Athenian Tragedy: A Study in Popular Art

Athenian Tragedy: A Study in Popular Art

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Athenian Tragedy: A Study in Popular Art

Athenian Tragedy: A Study in Popular Art

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The aim of these pages is to clear the way to a better understanding of Greek tragedy. They are intended for any who are reading the plays with serious interest; for those who read them only in translation all Greek terms are fully explained, and the few quotations are given in English. As these plays constitute the earliest drama of the world, outgrowth of another society than ours, a certain remoteness is what first impresses one, even if one feels, beneath what is antique and strange, a peculiar freshness and power. I should like to aid in clearing away that sense of remoteness, to aid in revealing the perennial beauty and vigor.

Prominence is given to a side which it is often taken for granted needs little or no elucidation. Dramatic art includes much besides text; it is largely in what we have to add in imagination that the remoteness of Attic tragedy lies. The earlier chapters therefore include some pages on the nature of drama and on the peculiarities of Attic drama. Some may think too much space is given to theory, and again too much to elementary matters. I hope those to whom such matters are elementary and familiar will have patience, for the sake of others who may be grateful for a statement of some of the foundations of criticism. All too few are in fact familiar with those foundations. Where can one more fitly make their acquaintance, or review them, than in studying masterpieces of the earliest dramatic school? But one can easily begin with Chapter II, coming back to these general discussions later, if one likes.

Since the book is not intended as a contribution to . . .

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