The shadow tragedian, Euripides, was born around 484 BCE. We say shadow because,
He was one.
c. 484 BCE
Syracuse, a city in Sicily, was the destination of the socially critical Euripides’ diplomatic
mission- on at least one occasion. But other than that, little is known of Euripides’ life. It is
rumoured that The Cave of Euripides on Salamis Island was where the playwright crafted his
In 455 BCE, at 29 years old, Euripides was chosen to compete in the Athenian dramatic festival
given in honour of the god, Dionysus- however he didn’t get his first win until 441 BCE.
Ultimately, our tragedian won four drama prizes, one posthumously, and he was chosen 20
times to be one of three laureates for the festival honoured for outstanding achievement.
Born in 484 BCE in Athens, Died in 406 BCE in Macedonia
Euripides often used plot elements like
revenge, suffering, and insanity- and often
used the “deus ex machina” plot device.
His epilogues were often in the viewpoints
of the gods. Due to his real life scepticism
of religion, he often depicted the gods as
irrational and uninterested in offering
“divine justice:. His characters were
commonplace men and women that were
flawed and vulnerable, and their fates
came from their own intense passions and
emotions resulting in meaningless
suffering. It garnered indifference by the
His female characters were strong and
complex, presented as either victims or
avengers, such as in Electra.
Contrary to his contemporaries, Aeschylus
and Sophocles, Euripides wrote tragedies
wherein the gods wrought havoc and
destruction on defenseless mortals.
His works were never widely received in
Athens and, when invited by Macedonian
King Archelaus in 408 BCE, he lived the
remaining two years of his life there, in
Elektra is not his most famous work
In fact, Euripides wrote over 90 plays, only 19 of
which were preserved wholly in manuscripts.
During his later years, he began writing
romantic dramas that had happier endings.
After 415 BCE, he began writing songs that
were objectively unsurpassed in their beauty
and powerful lyrics.
His work was often parodied, pointing to the
fact that his works commanded attention, and
his plays often provided relevant commentary.
His most famous works include:
❖ The Bacchae
❖ The Trojan Woman
A Warring Country and an Outdoor
Elektra was written in the 410’s BCE, and its
actual time of conception is unknown. During
this time, the Peloponnesian War was raging,
and wouldn’t end until two years after
Euripides’ death- in 404 BCE.
The war greatly affected Greece’s political
climate, as the democratic Athens and
oligarchic Sparta were often participants in a
The Peloponnesian War brought a tragic end to
a tattered Greece during the sunset hours of
the 4th century (BCE). Euripides didn’t live to
see the end of the conflict.
The theatre in which the play was most
likely performed was a large, outdoor
theatre in Ancient Greece.
Actors in masks and a Grecian Chorus
During the portrayal of Euripides’ Elektra,
there were likely three actors that would
play all characters- by going backstage,
changing masks and costumes, and then
reappearing as a different character.
Euripides was also known for using a
chorus in his plays.
Athens had a male-dominated society, so
the majority of the patrons watching the
play would have been males. Women
weren’t considered a part of the citizenry,
and were infrequently allowed to attend
Society being male dominated, and the
plays only being performed by three
actors, the plays had to be planned
accordingly. A maximum of three actors
could be on stage and when an actor had
to change character there had to be
enough time to get them ready. Slaves
could have made scenes and transitions
easier, but the strategic planning of the
play was critical. Euripides was known for
his commentary on current issues, and his
portrayal of women almost opposed
Elektra by Euripidies
The estranged princess of Argos, daughter
of King Agamemnon and Queen
Clytemnestra. While deeply grateful for her
commoner husband, she resented her
mother and plotted her revenge. Her
anger was not only for her throne, but for
her slain father. She was a driving force
behind her brother’s blade in their
vengeance, and a victim of their shared
guilt. She is steadfast in her beliefs, and
committed to avenging the brutal betrayal
and murder of her father.
The brother of Elektra and son of King
Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra.
Life saved and sent away to be chaperoned
by the king of Phocis, he returns to
Elektra’s side years later with the king’s
son, Pylades, as his companion. He is
recognised by the servant that saved him
by a scar that he’s had from his childhood.
