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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: July ::
Greek Tetralogy, Satyr Plays, and H5
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1459  Tuesday, 20 July 2004

From:           John W. Kennedy <
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 >
Date:           Monday, 19 Jul 2004 14:41:52 -0400
Subject: 15.1451 Greek Tetralogy, Satyr Plays, and H5
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1451 Greek Tetralogy, Satyr Plays, and H5

David Evett <
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 >writes,

 >As far as we know, none survive; we don't even
 >get all three tragedies from any one Dionysia together in the surviving
 >works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides,

I have always seen the Oresteia described as such, specifically as
Aeschylus's prize-winner for 458 BC.

 >and indeed the closest we
 >can come to the actual text of a satyr play is in the fragments of
 >Sophocles' *The Trackers," only dug out of the ancient trashdump of the
 >Greco-Egyptian town of  Oxyrhinchus in 1906....

I have always seen "The Cyclops" described as a satyr-play and ascribed
to Euripides.

M Yawney <
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 > writes,

 >In addition, it seems unlikely that (in spite of what George Lucas says)
 >that any playwright would plan on such a large scale as you
 >suggest--generally one does not plan for a sequel until the first play
 >succeeds.

Although they are not strictly "plays", one might point to "Der Ring des
Nibelungen" (the libretti of which were written in reverse order) or
"Babylon 5" (112 42-minute "hours" of television that were planned out
in advance).  In legitimate theatre I cannot offhand think of a case of
more than two linear plays planned in advance, though, of course, there
is "The Norman Conquests" (Ayckbourn's three comedies that take place
simultaneously in different rooms of the same house).  (I suppose Percy
MacKaye's "Hamlet" tetralogy must be dismissed as being closet drama.)

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