A Companion to Greek Tragedy

[ Classics and Ancient World ]

A Companion to Greek Tragedy

By John Ferguson

This handbook provides students and scholars with a highly readable yet detailed analysis of all surviving Greek tragedies and satyr plays.



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6 x 9 | 636 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-74086-0

This handbook provides students and scholars with a highly readable yet detailed analysis of all surviving Greek tragedies and satyr plays. John Ferguson places each play in its historical, political, and social context—important for both Athenian and modern audiences—and he displays a keen, discriminating critical competence in dealing with the plays as literature.

Ferguson is sensitive to the meter and sound of Greek tragedy, and, with remarkable success, he manages to involve even the Greekless reader in an actual encounter with the Greek as poetry. He examines language and metrics in relation to each tragedian's dramatic purpose, thus elucidating the crucial dimension of technique that other handbooks, mostly the work of philologists, renounce in order to concentrate on structure and plot. The result is perceptive criticism in which the quality of Ferguson's scholarship vouches for what he sees in the plays.

The book is prefaced with a general introduction to ancient Greek theatrical production, and there is a brief biographical sketch of each tragedian. Footnotes are avoided: the object of this handbook is to introduce readers to the plays as dramatic poetry, not to detail who said what about them. There is an extensive bibliography for scholars and a glossary of Greek words to assist the student with the operative moral and stylistic terms of Greek tragedy.

I. Background
1. Origins
2. The Audience and the Theater
II. The Tragedies of Aeschylus
3. Aeschylus
4. The Men of Persia
5. Seven against Thebes
6. The Suppliant Women
7. Agamemnon
8. The Libation Bearers
9. The Kindly Goddesses
10. Prometheus Bound
III. The Tragedies of Sophocles
11. Sophocles
12. Ajax
13. The Women of Trachis
14. Antigone
15. King Oedipus
16. Philoctetes
17. Oedipus at Colonus
IV. The Tragedies of Euripides
18. Euripides
19. Medea
20. Heracles’s Children
21. Hippolytus
22. Hecabe
23. The Suppliant Women
24. Andromache
25. The Women of Troy
26. Ion
27. Heracles
28. Electra
29. Iphigeneia among the Taurians
30. Helen
31. The Women of Phoenicia
32. Iphigeneia at Aulis
33. The Bacchants
V. An Anonymous Tragedy
34. Rhesus
VI. Satyric And Pro-Satyric Plays
35. The Satyr Play
36. Sophocles: The Trackers
37. Euripides: Alcestis
38. Euripides: The Cyclops
39. Sophocles: Electra
40. Euripides: Orestes
Greek Vocabulary

John Ferguson (1921—1989) was Dean and Director of Studies in Arts at the Open University, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire.