Greek Plays Vocabulary

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anagnorisis

a recognition or discovery on the part of the hero; change from ignorance to knowledge; usually tied to the turning point of the play

peripeteia

a reversal of fortune; from good to bad; usually follows anagnorisis; turning point of play

nemesis

fate which cannot be escaped

catharsis

purging of emotions of pity and fear; leaves viewer both relieved and elated

physis

forces of nature; or unrestricted passion (undesirable)

nomos

human laws instituted by a city

polis

the "good" city of man - ruled by law

verbal irony

what is said is the opposite of what is meant

dramatic irony

the audience knows what to expect, but characters don't

situational irony

what happens is not what is expected

strophe

choral movement in ONE direction across the stage

antistrophe

choral movement in the OTHER direction across the stage

stichomythic

dialogue that depicts an altercation between 2 characters; alternating lines of argument between those characters

hamartia

a tragic flaw; character trait, not physical trait; causes the downfall of the hero; often - hubris

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