In explain what was their aim in writing

In this essay I am going to analyze Greek tragedy and Greek comedy and look into their political side. Iwill do this by comparing a Greek tragedy and a Greek comedy play, I will identify which are the keyelements of the play. Also, I will focus on the authors Euripides and Aristophanes and I will explain whatwas their aim in writing this type of plays.The Greeks are considered to be the pioneers of Theatre. Initially the Greek theatrical performances hada more religious character involving dance, music this way honoring the Gods.

It is consisted out of aseries of representation of religious character their setting being scenes out of poems or stories. TheGreek State provided food for the thousands of attendees, because it was an all-day performance. Theyalso provided admission of citizens with less resources. From these Feasts Rituals arises the tragedy andcomedy of the classical theatre. The theatrical genre of ancient Greece is characterized by twoexpressive forms. One was to celebrate God Dionysus, who was the god of wine, music, ritual madness,ritual ecstasy and theatre.

The other, revealed the problems of the Greek community.One of the most important authors and representatives of Greek tragedy was Euripides (480 to 460).Devoted entirely to the problems and passions of his contemporaries, Euripides had a more humanapproach than his predecessors. In his plays Euripides highlighted the human side of heroes, this way heinvited the audience to reflect on what they witnessed.iThe Bacchae is a classical Greek Tragedy written by Euripides. This play is characterized by the duality ofseveral aspects.

The play begins with Dionysus human, arriving at the city of Thebes to punish and havethe revenge of the insolence king Pentheus, who refuses the divine origin of the god and prohibitingtheir rites. Dionysus appears on the earth converted as a priest. The priest to convinces Pentheus todisguise as a woman and go with him to the mountains to observe The Bacchae from a treeiiTheBacchae were Theban women that had fled the city possessed by the god to perform the rituals in hishonor. The king dressed as a woman and convinced even his own mother, Agave. His mother kills him,full of madness, by believing Pentheus a fierce lion. When the woman realizes what she has done, shesuffers tremendously from the horror of the act committed. The play ends with the departure into exileof Cadmus and Agave. The moral message of the play shows the importance of maintaining balance inone’s life, in social and in the natural one.

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Euripides establishes links, doubles and oppositions in thisplay. Pentheus and Dionysus are switching the roles during the all play. Cadmus and Tiresias are a pairand the mad women and chorus give a contrasting set.The extreme opposition between Pentheus and Dionysus that represents both a struggle between orderand disorder and a struggle of flexibility within the social regime. Dionysus’s clear defeat of Pentheusand his stifling system of order suggests that a society completely devoid of a semblance of disorder andfreedom will inevitably tear itself apart. Probably Euripides uses the character of Dionysus as superior inhis wisdom because of his divinity as a God in the real life for Greeks.Pentheus represents the youth that does not accept the advice of the elders Cadmus and Tiresias, thisway paying his arrogance with death.

He reveals to us the price of playing with power that escapes ourunderstanding and dominion, with the dangers of a battle that can’t be won. Despite their old age, the elders embrace the Dionysian rite and try to make the young king understand the mistake he is makingand that he is falling. Ignoring the voices of the elders the monarch will be devastated by theconsequences.Pentheus does not accept the rites in honor of Dionysus because they represent the overwhelming ofthe human condition, the passion, the pleasure, the debauchery.

This leads us to the conclusion that thehuman being wants the Dionysian Abandoned because it is inherent to the human condition. We arealways constrained by circumstances beyond our true nature that will allow us to show us just as we are.At the end of the play Agave is capable of killing his own son. Does this mean that all our morality andfeelings are not strong enough to overcome our instinct? Or maybe it is a human reaction that we asbeasts are capable of performing any acts, if it produces benefits or pleasure?iiiAll the extremism only bring misfortune. The human being cannot base its existence in the Apollonianmethod, it would be monotonous, boring and predictable and would also be denying our most free andbeautiful part.

