Introduction to nine plays
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Introduction to nine plays book
This chapter aims to give a foundation on a factual and inquisitive level to the next six chapters, which will discuss various aspects of the theatrical realization of nine Greek tragedies, three by each of the great three authors, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. The restriction to nine is in the interests of depth at the expense of breadth; for in this way some view of each play as a whole may begin to emerge. The nine plays are numbered thus: Aeschylus: (1) Agamemnon (abbreviated as Agam), (2) Choēphoroi (Cho, in English The Women Bearing Libations), (3) Eumenides (Eum, The Gracious Goddesses); Sophocles: (4) Aias (Ajax), (5) Oidipous Tyrannos (OT, Oedipus the King), (6) Philoktētēs (Phil); Euripides: (7) Hippolytos (Hipp), (8) Iōn, (9) Bakchai (Ba, The Bacchant Women). The sections on each play carry the number of that play (1-9) after the number of the chapter (4-9): thus Ion is discussed in 4.8, 5.8, 6.8, etc. A third figure distinguishes the sections of the discussion of each play, thus 4.8.1, 4.8.2, etc. The piece-meal discussion of each play necessitates a lot of cross-reference, and this is marked by square brackets as [see 5.8.1]. It also means that the plays are not treated sequentially from start to finish; but anyone who wishes to take the discussion of any particular tragedy in the sequence of performance may do so by using the ‘index of passages discussed’ and jumping back and forth at its command.