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    Teaching Greek Tragedy in Translation: A Consolidated Approach

    Scourfield, David (1987) Teaching Greek Tragedy in Translation: A Consolidated Approach. AKROTERION, 32. pp. 49-55. ISSN 2079-2883

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    In this article I have sought to sketch a method of teaching Greek tragedy in translation which will both stimulate the student and satisfactorily equip him to appreciate a play. It remains to draw attention to one commonly advanced criticism of the genre which no teacher can afford to ignore. On first meeting Greek tragedy, students are often struck, and disappointed, by the lack of action and the slow pace of development. The most rapid sequence in surviving tragedy is probably the second half of Libation-Bearers, but even this cannot compete with what can be found on the cinema screen. Here, as elsewhere, we have to contend with the problem of expectation. If you are used to Sylvester Stallone, you may not think much of Prometheus Bound. To appreciate Greek tragedy one has to acquire a quite different feeling for time, to be prepared for a gradual increase in tempo and a gradual heightening of tension, as in a Wagner opera or a dramatic oratorio by Handel. Handel's Hercules is as dramatic a work as one could wish for; but the drama is internal rather than external, and the composer will not be hurried. No more could Sophocles, in Women of Trachis, on which Hercules is based, and in the case of both, as with all art, the novice needs to be guided by those who, if their understanding is imperfect, know at least where improvement may be sought.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Teaching; Greek Tragedy; Translation;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Ancient Classics
    Item ID: 11145
    Depositing User: Professor David Scourfield
    Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 14:23
    Journal or Publication Title: AKROTERION
    Publisher: Department of Ancient Studies, University of Stellenbosch
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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