After the matricide committed by both
Elektra and Orestes, he is crippled by his
remorse, and with his sister, must atone for
the murder (however just it may have
The son of King Strophius and Queen
Anaxibia (who is the sister of King
Agamemnon). He befriends Orestes and
was raised alongside him, later
contributing to Orestes’ and Elektra’s plot
to avenge Agamemnon.
Elektra is set first in Mycenae, where the
main character and namesake of the play,
Elektra, daughter of Agamemnon, endures
a marriage to a peasant. The peasant treats
her with respect on many fronts, and
Elektra awaits the chance to avenge the
death of her father.
A Spartan and the sister of Helen, she
married King Agamemnon. Later, after the
introduction of her lover, Aegisthus, she
planned the death of her husband as an
act of revenge- the King sacrificed her
oldest daughter, Iphigenia, to win the war
with the Trojans.
A picture of a derelict modern-day Mycenae.
The exposition of the play is during
Elektra’s time in Mycenae with her
husband, the peasant. Her life is simple
and her husband pure- so, too, is her
She laments the loss of her father, and
distresses the estrangement of her
Simultaneously, Orestes convenes with his
friend and quasi-brother, Pylades, and
contemplates the whereabouts of his
What could very easily be the inciting
incident is the moment that Orestes
realises that his feelings about his father
are reciprocated by Elektra.
After Orestes is recognised, Elektra and
Orestes are able to experience a mutual
relief and camaraderiePerhaps this venture to slay the “hateful
child of Tyndareus” -that brought this grief
onto the both of them- need not be
Clytemnestra’s pleading for forgiveness is
far-and-away the most climactic moment
in Euripides’ Elektra.
In this moment, Clytemnestra is full of
sorrow, remorse, and self-perseverance.
She expresses her understanding for her
daughter’s clinging to her fallen father
By pleading to be spared, she presents the
vitality of choice to Elektra and Orestes.
O my children, by Heaven I pray ye spare
Forgiveness is an option that neither child
had prior considered, and her prayer for it
consequences for her children- and herself.
Ravaged by their grief and
guilt, both Orestes and
Elektra are instructed to
Perhaps they weren’t too
out-of-place for having the
dedication to avenge their
But as is said to them by
their uncles Castor and
Pollux, there was still much
to be ashamed for.
The denouement of the play
is in this, the guilt and
suffering of Elektra and
Orestes, for losing their
And choosing to lose their
mother and humanity in
their quest for vengeance.
“Thy sorrow comes too late;
the hour of remedy has
gone from thee;
My father is dead.”
Elektra by Euripides is a provocative
take on a well-known story in Ancient
It is exemplary in showcasing
Euripides’ strengths as a tragedian.
He crafts a window through which
you are able to see characters for
both their boons and banes, and
cracks the pedestal on which deified
It is tragic and woeful in ways that
provides both superficial satisfaction
for reader and character, and deep,
implication and reflection.
1-Think back to all of the Theatre Eras we have covered in the last two weeks. (I added
one in pdf)
2- In the essay tell us how you think modern day entertainment would be had that era
3- What ideas, genre, or character type do you think would be different today had history
(This paper should discuss how you see the modern era has been directly or
indirectly influenced by the eras of the past. Do not spend the paper explaining how it is
impossible to know. )
for more materials
By, DASHA RAJUNAS, ALEJANDRA RODRIGUEZ , BIANCA J.
SAIZ , KATRINA R. SANCHEZ, MICHA SANCHEZ, EVIN A.
VALDEZ, KIMBERLY R. WILLIAMS
▪ Oscar’s full name is Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde. His theatrical career started
from 1892 until 1895 with 4 plays. He was married with Constance Lloyd. He was
sentenced 2 years in prison for losing his attempt in suing his affair’s father libel for
leaving a calling card at his home.
▪ “The Importance of Being Earnest” was one of his popular play but he was also known
for, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” which was a novel. “The Importance of Being
Earnest” was first performed on February 14, 1895 and was considered a comedy.
▪ Oscar Wilde was born in October 16, 1854 in Dublin, Ireland and died on November
30, 1900 in Paris, France. He was 46 years old when he died from cerebral
▪ What era of history was this play written in?
▪ The Importance of Being Earnest opened in the St. James Theater had 1200 seats
and an elaborate design with a neoclassical exterior and a Louis the 14th style
interior. February 1895 during the era when many of the religious social. What is the
Political Climate of the Country like?