But to base our conduct only on that method is not the solution. This leaves us withoutliability and therefore makes us human beings capable of feeling a multitude of sensations, unable tofeel any emotion that will make us leave our little world of pleasures to discover the advantages thatsometimes we can have by denying our own pleasure and like that helping those around us. The samecan be applied to the concepts of tradition and modernity. Times are changing and we have to changewith them, but by refusing how we were in the past will not make us better, who does not know hishistory is destined to repeat it. The errors are already committed, at least we need to take advantage tocreate a better future. To ignore the problems of the past will only bring problems back and stronger.It´s necessary to revolutionize during the path of the individual life and also during the collective humanlife of mankind as a whole. We cannot always move forward because we risk to stumble and fall withoutany support to get up.

The god Dionysus in The Bacchae is a character that can represent some characteristics as the change,creativity, instinct, feelings, passion, love, poetry but also drunkenness, lack of control, excess, sex,music, freedom, the dreams, the subconscious… He probably represents life in its pure state. Apollo, onthe other hand can represent the symmetry, the order, the rationalism, the head, the repression. Apollois the nature, making it perfect and peaceful while the God Dionysus is us, Dionysus is the human beingwith all its passions, imperfections and defects.This play has had an influence on several authors, among them the philosophers Hegel and Nietzsche.Nietzsche was inspired by Euripides plays to write “The Birth of the Tragedy” where he analyzes theBacchae and antagonism Dionysus/Apollo, the nature of things and the choir (manifestation of themultitudes conquered by the God Dionysus).

During all the play the god Dionysus acts cruel and vengeful, determined to be respected no matter theprice and suffering that he caused to his enemies. After the catharsis of tragedy (a mother killing herson, demonstration of that against the desire of God nothing can be) one cannot avoid makingcomparisons between Dionysus avenger and the Christian god of the Old Testament, benevolent withhis faithful and evil to the sadism against their opponents. Not surprising also that the punishment ofPentheus includes not only the monarch but also to their loved ones (Agave, Cadmus) who have to payfor the sins they have not committed.It is clear that Euripides tried to show in this play his fascination with the Dionysian rite, deep-rooted inthe Greek culture perhaps precisely because it was a celebration of life, as opposed to, for example, theCatholicism that perceive life more as a punishment and suffering as a gift.Greek Tragedy and the comedy was born in Athens but is differentiated by its obscene and comicburlesque character. The goal of the comedy was to expose the playwriter´s criticism on social, politicallife of that time. To achieve that in his plays he used contemporary political humor, sexist jokes andversions of intelligent slaves. Aristophanes (Athens,444 B.

C. 388 BCE.) was a Greek playwright, mainlyworking on the comic genre, being the evidences of old comedy. He won five times the Lenaia ComedyFestival, Aristophanes, who´s work help us to understand the intense ideological of the politics,economics and philosophical life of that period. Aristophanes was a spokesperson for peace we can seethat in four out of his five plays.

His love for rural life and simpler times is his vision of ideal peace. Themost touched political topics in his play are about life and death struggles between Spartan league andAthenian. If we are to condemn or approve the lessons of Aristophanes it would be very difficult to getto the bottom of the poet´s feelings considering the comedic medium in which they are conveyed andfrom the madness of Dionysiac festival.

As we have seen, social morality plays a big role in the Greekcomedy.1The Peace is one of the oldest comedic plays written by Aristophanes. For the first time it was staged inthe City of Dionysia in Athens. The play left a mark for its positive and cheerful anticipation of peace andidyllic return to rural life. However, it also has notes of bitterness errors made it by the leaders from thepast, expressing the fear of the unstable peace.2In this play Aristophanes teach the political actions thatare the decisive aspect in human affairs and by only awaiting on the God/s will not get us anywhere. Butall the Aristophanes plays are full of jokes are, with absurd actions and brutal satire.Like most Athenian citizens, Trygaeus was tired of wars and shortage of food, he decides to call upon thegods for help.

To save himself, his family and his country, unlike the others he looks for ways to gainentrance to heaven and make a plea to Zeus. After a couple of attempts and accidents to gain entrance,Trygaeus rides a dung beetle the same way Bellerophon of Pegasus. After succeeding to arrive at Zeus´shome, he finds that Gods moved far away from Greece.

