Theatre History

EN 207: Theatre History

Antigone Discussion and Study Questions for January 22, 2019

Link to 1984 production directed by Don Taylor (note: the text was translated by Don Taylor as well, and so it is not the same as our book. You still need to read our book; do not view the video in place of reading the assigned book): https://youtu.be/8bSnnufOx80

1.) In his Poetics, Aristotle says that dramatic works should adhere to three “unities.” Find at least three examples that illustrate that what is happening on stage shows Sophocles adhering to the principle of “unity of time.”

2.) In his Poetics, Aristotle says that dramatic works should adhere to three “unities.” Find at least three examples that illustrate that what is happening on stage shows Sophocles adhering to the principle of “unity of place.”

3.) In his Poetics, Aristotle says that dramatic works should adhere to three “unities.” Define “unity of action.” If Sophocles had ignored this priciple, which character or moment in the action would you like to see expanded into a subplot, and how would that play out?

4.) In his Poetics, Aristotle says that the best tragic plots should create catharsis by arousing fear and pity. Find at least three examples from throughout the play in which Sophocles adheres to this aesthetic by creating moments of suspense. How does Sophocles attempt to craft dramatic suspense and at the same time adhere to the unities?

5.) In his Poetics, Aristotle says that the best tragic plots should create catharsis by arousing fear and pity. Find at least three examples from throughout the play in which Sophocles adheres to this aesthetic by creating moments in which the audience is encouraged to sympathize with a character. What patterns do you see in Sophocles repeating in his writing when it comes getting his audience to feel pity?

6.)  In his Poetics, Aristotle says that the “tragic hero” has several characteristics:

a.) S/he is not a “bad guy,” malicious, or evil. S/he experiences misfortune, but not as a result of having committed a vile act.

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