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Greek Tragedy Performance Guidelines

Page history last edited by amrodrig@jeffco.k12.co.us 13 years, 2 months ago

Using Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and the notes on Greek Tragedy, you must write your Greek Tragedy play based on a modern day story, fairy tale, or invent your own according to Aristotle’s Elements for Tragedy:


Remember that you need a different mask for each character you play.

You MUST have a mask and a costume (be creative).


You must turn in the WRITTEN SCRIPT of your performance the day of your performance on Monday, May 16th.


  1. The tragedy must provide catharsis--or spiritual purge--that is attained when the audience feels pity and terror from what they see on stage. The plays inspire the audience to live better lives.
  2. The hero, who must be in a high social position (kings/gods), must possess a tragic flaw: something in his character or a failure in his judgment that brings disaster.
  3. There must be a change of fortune involving reversal (the character’s efforts boomerang) or discovery (the character moves from ignorance to knowledge).
  4. The plays must be written in the highest form of poetry.
  5. The plots must conform to the three unities of:
    1.   Action: a series of closely related events.
    2.  Time: action takes place within 24 hours
    3. Place: action takes place in only one location
    4. Besides containing the previous qualities, most of the tragedies followed a set form.
    5. A Prologue introduced the play
    6. The Parados was a song that brought on a chorus
    7. The Epeisodion (there were usually 5) was a passage of dialogue that alternated with a Stasimon--a song by the chorus (including the chorus moving left in a slow dance-like grace, and then back to the right) and the Exodus that took the chorus offstage and ended the play. A Stasimon (or stasima) is where the main action is developed.


In other words—the structure of your Greek fairy tale should be:

  1. A Prologue introducing your play. The prologue provides information about events that have occurred prior to the opening of the play.
  2. A Parados—the song that brings on your chorus. If there is no prologue then the Parados begins the play.  This is where the proper mood is established.
  3. Dialogue #1
  4. Song #2
  5. Dialogue #3
  6. Song #4
  7. Dialogue #5
  8. Exodus –song that takes chorus offstage and ends the play


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