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March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in african-american studies, history

Aeschylus : The Father of Tragedy

Hailed as one of the world ‘s earliest dramatist , Aeschylus was a productive writer who penned approximately 90 plays , including satyr plays as well as tragedies of these , about 80 titles are known . Only seven tragedies have survived entire . These are The Persians , produced in 472 B .C Seven Against Thebes , performed in 467 B .C The Suppliant Maidens , dated c . 463 B .C the Oresteia trilogy (Agamemnon , the Libation Bearers , and the Eumenides , staged in 458 B .C and the undated Prometheus Bound . One account based [banner_entry_middle]

on the official lists Aeschylus had garnered 13 first prizes , or victories this would mean that well over half of his plays won , since sets of four plays rather than separate ones were judged . According to the philosopher Flavius Philostratus , Aeschylus was known as the Father of Tragedy (Encyclopaedia Britannica , 2006

As a soldier in his youth and actually participating in the Persian Wars , Aeschylus ‘ epitaph (self-authored as an entry for a contest in 489 BCE ) depicts him fighting at Marathon in 490 BCE , a battle which is considered to be among the most important moments in Athenian history At Marathon , the Athenians defeated the Persians and halted a Persian invasion . This might have been the inspiration he had on his play which won him his win at the drama festival in 472 BCE , entitled The Persians This festival was sponsored by Pericles himself , then an aspiring politician . The Persians deserves mention because the play is about the Persian defeat at Salamis , and it was unusual for the plays at the festival to deal with s other than the pantheon of Greek myth Aeschylus left Athens in 471 BCE to attend court at Syracuse , ruled by the tyrant Hieron , a famous patron of the arts . When he returned to Athens for the festival in 468 BCE , a twenty-eight year old named Sophocles , competing for the first time , won first place over the great Aeschylus (Denault , 2003

The Persians is of particular interest because it is the only Greek tragedy based on historical , not mythological , material . The Persians is , however , by no means merely `dramatized history . Rather , in his treatment of the recent defeat of the Persian despot Xerxes and his Persian fleet by the Athenians at Salamis , Aeschylus `mythologizes history to present a striking illustration of the tragic theme of koros hubris , atk : excessive confidence in wealth and power , leading to an act of outrage (in this case , that of Xerxes overstepping the divinely ordained limits of his rule , which brings down the swift retribution of the gods . To present his material in tragic rather than in `historical terms , the poet takes certain bold liberties with the factual material and employs typically Aeschylean touches of symbolism (such as the striking image of `the yoke of the sea , constraining the great sea-god Poseidon , for Xerxes ‘ bridge of boats across `the sacred Hellespont ) to stress the overreaching ambition of the Persian King

In The Seven Against Thebes , Aeschylus brings to… [banner_entry_footer]

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