned with the political issues of the polis (state). Political problems will always have great relevance in society, and Antigone has been used by many practitioners in the twentieth century 'to articulate new visions
Introduction to the Western Theatrical Tradition. Question 2. "Aristophanes was not a subtle writer, and his plays - more than most - are a theatrical rather than a literary experience." Robert Corrigan Analyse Lysistrata to estimate how accurately Corrigan's statement describes Aristophanes' anti-war play. This essay perceives Corrigan's statement to be accurate that Lysistrata is definitely a more theatrical than a literary experience. There are many reasons for Lysistrata's theatrical proficiency and they include it being written in the style of 'Old Comedy' the audience and their expectations especially at the festivals of Dionysus and Lenaia, the loose structure of Greek comedy, the impossibility of the plot, the language, and the intense Aristophanic parodies. Old Comedy is typical of Aristophanes in the 5th Century BC. Its characteristics are that it is surreal and fantastical, and its butts of jokes are specific individuals or even current political ideas. Old Comedy as contrasted with New Comedy contained more slapstick routines, physical energy music and dance. Old Comedy fulfilled a function in Greek festivals to entertain the audience and was in contrast to tragedy at the time, which contained a stronger moral message. "His work is often so formless."1 Brander Matthews believes that Aristophanes used little structure in all of his plays. However, the
The Symbolism in the Punishment of Sin in Dante's Inferno
The Symbolism in the Punishment of Sin in Dante's Inferno Inferno, the first part of Divina Commedia, or the Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri, is the story of a man's journey through Hell and his observance of the punishments incurred as a result of committing sin. In all cases the severity of the punishment and the punishment itself, has a direct correlation to the sin committed. The punishments are fitting in that they are symbolic of the actual sin; in other words, "They got what they wanted." (Literature of the Western World, p.1409) According to Dante, Hell has two divisions: Upper Hell, devoted to those who perpetrated sins of incontinence, and Lower Hell, devoted to those who perpetrated sins of malice. The divisions of Hell are also split into levels corresponding to the sins committed. Each of the levels and the divisions within levels 7,8, and 9 have an analogous historical or mythological figure used to illustrate and exemplify the sin. The first of the two divisions of Hell is Upper Hell. Upper Hell is the area inhabited by those who committed sins of incontinence or lack of self-restraint. This lack of self-restraint comes in the form of many sins ranging from sex to mood. Before delving into the sins of incontinence, one must first look into the first inconsistency of the Inferno. This inconsistency is found in the Vestibule of Hell. The Vestibule of Hell
Demonstrations of power from Creon and Prospero play a very pivotal role in the plots of The Tempest by William Shakespeare and "Antigone" by Sophocles, two plays about power relations.
Rick Serra February 6, 2012 Professor Bush CAL 105 Power Struggle Demonstrations of power from Creon and Prospero play a very pivotal role in the plots of "The Tempest" by William Shakespeare and "Antigone" by Sophocles, two plays about power relations. Both Prospero and Creon are able to control the actions of those around them but instead abuse their power and use it as if they were gods. In the play "Antigone," Creon, a king, uses his political power selfishly to rule over and force people to do what he wants. Prospero, from "The Tempest," uses his magical powers to help his daughter and others, along with himself. Sophocles and Shakespeare show the audience how power can be abused so easily and how power relations dictate the two plays, yet each play has very different outcome. In "Antigone", Creon uses his royal power, more for his own personal gain, with no real regard for his people. Throughout the course of the play, Creon abuses his power despite being warned of wrong doings. The play even begins with Creon abusing his power when he settled a decree that prohibited anyone from burying Polyneices' dead body, decreeing that "He's to have no funeral or lament,/ but to be left unburied and unwept," (Sophocles p.10). Creon is proud of his decree, and he also states that he would be a good king by listening to what people had to say concerning his decisions. When
TMA 07: Block 5 Comparison
TMA 07: Block 5 Comparison Traditions associated with the treatment of masculinity and femininity in literature is wide ranging. Contrasts portrayed by authors of both sexes have made major contributions to this area in literature but it remains surprising that male writers have been able to perceptively portray women above their previously subordinate positions in society. Consider the attributes expressed in Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion; and Euripides Medea. Both plays express thoughts about female empowerment, but in very different ways. In Pygmalion, we see the main character, Eliza Doolittle transformed from an ill-mannered Cockney flower girl into a high society debutante with the help of some elocution lessons provided by Mr Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics and financed by his well-travelled friend, Colonel Pickering. Higgins expects that he can teach Eliza enough in the matters of etiquette to 'pass (her) off as the Queen of Sheba' (Shaw, pg 18) and in the space of three months. He believes that he can do this merely by teaching her to speak 'properly' but is unaware of her independent nature and is ill prepared for what lies ahead. In the opening act, when Higgins finds her in Convent Garden, Shaw portrays Eliza as unfeminine and outspoken, if not somewhat rude and this is in sharp contrast to the ladies, Clara Eynsford-Hill and her mother, who are waiting in