After reading the two presentations, I would like for you to write a short essay.
1-Choose one of the theatrical eras discussed in this week's class.
2- Put your self in the place of someone going to one of the plays and write a letter to a
friend which contains the following information:
-What kind of person would you be in this era? What kind of work do you do?
- What are you wearing to watch this play?
-When you finally take your seat (or standing position) what does the theatre look like?
3- What do you think the differences were from the person you were pretending to be
attending a play in their era and you attending a play in the present time?
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Created By: Edgar Pallares, Karen Marquez, Tara Martinez,
Nicole Montes, Anh Nguyen, Yvette Ortiz, Shania Rael
William Shakespeare’s Background
Shakespeare's often used nickname is The Bard. People have often speculated
that Shakespeare doesn’t exist at all because there is no clear records of his life
except for when he was baptised, which was on April 26, 1564. He studied the
languages Greek and Latin in grammar school. Shakespeare joined the Lord
Chamberlain's Men, which was an acting company, in 1594. When one of
company’s playhouse’s lease expired, it wasn’t until 1599 that they got a
playhouse to perform at consistently. That playhouse was named the Globe. As
Shakespeare became more famous, he was known as the “Company Man”, and
was able to gain money from the profits the theatre’s made and not just get paid
for his plays. Even to this day, Ben Jonson’s quote, “He was not of an age, but for
all time!” still holds true
Most Famous Play and Birth/Death
According to statistics, Twelfth Night is not the most famous play coming from
Shakespeare's works. For the play that is performed the most, it is A Midsummer
Night’s Dream, followed by Romeo and Juliet, and then Twelfth Night. According to
a study done in San Francisco, people were asked to name one of Shakespeare’s
works, and the most common answer was Romeo and Juliet, followed by Macbeth
Since there isn’t much evidence of Shakespeare’s birth, using the date of the
baptism, scholars have speculated that it was around April 23, 1564, in a small
town called Stratford-upon-Avon. He died on April 23, 1616, in Stratford-uponAvon.
The Season of Joy and Happiness
The 12th night took place in England during the Christmas season from 1601-1602.The set
is Dukedom of Illyria. A place where the Elizabethans had no clue what it was and to me
it was Shakespeare’s own fictional fantasy country. They didn’t know what Illyria was all
about except that it was a beautiful garden and full of music! It is called the “12 Night”
because it is the 12th night after Christmas. Shakespeare wanted Christians to be full of
joy and happiness. He wanted the 12th Night to become a custom to all and Christmas to
be full of entertainment! I believe he wrote this around Christmas season because it was
the season of love and happiness. It was a romantic comedy. My belief was that at the
end of the play Shakespeare and Christians concluded that love is pain!
Type of Theater
The Twelfth Night has a romantic atmosphere the theatre setting that best fits the
atmosphere is a proscenium theatre.
In my opinion I believe performers that truly understand
William Shakespeare’s writing and is introspective with lots of
cherisma are the best to perform his plays.
The people that most likely would be watching this play are people who enjoy a
twisted and shocking love story. The reason why is that the play is full of twist that
circle around the love stories throughout the play. Throughout the entire play you
read about so many characters confessing their love for each other and at the end
we see the main characters actually get the happy ending they wanted, love.
The previous information does influence the play because the people who were
performing these characters had to have a passion for love stories or else they
wouldn’t engage much feelings while they were performing. As well as the people
watching the play influences what they think of the play and how they will critique
the play. Because if someone who isn’t into romance watches this play they might
find it boring and complicated but someone who actually enjoys romance will
really enjoy it.
The Exposition and Inciting incident
The exposition of the play is when Viola and Sebastian meet again. The truth
comes out about Viola hiding her identity and pretending she is actually a man.
After all that is said and done it seems that everything just falls into place.
I think the inciting incident is when Olivia calls Cesario her husband. When that
happens people are left confused. But then Sebastian shows up and all is
understood and fixed.
In Twelfth night, the major characters in this play are Viola/Cesario, Duke Orsino,
Countess Olivia, and Malvolio. The minor characters in the play are Maria, Feste,
Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Sebastian, Curio, Valentine, a sea captain
Viola/ Cesario: a young women that disguises herself as Cesario. Falls in love with
Duke Orsino: A powerful nobleman in Illyria. He is lovesick for Olivia, but becomes
more fond of Cesario, who is Viola.
Olivia: a wealthy, beautiful women that refuses to be in love with anyone in 7
years because the recent deaths of her father and brother.
Sebastian: Viola’s twin brother.
Malvolio:Olivia’s servant who is in love with Olivia.