They did that so they would stop hearing theprayers and to stop seeing the fighting amongst them. The gods abandoned them leaving God of warhelped by his slave Tumult the full power over them. Not long after Trygaeus finds out that God of Waralready began to carry out his plans. God of War put Peace in a deep pit and started to prepare all thecities of Greece into a mortar. Trygareus watched how he prepare different provisions representingdifferent cities like Laconians, Megarians, Sicilians and Athenians. This deed of destruction waspostponed because he could not find a different ingredient he needed.

After Tumult failed to find thatingredient God of War has to leave the mortar and go find it himself. Trygaeus takes advantage of thisopportunity to safe Peace. He immediately asks for help from all the states of Greece.

The states cameto Tygareus´s aid this making enough commotion to bring Zeus back from his retreat. Hermes wasangered and aroused but allowed them to go on in exchange of promises of future glorification. Aftersome progress made by the people of Greece, Peace and her companions Harvest and Festival were1 Martin Luke 2009freed. Hermes after explained why Peace left them years ago – she was drove away by politicians whowere profiting the war. he tried to come back but every time the Athenians voted against her.

Afterapologizing to Peace on behalf of people of Greece, Trygaeus enjoys her freedom and takes Harvest andFestival with him. He takes Harvest because she is now betrothed to him and Festival to be theentertainment.This comedy connotes meanings profoundly anti-war, Aristophanes attempts to show the Greeks thatthe only consequences of wars are the death and destruction, and that it is much better to reconcile andto forget the quarrels. Unlike Euripides, Aristophanes does so from the point of view of the comedy: theauthor is inspired from folk stories or inventions of their own.

While the authors of the tragedy usedmyths to transmitted messages, Aristophanes choose especially a story to raise awareness among thepublic about a reality very current in his time.An interesting fact about The Peace is that it was represented in the year 421 B.C, about to beconcluded the Peace of Nicias. The comedy it is presented with a story full of double meanings, obsceneallusions and attacks to characters of the time. This will definitely serve the purposes of the author tomake the audience relate with the work and feel closer to the reality.

The chorus in this case, representsGreek men of the various regions that helped Trygaeus in the rescue. The chorus also express thegeneral feelings about the play, but the chorus does not have a role that important as in the tragedies.The chorus do not present the play and their interventions are shorter, although the dialogs still beingan important part.

Aristophanes takes into consideration many elements that are found in the collective unconscious of histime. No one is saved: parody to the great tragic poets, politicians and most famous war strategists ofhis time, among others. Even the recently deceased Cleon, a demagogue of his time that favored thewar, is respected.ivAristophanes did not write at the same time as the other great authors of tragedy.

The society wasalready getting tired of the war, and this was reflected in his work. Aristophanes teaches us a lesson, aswe note that even though some decided not to save the goddess, others such as Argos preferred to beneutral, but the workers were the one who put in an effort to save Peace. The author believes that astrong and prosperous society will be built with the effort of the people and not of the warriors.vWith this scene was proclaimed the new happiness of Athens, and from there the play conveys a greatsense of joy, by the celebration of peace.

In this way, Aristophanes also encompasses the economicperspective of Peace: some businesses will bloom while others will go down. Therefore, Trygaeusadvised the arm dealers to look for another job, mocking their despair.Subsequently a couple of children sang and so did the son of Lamachus. The child sings in the honor ofthe warriors, and Trygaeus tells him to stop singing.

With this Aristophanes tries to tell us that Childreneducated in the tradition of the War will continue the same, but if they are re-educated in the traditionof peace they will know how to behave. The child sings of Cleonymus, the soldier who lost his shield inbattle. This character was humiliated constantly at that time, but Aristophanes claims, that it was a wiseman and a pacifist, obviously in a full comedic way.Another interesting scene is when The War is preparing the mortar of war, with typical products of eachregion that will subsequently be crushed and mashed..

. as it happened with the cities during the wars of the Peloponnese. Luckily War does not find the right ingredients that he needs, meanwhile making funof Cleon, alluding to his recent death and this gives time to Trygeus to rescue the goddess.

