aristotle can write as many books about greek tragedy as he wants but none of it will convince me that catharsis is anything more than a bunch of ancient greeks in a theater going “big fuckin mood” while they watch oedipus stab his eyes out
There is a Chorus that states events of the play to fill the viewers in on events- the rappers
Its based on myth and history and religion- the Bible
The prologue which is the background for the story is established by a single actor or through dialogue between two actors- Ryo giving his little “I didn’t know about love only suffering speech”
The parados or the entrance of the chorus with their chanting lyrics- the rappers meeting Miki on the dock.
Strophe and antistrophe aka two different versions/voices of the chorus- the rappers splitting up as the show goes on.
the hamartia or the tragic human flaw or error that leads to misfortune- Akira’s empathy opening him up for pain or Ryo just being an ass leading to, well, everything.
Hubris or the pride and insolence that makes one think they are better than God which leads the protagonist to break moral law and will vainly try transcending normal limitations or ignore divine warning with calamitous results- *cough* RYO *cough*
the recognition, when the main character finds out something that strongly affects their actions- this can be when Miki dies and Akira goes after Ryo, or when Akira dies and Ryo cries.
reversal, after the recognition when the character has a reversal of fortune- Akira dying after trying to stop Ryo. Ryo realizing he’s alone after killing Akira.
Catastrophe, the moment marking the protagonist’s failure usually at the end- The world destroyed.Akira dead and Ryo alone only for God to come down and reset the whole thing.
Fate, the force or plan which controls one’s destiny- God
And my personal fav, Catharsis, the purging of the viewer’s emotions- everyone at the end of Devilman Crybaby.
out-of-context quotes from my theatre history professor
“It’s rough being anybody in Ancient Greece.” “you may say, ’I really wanna know’- you really don’t wanna know-” “Someone’s gonna kill you eventually and it might as well be someone you know.” “Greek Comedy is essentially sex, love, eating, and excreting.” “It’s MIME TIME” “A mostly good and definitely sweaty time was had by all.” “Wackiness ensues, basically.” “If you actively wanted to trample us, we couldn’t stop you-” “That is not, in my experience, nor in the annals of history, the way nuns roll.” “He’s just more interesting to read about than frickin’ Julius Caesar and his frickin’ Gaulic Wars!” “Because the dog isn’t actually a dog- it’s another god in disguise and he just pops out like in Alien-“ “Don’t you worry, the monkeys are coming.” “The girl resurrects but not in a zombie way, she just pops up like ‘I’M BACK’” “Saints are like vampires, you gotta chop off the head to be sure.” “Here’s your cherry and your bird and your tennis ball, you’re Jesus, congratulations.” “And to be brutally honest, a bit of prostitution as well-” “you can tell it’s gonna be a good day because I’m already talking really fast.” “Anyway, the gunpowder plot was discovered- I don’t know, maybe someone looked in the basement and said ‘wow, that’s a surprising amount of gunpowder in there!’” “Blatant homoeroticism… that’s what audiences really enjoy.” “You’re a king, you can sleep with whoever you want, but HAVE SOME STANDARDS!” “So he goes up to her tower and stabs her. And then… Oh, why does he stab her? Was I not clear about that? He stabs her because he loves her. It’s a love stabbing.” “Hence he wrote a version of Terence’s Women of Andros which he cleverly called… Women of Andros.” “Hey, would you be interested in coming over to, I don’t know… usurp the King of England?” “And William said, look, I can’t cure your disease… I’m just a guy who likes to sit on a big chair…” “Cynical, witty, generally horny.”
GUEST PROFESSOR BONUS “It’s so metaphysical, it’s a total- does your professor curse? yeah?- it’s a total mindfuck-”
I have not read Dante for ages: it is a great pity. He is the supreme modern poet: Greek tragedy deals with the elemental difficulties of life—the terrible things external to us—but in Dante are all the complexities of the modern soul.
Oscar Wilde christens Dante Alighieri “the supreme modern poet” in a letter to art critic, editor, and close friend, More Adey, dated March, 1899.
He was a new god. drunk on immortality, of invulnerability.
High on the idea that he could change the world, be remembered for all of eternity, glorified by statues and hymns and songs.
Where his story will be in the chapters of epics and history forever.
Where he could love with no restraint, he could live with no limitation.
But he was a new god, so very young and so very naive of eternity.
Of mortality and of the silence that comes after death.
He does not know that if you loved a mortal, they will die.
He does not know that if you love a mortal, you will also die.
And so he loved.
He loved a sweet boy with skin the shade of russets, of eyes the colour of ochre, of hair who shone a soft umber.
He loved a boy whose touch was soft as feathers, whose embrace was sweet as figs and whose smile lit up like the sun.
And the boy loved him back, with the same passionate affection. With the same amount of devotion, of loyalty.
And for a brief time, they loved without interruption, without war nor pestilence.
Without being tainted by blood and murderous crusades.
The young god still had stars in his eyes and the moon in his heart.
The boy was still the same: mortal, but in one piece, at least.
But the young god wanted more, he wanted those promises of epics and hymns in his name to come with haste.
He could not wait, he did not want to wait. And so he went, to join the savages, who called the defence of a woman who never chose her fate either, in The War.
He was a god, he said, what could go wrong?
The boy followed, of course.
The boy would follow the young god to the ends of the earthly planes, would fight to follow him beyond that. And the young god let him, thinking that with him he would be safe. Swearing he would protect the boy, that no one would hurt his love.
And yes, when the boy was with him, he was safe.
No one could come close to him, the young god would slit their throats open before they could lay a step in his direction.
The boy, his love, will be safe.
He will be safe, he will be safe, he will be safe, he will be safe, he will be safe-
The young god did not want to go back to war. He did not! They disgraced me, Patroclus! Did you not see how that bastard Agamemnon had taken Briseis away?! How he tarnished my honor?! No! Let them die, I do not care.
But the boy had a big heart, full of compassion and of love.
He could not let thousands of unnecessary deaths bloody his love’s hands any further, he could not let the number of dead men rise any higher.
And so he had proposed a plan, a stupid, reckless plan born out of desperation.
Let me go in your armour, Achilles. They will think it is you. Please, I will not go farther than the ships, I will not go near the wall. I promise.
The young god had reluctantly agreed, making the boy swear to keep his promise.
The young god was the one who had strapped the boy in his armour, golden and regal, fit for kings.
Had sheathed his own sword in the scabbard, had handed him the shield he was most famous for, fashioned in the fires of Hephaestus’ forges.
The young god did not know he had strapped the young boy, his love, his world, to his death and consequently, to his own.
“I do not care if all the greeks and trojans burn Patroclus, as long as you and I are alive.“