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Elektra By Euripides Part One: The Playwright The shadow tragedian, Euripides, was born around 484 BCE. We say shadow because, Well… 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 many tragedies. 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 gods. 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 Macedonia. 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: ❖ Medea ❖ The Bacchae ❖ Hippolytus ❖ Alcestis ❖ The Trojan Woman Part two: The History A Warring Country and an Outdoor Theatre 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 civil war. 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 plays. 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 societal norm. Part three: The Play Elektra by Euripidies ELEKTRA: ORESTES: 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 been). PYLADES: 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. CLYTEMNESTRA: 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 memory. She laments the loss of her father, and distresses the estrangement of her brother, Orestes. Simultaneously, Orestes convenes with his friend and quasi-brother, Pylades, and contemplates the whereabouts of his sister, Elektra. 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 experienced alone... 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 shortly before. By pleading to be spared, she presents the vitality of choice to Elektra and Orestes. CLYTEMNESTRA: O my children, by Heaven I pray ye spare your mother. Forgiveness is an option that neither child had prior considered, and her prayer for it being unanswered sealed the consequences for her children- and herself. Consequences. Ravaged by their grief and guilt, both Orestes and Elektra are instructed to atone. Perhaps they weren’t too out-of-place for having the dedication to avenge their father... 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 father, 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 Greece. 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 characters stand for other playwrights. It is tragic and woeful in ways that were captured beautifully. He provides both superficial satisfaction for reader and character, and deep, internal conflict with heavy 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 never existed. 3- What ideas, genre, or character type do you think would be different today had history be different? (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. ) Follow link: 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 meningitis. ▪ 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 them. ▪ 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 brothers. ▪ 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. By Alejandra ▪ 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 fun! ▪ By Dasha Fuente Ovejuna 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 Occupations: • Marine • Novelist, Poet • Famous Works El Isidro The Dog in the Manger Fuente Ovejuna Family: 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 venue. • 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 Guzmán 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 proven otherwise 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 the end. Eteban (Mayor of Fuente Ovejuna) Esteban was an ...
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