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A Guide to Ancient Greek Drama, 2nd Edition

A Guide to Ancient Greek Drama, 2nd Edition

Ian C. Storey , Arlene Allan

ISBN: 978-1-118-45511-1

Nov 2013, Wiley-Blackwell

352 pages



This newly updated second edition features wide-ranging, systematically organized scholarship in a concise introduction to ancient Greek drama, which flourished from the sixth to third century BC.

  • Covers all three genres of ancient Greek drama – tragedy, comedy, and satyr-drama
  • Surveys the extant work of Aeschylus, Sophokles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Menander, and includes entries on ‘lost’ playwrights
  • Examines contextual issues such as the origins of dramatic art forms; the conventions of the festivals and the theater; drama’s relationship with the worship of Dionysos; political dimensions of drama; and how to read and watch Greek drama
  • Includes single-page synopses of every surviving ancient Greek play

Preface x

List of Figures xii

List of Maps xiii

Abbreviations and Signs xiv

1 Aspects of Ancient Greek Drama 1

Drama 1

The Dramatic Festivals 14

Drama and Dionysos 24

The Theatrical Space 34

The Performance 46

Drama and the Polis 61

2 Greek Tragedy 72

On the Nature of Greek Tragedy 77

Aeschylus 93

Sophokles 111

Euripides 131

The Other Tragedians 151

3 The Satyr-Play 156

4 Greek Comedy 169

Origins 169

Old Comedy 173

The Generations of Old Comedy 195

Aristophanes 208

Middle Comedy 217

Menander and New Comedy 221

5 Approaching Greek Drama 230

Textual Criticism and Commentary 230

New Criticism 231

Structuralism 232

Myth and “Version” 233

Ritual and Drama 235

Psychoanalytic Approaches 236

Gender Studies 237

Performance Criticism 238

6 Play Synopses 241

Aeschylus’ Persians (Persae, Persai ) 243

Aeschylus’ Seven (Seven against Thebes) 244

Aeschylus’ Suppliants (Suppliant Women, Hiketides) 245

Aeschylus’ Oresteia 246

Aeschylus’ Agamemnon 247

Aeschylus’ Libation-Bearers (Choephoroe) 248

Aeschylus’ Eumenides (Furies) 249

Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound (Prometheus Vinctus, Prometheus Desmotes) 250

Sophokles’ Ajax (Aias) 251

Sophokles’ Antigone 252

Sophokles’ Trachinian Women (Trachiniai, Women of Trachis) 253

Sophokles’ Oedipus Tyrannos (King Oedipus, Oedipus Rex, Oedipus the King) 254

Sophokles’ Elektra (Electra) 255

Sophokles’ Philoktetes (Philoctetes) 256

Sophokles’ Oedipus at Kolonos (Colonus) 257

Euripides’ Alkestis (Alcestis) 258

Euripides’ Medea 259

Euripides’ Children of Herakles (Heraclidae, Herakleidai ) 260

Euripides’ Hippolytos 261

Euripides’ Andromache 262

Euripides’ Hecuba (Hekabe) 263

Euripides’ Suppliant Women (Suppliants, Hiketides) 264

Euripides’ Elektra (Electra) 265

Euripides’ Herakles (Hercules Furens, The Madness of Herakles) 266

Euripides’ Trojan Women (Troades) 267

Euripides’ Iphigeneia among the Taurians (Iphigeneia in Tauris) 268

Euripides’ Ion 269

Euripides’ Helen 270

Euripides’ Phoenician Women (Phoinissai ) 271

Euripides’ Orestes 272

Euripides’ Iphigeneia at Aulis 273

Euripides’ Bacchae (Bacchants) 274

Euripides’ Cyclops 275

[Euripides’] Rhesos 276

Aristophanes’ Acharnians 277

Aristophanes’ Knights (Hippeis, Equites, Horsemen) 278

Aristophanes’ Wasps (Sphekes, Vespae) 279

Aristophanes’ Peace (Pax, Eirene) 280

Aristophanes’ Clouds (Nubes, Nephelai) 281

Aristophanes’ Birds (Ornithes, Aves) 282

Aristophanes’ Lysistrate 283

Aristophanes’ Women at the Thesmophoria (Thesmophoriazousai ) 284

Aristophanes’ Frogs (Ranae, Batrachoi ) 285

Aristophanes’ Assembly-Women (Ekklesiazousai ) 286

Aristophanes’ Wealth (Ploutos) 287

Menander’s The Grouch (Old Cantankerous, Dyskolos) 288

Menander’s Samian Woman (Samia) or Marriage-contract 289

A Note on Meter 290

Glossary of Names and Terms 293

Further Reading 296

Index 305

“Whether the student has a good grasp of the language, or little (even none), they will find this an invaluable source book and study aid. It will help students of classical literature to understand the context and content of ancient Greek drama more thoroughly and more productively.  Although not stated as an aim of the book, it will also help students of related subjects who need some instruction in or background to ancient Greek drama.”  (Reference Reviews, 1 October 2014)