16 terms

Greek Tragedy Terms


Terms in this set (...)

Aristotle's term describing the point in the plot (climax), especially of a tragedy, when a character experiences understanding; the point in the play when the protagonist recognizes or verbalizes his or her tragic error or some other character's true identity or discovers the true nature of his or her own situation
purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art; Aristotle's concept that tragedy, by arousing pity and fear (eleos and phobos), regularizes and shapes the emotions, and that therefore tragedy is essential in a civilized society
the final event of the dramatic action especially of a tragedy, The problem often spirals outwards and causes suffering to the hero and people he/she loves or wants to protect
common voice of people; a company of actors in Athenian drama participating in or commenting on the action; in ancient drama the chorus was composed of 12-15 men who chanted in unison and performed dance movements to a flute accompaniment
the final outcome of the main dramatic complication in a literary work: The suspense ends and the tension unwinds, providing closure
Last scene
tragic flaw
exaggerated pride or self-confidence
Verbal Irony
the use of words to express something other than the literal meaning
Dramatic Irony
When the audience knows something that the characters in the play do not know.
the circular space used by the chorus in front of the proscenium in an ancient Greek theater; dancing space
entrance of chorus; passageways—paths that the chorus and actors use make entrances and exits
a sudden or unexpected reversal of circumstances or situation especially in a literary work; in a classic tragedy, the reversal is the moment when the protagonist's fortunes change irrecoverably for the worse.
opening scenes with exposition; a speech often in verse addressed to the audience by an actor at the beginning of a play
viewing space for spectators, usually built into a hillside and wrapped around a large portion of the theatre
a drama or other literary work that recounts the fall of an individual who, while undergoing suffering, deals responsibly with the situations and dilemmas that he or she faces, and who thus demonstrates the value of human effort; serious drama typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force (as destiny) and having a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion that elicits pity or terror