Thursday, February 9, 2012

Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles

The Greek Tragedians
In the early years of drama, Greece was the dominant power of theather. In all of Greek history, three playwrights are the most influential. Aeschylus, the father of tragedy, Euripides, the passionate playwrite, and lastly Sophocles, the master of many arts.

Aeschylus was born in Eleusis, Attica in the year 525 B.C to a wealthy upper class man, Euphorion. It's is believed that he began writing as a child. While watching over his father's flocks, he fell asleep and was supposedly visited by Dionysus, the god of wine, in his dreams. Dionysus told the young Aeschylus to write plays to glorify the gods. As instructed, Aeschylus began writing plays immediately and entered his first competition at the age of 25 in the Athenian festivals, the Great Dionysia. In 484 B.C, he won his first competition and continued to win almost every year until his death. In total, he won 13 years in the Great Dionysia, making 52 of his plays award-winning. As tradition has it, Aeschylus's death was brought upon by an eagle. The eagle, mistaking his bald head for a rock, dropped a tortoise on it, bringing an unlikely end to the Greek idol.

Euripides was born around 484 B.C in Athens, Greece. His mother’s name was Cleito while his father’s was Nesarchus. Euripides was considered passionate with his ideas. Euripides wrote 92 plays throughout his life that historians can still read. Nineteen of those works are still read worldwide. His plays show his opinions towards religious beliefs and ancient myths found in Greek tradition. Euripides died in 406 B.C in Macedonia.

Sophocles was born in 496 B.C. in Colonus to a wealthy, aristocratic family. From the time that Sophocles was young, many knew that he was destined to achieve many great things in life. Sophocles studied and mastered all of the arts of his time which included literature and choir. He was the lead singer in an all male singing choir and also founded a literature club. By the time that Sophocles was 16 he was known for his beauty, grace, and knowledge. He had 5 children in total all of whom were male. He wrote many plays, despite the fact that only 7 survived the passage of time. Sophocles died in 406 B.C. aging over 90 years. However, it is now know exaclty how he died.

Aeschylus Cites
Euripides Cites
Sophocles Cites 

By:Jessica, Heidi and David

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