[Aeschylus] ↠´ Ἑπτὰ ἐπὶ Θήβας [horror PDF] Ebook Epub Download æ Set in Thebes at the climax of the mythical Theban War with the Argives attacking the city gates Most of the play is dialogue between Eteokl s, the king of Thebes, his spies who tell him what the Argives are doing, and the chorus of Argive women The chorus is terrified The messenger speeches are terrifying, particularly the full descriptions of the seven champions the seven gates and the pictures on their armor Eteokl s manages a self controlled optimism almost all the time, until it becomes clear what role he will have to give himself This tragedy ends just before the point in the myth where Antigonbegins, and I liked seeing how the two very different tragedians engage the same story and even a few of the same themes.
The jealous rivalry of two brothers12 March 2012 When we come to Aeschylus we must remember that this is drama at its most primitive This is because the works of Aeschylus are the oldest form of drama that remains extant It appears that Aeschylus wrote most of his plays as trilogies, and unfortunately we only have one play of this trilogy available It is difficult to know what exactly was the reason why only seven plays of Aeschylus were chosen to be preserved, and why these particular plays were chosen The only complete trilogy we have is the Orestea, however it is clear, of the other four plays that we have, at least three of them are parts of a trilogy It is suggested that this one is the final part of a trilogy most likely dealing with the story of Oedipus I am not quite convinced that this is the final play because it appears that the end of this play will then follow on to the despite between Antigone and Creon as the king is named in the Sophoclean play over whether it is lawful or unlawful for Antigone to bury her brother I suspect that the first play dealt with Oedipus returning to Thebes and discovering that he has inadvertently fulfilled the prophecy by killing his father and marrying his mother, and then gouging his eyes out and sending himself into exile This would be the second it begins rather abruptly and ends rather abruptly Unlike other plays, there is not much detail of what happened before, and there is a flagging reference at the end that things have not necessarily been solved The play begins with the city of Thebes under siege Oedipus had two sons one of them is Etocles, who remained in the city and became king the other is Polyneices, who after having a dispute with Etocles, went into exile, and returned with six heroes to attempt to depose his brother A bulk of the play deals with Etocles conversing with either the chorus or soldiers, though the end has Antigone come in with Ismene However, while there are at times three actors on the stage, only two of them ever converse It does not appear that proper dialogue between multiple characters had at this stage been developed Some have criticised this play for having nothing happen, and then refer to Shakespeare and say look at how much better he is This, in my opinion, is a very bad method of comparing plays First of all, this is not Shakespeare, this is Aeschylus, and secondly, the two playwrights live at least 1000 years apart By the time we arrive at Shakespeare a lot had changed and drama had developed significantly Back here in the days of Aeschylus, drama was very much still an advanced form of storytelling, and we can see that in this play Basically there is no action occurring on stage, it is all dialogue, but the dialogue is painting a picture of what is occurring off stage There is no battle on stage this is not what Greek drama was about There was dancing, and that was the role of the chorus, and I also believe that most of the story was sung, not spoken We do see a form of character interaction a couple of times in the play Etocles is attempting to calm the chorus of Theban woman down so as not to cause a panic, and later Antigone is debating with the chorus about giving proper rights for Polyneices The play also ends with a city divided The chorus splits in two, and half go off to join the side that agrees that Polyneices should be exposed and left for the birds, while the other half agree with Antigone that Polyneices should be buried However this dispute is not resolved at the end of the play, which is why I suspect that this is not the end but the middle Still I found it difficult to get into this play than I do with Euripides, but this is most likely because Euripides is the next generation of dramatist, where there are well developed character interactions and debate among characters of ideas of woman s rights, human suffering, forgiveness, and repentance While the three unities remain important, and the chorus is still present, we see that drama has made a step forward Unfortunately we have very little else to assist us analysing how drama developed Along with the three great tragedians, we also have the old comedy of Aristophanes, however after that we jump to a collection of fragments by Menander, and then to the farce of Terrence and Plautus As for drama, there is a substantial gap of at least five hundred years until we come to the writings of Seneca After Seneca, we pretty much have nothing until the appearance of the mystery plays of the Middle Ages However we know from the ruins that drama was incredibly popular pretty much every ancient city in Roman times had a theatre It is a shame that we have very little indication of what was actually performed in them.
The Seven Against Thebes is a play centered around the prelude to the attack on Thebes by seven warlords, including one of Oedipus sons I like to think of it as a prequel to Antigone in fact, I think I could throw this play in with the Theban plays of Sophocles even though it was a different playwright who wrote it That being said, if this play is read before the Theban plays, it ties in very, very well.
I didn t think that this was Aeschylus best play ever in fact, it is one of the weaker ones that I have read by him in comparison to the brilliant Oresteia trilogy However, it is still a very clever play that is about one of the most famous stories of Greek mythology Having read Antigone before, I was very fascinated to actually be able to tell what kind of people the brothers of Antigone are and what the drive is for them to kill each other so brutally By the end of this play, I was very surprised at the clean tie in the conclusion would make to the beginning of Antigone I would highly recommend reading this after Oedipus at Colonus and before Antigone.
Structurally this play reminded me a bit of The Suppliants a lot of action is crammed into the pages of this tiny play dealing with themes such as war, the curse of Oedipus determinism fate as they relate to this and brotherly conflict, with Eteocles and Polyneices the Cain and Abel of this little work , but as with The Suppliants, we are told about the action before it unfolds and after it has been unfolded Whereas Shakespeare often shows us the action in the process of unfolding, Aeschylus characters simply recount the great events that occur in the pages of this play much like a historian And there is nothing wrong with this Tolstoy one of my favorites does this many times throughout War Peace , even if I prefer seeing the plot unfold It is also a very interesting play for its philosophical inquiries, as it raises interesting questions about things like fate determinism, war and relative perception But I think the merits of the work over all pale in comparison with Prometheus Bound, which I am now considering the centerpiece of Aeschylus great tragedies.
