Analysis On Greek Tragedy

883 words - 4 pages

Greek Tragedy

Greek Tragedy

The Ancient Greek Tragedy is a form of art based on human suffring that offers audience pleasure. The word `tragedy' appears to have been used to describe different phenomena at different times. It has being a tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role in history; from its obscure origins in the theatres of Athens 2500 years ago to the more recent `social' realism and tragedy of Arthur Miller, `A View from the Bridge'.

In its origins the theatre was magic, the use of body movement and rythm were crucial for the audience to captivate the esence of the play. All this represented in dithyrambs: dances and lamentations from the chorus which used satyrs masks to express basic emotional manifestations in the human being: laugh and weep. Plays of the ancient Greek theatre always included a chorus that offered a variety of background and summary information to help the audience follow the performance. In `A View from the Bridge' , Alfieri represents a fundamental element in this tragedy. He stands for the Greek chorus which informs the audience and provides commentary on what is happening in the story as well as the description of the people within the play and narration. No Greek tragedy was complete without a chorus. In A View from the Bridge, Miller replaces what used to be a horde of masked singing dancers into a single character, Alfieri.

Back in those days, when Athens was the theatre capitol of the Western world, it was the chorus's job to step in and comment on the action of story. Alfieri does the same thing. He pops up between scenes and connects the play with larger moral and societal implications. For the most part, Alfieri does a lot of talking about the contrasting Italian and American ideas of justice. "A lawyer means the law, and in Sicily, from ... where there fathers came, the law has not been a friendly idea since the Greeks were beaten." This shows that Alfieri is functionally like a Greek chorus by putting the play in a larger historical context.

Along the play, Miller uses an exceptional control of his art where he harmonized the tragic background of the conflict between the desire...

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