A sea captain: The captain of the ship that sank while carrying Viola and
Valentine: One of Orsino’s attendants.
Curio: One of Orsino’s attendants.
Sir Toby Belch: Olivia’s uncle,a drunkard, lives at and leeches off of her house.
Sir Andrew aguecheek: A friend of Sir Toby’s. He attempts to court Olivia.
Fabian: An attendant in Olivia’s household.
Feste: The clown, or fool of Olivia’s household.
Maria: Olivia’s clever, daring young waiting-gentlewomen.
Twelfth night is set in Illyria, the Eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea covering pasts
of Albania, Croatia, and Montenegro. That is a real place that existed in tenth
century. The play begins with Viola and her twin brother Sebastian are
shipwrecked in the land of Illuria. They end up washed ashore in different
The land of Illyria is the place that full of garden, music and lovesick citizens.
The climax occurs when Sebastian and Viola are reunited,
causing their identities to be revealed to everyone, making
them realize that Viola is a woman. This also leads to the
conclusion of the marriages.
After Viola and Sebastian reuniting, Fabian confesses and
explains to Olivia that he was one of the plotters that tricked
Malvolio when he was acting as an insane madman. After
this, there are marriage preparations between Viola with
Orsino and Sebastian with Olivia.
Part Four: Edgar Pallares
After reading Twelfth Night, I was expecting people to die at the end since
it felt like it was leaning towards that ending, but it ended up being a
happy ending, which I don’t mind since a lot of the stories I’ve been
reading end up with everyone dying. The amount of dramatic irony in this
story was ridiculous, not that that is a bad thing. My favorite passage that
conveyed dramatic irony from this story is how Malvolia was pranked by
Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria by writing the letter of doing all these
things that Olivia hates a lot. The fact that Malvolia didn’t know Olivia
hated the things that were in the letter makes me feel that he kind of
deserves it since he is Olivia’s steward and should know all sorts of things
about Olivia, but that’s just me.
Part Four: Karen Marquez
After reading and analyzing this play, I feel that I did enjoy it and I did like
it. Mostly what I liked was its sense of comic between the twins. For
example, when they thought that the other twin was dead when they
couldn’t find each other. With this, I felt like that is the kind of love they
have as brother and sister and although they would probably feel
something inside them when the other one dies, they say this as in a
dramatic way that makes the audience think as if they were exaggerating.
Overall, I enjoyed Viola’s character and thought it was interesting how she
complicated things just by dressing up as a man.
Part Four: Nicole Montes
I enjoyed reading this play I love how the play was intended
to be the best entertainment for the Christmas season. I feel
like William Shakespeare tried showing us through a
woman's perspective the best way to love. I feel like Olivia
falling in love with a women that was disguised as a man was
a big plot twist and very interesting but I am very glad Olivia
still found love. I will say I had to read the play a few times to
understand the english properly but overall really enjoyed this
Part Four: Anh Nguyen
“Twelfth night” is probably the most well rounded of all the Shakespearean
comedies I have seen so far. I really enjoy the play. However, the action of the
play is somewhat fragmented and characters seem to act merely on impulse.
Shakespeare created a hilarious story of love, confusion and foolishness.
Part Four: Yvette Ortiz
Throughout the entire play I never found myself bored over it. I enjoyed every part
of it. I really enjoyed feeling frustrated over the confusion with the twins Viola and
Sebastian. The play was full of twist and tricks for example when Maria, Toby, and
the fool make Olivia believe that Malvolio was insane. When Antonio thought that
Viola was sebastian and that he betrayed him. Throughout reading the whole play
I found myself on the edge of the sit just waited and rushing through it because I
just wanted to finish it and see how it all unraveled up. I was also afraid to finish it
because many Shakespeare plays end in a tragedy and I just wanted everyone to
have a happy ending. I really enjoyed when Viola and Sebastian finally found each
other. And the major twist of Olivia and Sebastian getting married and Orsino
asking Viola for her hand in marriage.
Part Four: Shania Rael
I actually enjoyed reading this play. I never knew about it before now. I did come
across something interesting while reading. I noticed the characters names all
sounded familiar to me. I didn't think much of it until I read a bit more and started
to understand what was going on. I finally realized it was very similar to a movie I
used to watch during my early teen years. The movie is called, She’s the Man. I
did some research out of curiosity and yes the movie was made to modernize the
Twelfth Night. They both have the same names for their characters and the same
idea of what was going on. I was so excited to connect the two and it gave me a
better visualization and understanding of what was happening. I enjoyed reading
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