Introduction to Greek Tragedy

Nicole Messer

What is Greek tragedy?

Greek tragedy is a form of theatre that originated in Ancient Greece and Asia Minor. It is an extension of the ancient rites done in honor of Dionysus (god of the grape harvest) and was a major influence of the Renaissance.

Basis of Tragic Plots

Tragic plots were usually based off of myths that were treated in the oral traditions of archaic epics (genre of poetry). In the theatre, the actors were the ones who presented the narratives.

The most important authors of Greek tragedies are...

Top 5 Greek Tragedies

  • Oedipus Rex and Electra by Sophocles
  • Medea and Bacchae by Euripides
  • Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus

Connection to Medea

About Medea

Medea is an ancient Greek tragedy that was written by Euripides. This tragedy was based on the myth of Jason and Medea, and was first produced in 431 BC. The plot is about a barbarian protagonist who finds her position threatened and takes revenge against her husband, Jason, who cheated on her.
The Greek Epic, Medea (as summarized by a high school student)

Citations

"Medea (play)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 June 2013. Web. 08 Apr. 2013.

"Five Great Greek Tragedies: Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus." By E. A. Sophocles. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2013.

"Greek Tragedy." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 June 2013. Web. 08 Apr. 2013.