Chorus in Greek Tragedy

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November, 2008 Theatre Arts Research Investigation How would the Chorus in Antigone physically perform within Greek theatrical conventions? Word count: 2499 words Tragedy as a form originated in ancient Greece, where it was performed to honor gods. The first tragedian that gave her the place it deserves, the staging, actors and limitations was Aeschylus. Even today he is considered as one of the greatest tragedians ever. Coming to the definition of it, tragedy is a literary piece of work, usually written to be performed on stage, in which tragic hero withstands a good deal of misfortune. That misfortune is not happening by chance and it has a reason, usually in characters actions and rarely by god's intervention. That means that tragic action arouses as a result of characters deeds – the character himself has a choice, and his decision affects his future and causes any further acts. One of the tragedy theoreticians, Aristotle, wrote in his book Poetics that “the structure of the best tragedy should be not simple but complex and one that represents incidents arousing fear and pity – for that is peculiar to this form of art.”[1] Aristotle gave one of the main limitations to the tragedy in general. He stated that if a tragic event is triggered by a mystifying cause, than it is only a misfortune. For event to become tragic it has to be evoked by person’s free will and own decision. Only than it should be referred to as a tragedy. One of the main components of this form is Chorus. The aspect that is unclear to many directors, actors, even dramaturges is how would the Chorus in Antigone physically perform within Greek theatrical conventions? Before tackling directly the physicality of the Chorus, one should be introduced with

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