▪ Problems of unemployment, housing, working conditions and health care led the way
for a new and powerful political movement in Great Brittan, the labor party. Trade
Unions and organizations that advanced worker demands received political support.
▪ What sort of theatre was the play likely performed?
▪ St. James Theater had 1200 seats and an elaborate design with a neoclassical
exterior and a Louis the 14th style interior.
▪ Who was most likely performing this play?
The performers would have been trained actors.
▪ Who was most likely watching this play?
The audience would have most likely been lower class citizens.
▪ Do you think any of the previous information influenced the play?
Yes because this play made fun of political norms of the times.
▪ Character names and descriptions
▪ John Worthing, J.P.: The play’s protagonist. Jack Worthing is a seemingly responsible and respectable
young man who leads a double life. In Hertfordshire, where he has a country estate, Jack is known as
Jack. In London he is known as Ernest. As a baby, Jack was discovered in a handbag in the
cloakroom of Victoria Station by an old man who adopted him and subsequently made Jack guardian
to his granddaughter, Cecily Cardew. Jack is in love with his friend Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolen
Fairfax. The initials after his name indicate that he is a Justice of the Peace.
▪ Algernon Moncrieff: The play’s secondary hero. Algernon is a charming, idle, decorative bachelor,
nephew of Lady Bracknell, cousin of Gwendolen Fairfax, and best friend of Jack Worthing, whom he
has known for years as Ernest. Algernon is brilliant, witty, selfish, amoral, and given to making
delightful paradoxical and epigrammatic pronouncements. He has invented a fictional friend,
“Bunbury,” an invalid whose frequent sudden relapses allow Algernon to wriggle out of unpleasant or
dull social obligations.
▪ Rev. Canon Chasuble, D.D.The rector on Jack’s estate. Both Jack and Algernon approach Dr.
Chasuble to request that they be christened “Ernest.” Dr. Chasuble entertains secret romantic feelings
for Miss Prism. The initials after his name stand for “Doctor of Divinity.”
▪ Merriman: The butler at the Manor House, Jack’s estate in the country. Merriman appears
only in Acts II and III.
▪ Lane: Algernon’s manservant. When the play opens, Lane is the only person who knows
about Algernon’s practice of “Bunburying.” Lane appears only in Act I.
▪ Lady Bracknell: Algernon’s snobbish, mercenary, and domineering aunt and Gwendolen’s
mother. Lady Bracknell married well, and her primary goal in life is to see her daughter do
the same. She has a list of “eligible young men” and a prepared interview she gives to
potential suitors. Like her nephew, Lady Bracknell is given to making hilarious
pronouncements, but where Algernon means to be witty, the humor in Lady Bracknell’s
speeches is unintentional. Through the figure of Lady Bracknell, Wilde manages to satirize
the hypocrisy and stupidity of the British aristocracy. Lady Bracknell values ignorance,
which she sees as “a delicate exotic fruit.” When she gives a dinner party, she prefers her
husband to eat downstairs with the servants. She is cunning, narrow-minded,
authoritarian, and possibly the most quotable character in the play.
▪ Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax: Algernon’s cousin and Lady Bracknell’s daughter. Gwendolen is in love with
Jack, whom she knows as Ernest. A model and arbiter of high fashion and society, Gwendolen
speaks with unassailable authority on matters of taste and morality. She is sophisticated, intellectual,
cosmopolitan, and utterly pretentious. Gwendolen is fixated on the name Ernest and says she will not
marry a man without that name.
▪ Cecily Cardew: Jack’s ward, the granddaughter of the old gentlemen who found and adopted Jack
when Jack was a baby. Cecily is probably the most realistically drawn character in the play. Like
Gwendolen, she is obsessed with the name Ernest, but she is even more intrigued by the idea of
wickedness. This idea, rather than the virtuous-sounding name, has prompted her to fall in love with
Jack’s brother Ernest in her imagination and to invent an elaborate romance and courtship between
▪ Miss Prism: Cecily’s governess. Miss Prism is an endless source of pedantic bromides and clichés.
She highly approves of Jack’s presumed respectability and harshly criticizes his “unfortunate”
brother. Puritan though she is, Miss Prism’s severe pronouncements have a way of going so far over
the top that they inspire laughter. Despite her rigidity, Miss Prism seems to have a softer side. She
speaks of having once written a novel whose manuscript was “lost” or “abandoned.” Also, she
entertains romantic feelings for Dr. Chasuble.