Aristophanes introduces us the gods much earthlier than in the tragedy plays, less solemn and untilbribes. Hermes is flattered to the fatigue to allow the salvation of Peace and he is the one who has allthe story of wars so he tells then from the perspective of the author: a chain of nonsense, pain anddeath, all by the insatiable quest for power. In his story he says, referring to the peace: there was whoput an end to the thing and the goddess disappeared, alluding to the various offers of peace that hadbeen rejected during the war.viOther Greek gods do not appear in the play, but are appointed as if they were tired of the men that is tosay, they don’t even care about the sacrifices of the Greeks, the gods have left them to their fate to seekpeace among them.The theatre was very important for the Greek culture, it was a way of transmitting the myths of theGreek Ancestors and their beliefs.

Also, I think that it was an easier form of protest, an easy way of sharesubliminal messages that many Greeks could understand. At the same time, keeping the audienceentertained. Euripides aim would have been to explore the behavior and the relationship between theGods and humans even if he does not honor or judge the God Dionysus at all. Also, it sees the humanside of the God that it makes him feel inferior in comparison to other Gods. A curious theme of thatperiod was women, as they were not taken into consideration in the Ancient Greece, they were not ableto perform on the stage and their roles were performed by young boys. However, it did not underminethe role of women in Greek plays. The Bacchae is a women tragedy full of women doing unusual thingsfrom different sexual aspects.

We can link it with the resolution of the play where Agave is possessed bymadness to lose her self-control and does not recognize her son. Another important aspect of the playwas the King Pentheus who got convinced by the priest to dress as a woman this way losing his dignity.Also, the final message that I got from The Bacchae is that Euripides tries to expand the religion makingpeople loyal to their faith and myths of how no one can deny a God.

Aristophanes wanted to help making a change in the political arena, enabling people to think throughhis comedies. Both of the styles comedy and tragedy are political as I think all theatre is political. Ibelieve that any theatre performance has been made for a reason it can be for a purpose as change thevision of the public, a way of entertainment or to leave the conclusions and the meanings to the publicas individual.The theatre was important for the Greek culture, it was a way of transmitting the myths of the GreekAncestors and their beliefs.

I think that it was an easier form of protest, an easy way of sharingsubliminal messages that many Greeks could understand but at the same time keeping the audienceentertained. I believe that all theatre is performed for a purpose either as a way of entertainment, tomake people think about different aspects of life. Euripides explored the behavior and the relationshipbetween the Gods and the humans but he does not honor or judge the God DionysusThe final message that I got from The Bacchae is that Euripides tries to expand the religion makingpeople loyal to their faith and show the myths of how no one can refuse a God during the play. He alsoexplores the multiple behavior and relations between the Gods and the humans as an importantcharacteristic is that some are more in control than others. In the play the God Dionysus sees his humanside weaker and inferior compared with other Gods.Woman play a fundamental part in these performances, they were not considered important in theAncient Greek society and not been allowed to be on the stage. Any woman parts were played by ayoung boy. However, The Bacchae it is a woman tragedy play as there is a fundamental role of woman,but that does not mean that the female role in the theatre was essential, during the full performancewith woman doing unusual things in sexual aspects.

That maybe explains why the blame of the youngKing ended with the main feminine character losing her self-control and not recognizing her own son.Also, how the King Pentheus end up dressed as a woman and lost his dignity..Aristophanes wanted to help make a change in the political arena, enabling people to think through hiscomedies. By doing research for this essay I took in consideration the personal goals of each author.While I read more information about Aristophanes’ life I found that people could describe him as a veryreligious and close-minded person.

It grabs my attention after reading his play that he is sensitive andvindictive individual. All Theatre is political it is hard to say which style is more, probably the comedywas more social as it could break the barrier of expressing and performing taboo thoughts to the publicand mocking popular persons..

Greeks invented the idea of the criticism and the critical thinking. Not all the Greeks were having anopen mind, some of them would have liked to keep their conservatories ideas and facts forever.However, Greeks demonstrated their characteristics of a progressive culture that it could predominateeven more than the tradition in itself. Their culture also looks intolerant but they managed to produceamazing performances full of imagination and they still are an important factor that has influence on ourpresent. 


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