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Friday, March 13, 2009

Advice on reading Greek tragedies

Mortimer Adler gives the following two pieces of advice on reading Greek tragedy:

The first is to remember that the essence of tragedy is time, or rather the lack of it. There is no problem in any Greek tragedy that could not have been solved if there had been enough time, but there is never enough ...

The second bit of advice is this. One thing we do know about the staging of Greek playsis that the tragic actors wore buskins on their feet that elevated them several inches above the ground ... But the mebers of the chorus did not wear buskins ... Therefore you should always imagine, when you read the words of the chorus, that the words are spoken by persons of your own stature; while the words spoken by the protagonists proceed from the mouths of giants ...


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