▪ Setting of the play: London (Act I) and Hertfordshire, a rural county not far from
London (Acts II and III).
▪ Exposition: He engages themes such as marriage, class, social expectations, and the
lifestyles of the English upper class. The play focuses on two men, Algernon and Jack,
who are both leading double lives.
▪ What do you think is the inciting incident?
I believe that the inciting incident is when Gwendolen and Cecily meet and start talking
about how they are both engaged to Earnest. The reason I think this is because this
causes them to discover both men are lying about their names.
▪ What do you think is the climax of the play?
I believe that the climax of the play was when Lady Bracknell comes in and the couples
start telling her they are engaged to a man named Earnest. They all discover the men
are lying for different reasons.
▪ What do you think is the Denoument?
When Lady Bracknell sees Miss Prism and recognizes her as the one who lost her
sister’s baby many years ago. She left the baby in a bag in a train station, Jack leaves
the room to brings back a hand bag the baby was found in and they realize that the
baby was Jack and that he was named Earnest after his father. Jack and Algernon are
▪ I actually really enjoyed the play! At first and sometimes throughout, it was kind of hard to
follow due to the dense dialogue and the switching of names but once the story started
taking off it was pretty easy to follow. For being a Victorian production, it had a very
interesting comedic side that I actually enjoyed, including the Gwendelon and Cecily
scenes! The only scenes that I felt were kind of long and allowed my mind to wonder off
were arguments (Specifically when the aunt entered the stage) just because it seemed
kind of repetitive of her resisting the marriage. However, I really enjoyed the huge twist in
the end where Mr. Worthing discovered who he truly was! By KATRINA
▪ “I would personally say that I didn’t fully enjoy it. The humor wasn’t something that I found
hilarious. I can honestly say I wouldn’t have read it if it wasn’t for this assignment. I’m sure
at certain targeted audience people were fond upon it and found it hilarious. Even though
it wasn’t something I wouldn’t read, I was still able to read through it.”
▪ By Kevin
▪ I was not a big fan of the play because it took me awhile to understand or even grasp
what is going on. It is too long for me, so I kept getting lost and even uninterested.
▪ I love this play. It is very dramatic as well as theatrically satisfying. When I read this
play I could almost imagine each character’s facial expressions and movements. I
would definitely attend a production of this play. There are so many creative ideas and
possibilities that could be put into a production of this play.
▪ By Kimberly
▪ I really enjoyed the play. It had a lot of humor and a great twist at the end. The
characters were interesting and fun to get to know. The only complaint I had was how
long it was and sometimes it was hard to follow. Seeing on stage would have been
▪ By Dasha
By: Lope de Vega Carpio
Presentation By: Naomi Laycock
Part I: The Playwright
Felix Arturo Lope de Vega y Carpio
• Alias: Tome de Burguillos
• Born Madrid, Spain Nov. 25th 1562
• Died Madrid, Spain: Aug. 27th 1635
• Novelist, Poet
• Famous Works
The Dog in the Manger
Isabel de Alderete y Urbina
Juana de Guardo
Micaela de Lujan
• Ordained Priest (1610)
Marta de Nevares
Antonia Trillo de Armenta
• University of Alcala de Henares -15 Children
Part II: History
• This play was first published in 1619 and is believed to have
been published between 1612 and 1614.
• It is based on an actual historical event that took place in the
village of Fuente Ovejuna in 1476.
• Fuente Ovejuna was most likely performed in a thrust theatre
• This play was actually sponsored by the aristocratic class but
had more lower classmen attending.
Part Three: Characters
Guzman was a very arrogant and
selfish man. He was good looking
but cruel. He lacked any sense of
respect or mercy for his people and
brought fear into the very heart of
Fuente Ovejuna. It may have very
well been what ended him.
Fernán Gómez De
Laurencia (mayor’s daughter)
Laurencia was a beautiful girl.
Among the upper classmen, she
was strong minded and
respected. She had a plentiful life
but refused to believe there to be
a thing such as love… until
Mengo (A shepherd)
Mengo, cousin of Jacinta was an
older man who although wasn’t
very bright had an amazing heart.
Tortured at extreme measures he
proved himself strong spirited in
Eteban (Mayor of Fuente
Esteban was an ...
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