Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

60 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
'contest'; a formal debate, highly rhetorical in nature and often somewhat artificial
a meter that can be chanted (recitative anapaests) or sung (melic anapaests), often associated with marching; basic metrical scheme: u u — | u u — || u u — | u u — (Compare "The William Tell Overture")
auletes (-ai)
musician (without mask) who played the aulos; came on with chorus and remained in orchestra throughout the play
the "double flute"; an oboe-like instrument used to accompany lyric passages
'producer'; person charged with the public duty ('liturgy') of financing the performance of an author's work
chorus leader who delivers lines of spoken verse on behalf of the chorus as a whole
City (Great) Dionysia
a civic festival in honor of Dionysus, celebrated in March. In the classical period, three tragic playwrights would present tetralogies at the Dionysia, while (from c. 486 B.C.) five comedians would produce one comedy each (this number was reduced to three during the later years of the Peloponnesian War).
second actor
a meter peculiar to tragedy, expressing extreme agitation or distress; typical metrical schemes: u — — u — and — u u — u —
wheeled device that could be rolled out of skenê to portray tableaux
eisodos (-oi):
one of two passageways leading into orchestra, between theatron and skenê (also known as the parodos)
epeisodion (-ia):
): 'episode'; in Aristotle, the section of a play between two stasima (or between the parodos [2] and the first stasimon); equivalent of our 'act'
epirrhema (-ata):
passage wherein one actor (or the chorus) speaks or chants lines in response to another actor's lyrics
in Aristotle, the section of the play following the last stasimon or choral song; more loosely, the 'finale'
hypothesis (-eis):
summary, found in our manuscripts, of the play's plot and principal characters, occasionally with some information about the original date of production and an attempt at critical evaluation of the work; the most valuable are those by Aristophanes of Byzantium
iambic trimeter:
the spoken meter of Greek drama, said to resemble daily speech; basic metrical scheme: u — u — | u — u — | u — u —
passage inserted into our text of a play by a later hand. Interpolations are of four general types: 1) actors' interpolations (intended to spice up the text — usually quite melodramatic); 2) editorial interpolations (designed to clarify a point felt to be obscure or to otherwise "improve" the text); 3) scribal interpolations (the insertion of what originally was a marginal note — often a passage from elsewhere provided for comparison or contrast — on the mistaken assumption that it was a part of the text left out by the previous scribe); 4) a combination of 2) and 3) above.
lyric or chanted 'duet' between actor(s) and chorus of a highly mournful or emotional nature
(Latin: machina): crane used to portray figures in flight, often divinities (hence the term deus ex machina: 'the god from the machine')
metrical schemes:
notation used to describe meters. u = a short syllable; — = a long syllable; | = notation used to mark off individual metra; || = diaeresis (pause between metra, marked by word end)
metron (-a):
metrical unit used to compose a particular type of verse
lyric sung by single actor; 'solo', 'aria'
'dancing floor'; the area in front of the skenê where the chorus danced and where, as a rule, it remained during the course of the play
in Old Comedy, a pause in the action during which the choryphaeus comes forward and addresses a series of speeches to the audience directly in the poet's name while the chorus intersperses a series of comic songs on themes relevant to their character in the play. (The choryphaeus' speeches often are composed in recitative anapaests: hence Aristophanes can use the term "anapaests" as a short-hand reference for the parabasis.) The parabasis usually occurs near the mid-point in the action, prior to the institution of the hero's comic scheme.
paraskenion (-ia):
wings extending out from either end of skenê (existence in fifth century disputed)
[1] = eisodos; [2] song sung by chorus as it first enters the orchestra
in Aristotle, the section of the play that precedes the parodos [2]; more loosely, 'prologue'
lead actor, usually assumed to have taken the most demanding roles
rhesis (-eis):
formal speech, often highly rhetorical in nature
satyr play: .
a curious sort of tragic farce offered as the concluding piece in a tragic tetralogy. In the typical plot, satyrs — the half-human, half-bestial, altogether randy followers of Dionysus — are in effect parachuted into a tragic scenario, rather like Jack Black showing up in the middle of Hamlet. We have extensive fragments of several satyr plays, but only one complete work — Euripides' Cyclops, where Odysseus and his men land at the cave of the man-eating Cyclops only to discover that a band of comic satyrs is trapped there as well, forced to serve as the Cyclops' slaves
'curlicues'; marginal notes added to our earlier manuscripts by scholars ('scholiasts') who culled their information from a variety of ancient sources
stage building (origin of our 'scene')
stasimon (-ma):
lyric ode sung (with accompanying dance) by chorus, usually with no actors present; stasima serve to articulate the different epeisodia of the play
'line-speech'; rapid, highly stylized dialogue between two characters, with each speaking one line, two lines, or a part of a line in turn
group of four plays presented by a tragic playwright at the City Dionysia, composed of three tragedies and a satyr play. In Aeschylus' time, tetralogies were often composed on a single theme; by the time of the preserved plays of Sophocles and Euripides, this practice seems to have been largely abandoned.
"theater"; more specifically: seating-area for the audience (our "auditorium")
raised structure from which supernatural beings spoke; either above skenê roof or simply the skenê roof itself
triadic structure:
typical metrical division of choral stasima, featuring pairs of 'stanzas' that are metrically identical to one another (the strophê and antistrophê), each pair followed by a 'refrain' (the epode) composed according to a different metrical pattern. (N.B. Epodes are frequently omitted.)
third actor, usually assumed to have portrayed messengers, etc.
trochaic tetrameter:
a chanted meter, accompanied by aulos and often associated with agitated scenes; basic metrical scheme: — u — — | — u — — || — u — — | — u —
Great Dionysia=City Dionysia:
annual spring festival in honor of Dionysus,when dramatic competitions were held among three poets selected by the city
Theater of Dionysus:
performance site of drama in Athens on the south slope of the acropolis (see below) ; part of shrine to this god
the ancient Greek word for "city-state"; the primary political organization
the family unit, including its physical property; its needs are often in tension with the polis
"the high city"; most famous part of Athens; theater on its south slope
group of 12-15 men who sing and dance during the plays. They often represent the collective community, but not necessarily the poet's thoughts .
chorus leader; steps forward to speak with protagonists
the line-by-line debates, characteristic of Greek drama
choral hymns to Dionysus; tragedy grew partly from this type of poetry
the semi-legendary founder of tragedy during the sixth century B.C.E.
tyrant who founded the tragic festival during the sixth century B.C.E.
founder of Greek democracy 2500 years ago
wealthy citizens who were "asked"to fund performances
a ceremony before the tragic festival; the playwright and actors would stand in costume before an assembly in the Odeion and announce the subjects of his plays
the equivalent of the town square; a marketplace; first performances of drama here
the dancing area; chorus occupies this space
"entrances" to performance space; the opposite of an eisodos is an exodos
a cart inside the skênê which couldbe suddenly rolled out to display the result of an event inside;e.g. the murder of Agamemnon
any choral ode sung subsequent to the parodos