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8 Cards in this Set

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what kinda poet?
the earliest of the three great tragic poets of Greece-Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides
birth
He was born at Eleusis in 525 B.C.E.
war
served in the Athenian army

fought in the pivotal battles of the great Greek war with the Persians, including at Marathon
his career
He showed himself as a great writer at a young age, but did not win a dramatic competition before his late 30s

After that, he won nearly every time he entered, until he reached the age of 50 and Sophocles arrived on the scene

The two of them struggled back and forth for years for top honors
his death and memory
After the performance of his Oresteia, 459 B.C.E., he left home for Sicily, perhaps in response to the growing power of the democracy (toward which he had nuanced views)

he was killed, says one story, by an eagle dropping a tortoise on his bare skull

The Sicilians honored him with a splendid monument

A century later, the Athenians, on the motion of the orator Lycurgus, placed a brazen statue of him, as well as of Sophocles and Euripides, in the theater.

His tragedies, like those of Sophocles and Euripides, were preserved in a special standard copy to guard them against arbitrary alterations.
Oresteia
In 458 B.C.E., he composed the Oresteia, a trilogy

recounts the murder of Agamemnon on his return home from the Trojan War, Orestes' revenge by murdering his own mother and her lover, and finally Orestes' run-in with justice

one of the greatest works of art ever produced

The style is marked by sublimity and majesty and is characterized by strong, sonorous words, an accumulation of epithets, and a profusion of bold metaphors and similes

profoundly philosophic mind and a heartfelt piety, which conceives of the gods as powers working in the interest of morality

the plots of his plays are simple and economical, and small details in the language are often freighted with significance.
creator of tragedy
Aeschylus deserves to be seen as the true creator of tragedy

Before his plays, only a single actor was positioned onstage at any given time, and the chorus was the most important element on stage.

there was no room for person-to-person dialogue

By adding a second actor to the first, he originated the genuine dramatic dialogue, which he made the chief part of the play by gradually cutting down the choral parts.

made much greater use of the scenic apparatus than his predecessors

He introduced masks for the players, and by vibrant and richly embroidered trailing garments, high boots, head-dresses, and other means, gave them a grand imposing aspect above that of common men

he fitted up the stage with decorative painting and machinery
his plays
The number of Aeschylus's plays is stated as 90, of which 82 are still known by title, but only 7 are preserved: The Persians, The Seven against Thebes, The Suppliants, Prometheus Bound, and the three plays of the Oresteia