In Shakespeare s Richard the Second, the entire first act is spent preparing for a duel between two characters Then, just as the blade to blade action is ready to begin, the duel is called off by the king, denying the audience of any momentary climax Imagine that Act as an entire play and you ve got Seven Against Thebes It s like a boxing match in which all we hear is the opening ring announcer and then the post fight commentary Seriously, the majority of the play is spent proclaiming who will fight who This comes without any satisfying outcome for all the build up The only satisfaction can come from an audience eagerly anticipating the answer to the question I wonder who s at the next gate Don t get me wrong, there is some great poetry and I fully understand that there was no possibility, given the stage conventions of Greek Tragedy, of a Mortal Kombat style throw down between each gate s defender and attacker However, the best Greek Tragedies focus on some fiercely debated dilemma that often prove captivating or a character with a fascinating downfall This play has neither of these two things As a result, this tragedy is difficult to perform and therefore rarely performed.
I was part of a production of this play that did, at least I felt, prove moderately entertaining Two things helped First, having a very good chorus that, through their intensity, added some urgency to the upcoming battle Second, paring it with Sophocles Antigone, which helped give a satisfying conclusion to the story I played the Herald, by the way I recommend reading Seven Against Thebes only to those really interested in Greek theatre.

33 Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylustranslated from Ancient Greek by George Theodoridis, 2010performed 467 bce format 50 page length webpage Jun 7 8rating starsA complex play than the Persians Still all the action happens off stage This was the third in a trilogy on Oedipus, but the first two plays are lost The first, Laius, would have covered the story of Laius, King of Thebes, receiving the curse that this son would kill him He ordered Oedipus killed, but Oedipus was saved and raised not knowing who his parents were He would later kill Laius and marry his mother The second play, Oedipus, would have covered Oedipus s discovery of his accidental crime after having four children He placed a curse on his sons, Eteocles Polyneices, saying they would kill each other In the legend, the brother s agree to trade the kingship First Eteocles, and then Polyneices But Eteocles refuses to step down, so Polyneices gathers an army of heroes an attacks Thebes And that gets us here.
What was most interesting to me is that Aeschylus uses a lot of humor in an otherwise formulaic tragedy As the attacks mount, the woman inside Thebes panic and start bewailing to their gods, dreading their treatment once conquered Eteocles tries to be respectful, while pleading for sanity But there are lots of curiosities here The seven heroic attackers are all described, with great attention given to their shields One, Amphiaraus, was a seer and foresaw his own death in the battle, and carries an blank shield The ending of the play is not original It was reworked so that Antigone, a daughter of Oedipus, would remain consistent her character in a later play by Sophocles.
SPOILER ALERT One of the worlds oldest plays but it nonetheless is a read worthwhile It is an interesting exploration of the human condition a king is forced to fight his own brother in order to protect his own city and is doomed in the process As is usual the case with Greek tragedies the element of hubris lies at the center of this play instead of listening to the advice of the choir, Eteokles continues on the path to his own doom Comments on the form being a director I am interested in new ways of performing theater This Greek tragedy mixes elements of poetry with traditional dialogue which makes for an interested contrast to the modern dialogue driven pieces one is used to I would recommend this play to anyone interested in the origin of theater as well as those who want to delve into a culture different from our own.
I liked Heaney s adaptation of Sophocles Antigone the this Aeschylus original I mention Heaney s because the play revolves around the same storyline, but obviously different angles and authors My challenge with this play is that the action is narrated second hand, rather than directly between Eteocles and Polynices The result is a distance between the reader and the action, and a lack of emotional connection to any of the characters.
Poor Polynices and Eteocles, though to be honest, Eteocles is an asshat The whole thing was justSo, yeah Basically cursed by their grandfather, Laius for disobeying Apollo, and compounded by their father, Oedipus Yikes You knew it wasn t going to end well Antigone is still my girl, gotta reread it HERALDI forbid you to act thus in violation of the city.
ANTIGONEI forbid you to make useless proclamations to me Best part of this one were the cool descriptions of the Argives shields SWEET Some awesome designs.
Often Called The Father Of Greek Tragedy, Aeschylus BC Was The Earliest And Possibly The Greatest Of The Greek Tragic Poets Altogether He May Have Written As Many As Plays Including Satyr Plays As Well As Tragedies , But Only Seven Have Survived The Seven Against Thebes First Produced In BC Was The Final Play In A Trilogy The Other Two Are Lost Dramatizing The Well Known Legend Of Laius And His Son Oedipus In This Culminating Play, Oedipus Is Dead After His Banishment From Thebes, And His Two Sons Vie For The Crown The Victor, Eteocles, Expels His Brother, Polynices, Who Flees To Argos And Recruits A Force Of Seven Champions To Lead An Assault On Thebes The Tragic Outcome Is The Fulfillment Of The Curse Of Oedipus That His Sons Should Divide Their Inheritance With The SwordAlthough Sophocles Treatment Of The Oedipus Legend Is Better Known, The Dialogue And Imagery In Aeschylus S Play Retain An Immediacy That Resonates With Modern Readers And Audiences The Result Is A Deeply Moving Theatrical Milestone That Is Essential Reading For Students Of Literature, Drama, And The Classics