This book provides an accessible introduction for students and anyone interested in increasing their enjoyment of Greek tragic plays. Whether readers are studying Greek culture, performing a Greek tragedy, or simply interested in reading a Greek play, this book will help them to understand and enjoy this challenging and rewarding genre. An Introduction to Greek Tragedy provides background information, helps readers appreciate, enjoy and engage with the plays themselves, and gives them an idea of the important questions in current scholarship on tragedy. Ruth Scodel seeks to dispel misleading assumptions about tragedy, stressing how open the plays are to different interpretations and reactions. In addition to general background, the book also includes chapters on specific plays, both the most familiar titles and some lesser-known plays - Persians, Helen and Orestes - in order to convey the variety that the tragedies offer readers.
Ruth Scodel is currently D. R. Shackleton Bailey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Latin in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan. Her most recent books are Epic Facework: Self-Presentation and Social Interaction in Homer (2008) and Whither Quo Vadis? Sienkiewicz's Novel in Film and Television (2008). She is also the author of numerous articles on Greek literature.
1. Defining tragedy; 2. Approaches; 3. Origin, festival, and competition; 4. Historical and intellectual background; 5. Persians; 6. The Oresteia; 7. Antigone; 8. Medea; 9. Hippolytus; 10. Oedipus the King; 11. Helen; 12. Orestes; 13. Comparing the tragedians; 14. The inheritance of Greek tragedy.