In the fifth century BCE, the Greeks had not yet invented a word for playwright or dramatist. They called him a poet (poietes) like Homer, Sappho and Pindar. He differed from them, however, by using a new medium of expression called theatricon ergon, to mean the imitation of fictitious or real life actions by actors and choruses on a theatre stage.
This book is a valuable contribution to the understanding of the creation of the Greek theater genre of Tragedy, parent of the Shakespearean and Modern dramas, and of the mindsets of the three leading Classical poets of Tragedy: Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles who produced in the short period of seventy years several of the greatest masterpieces of all times. The students and general readers of Classical literature or the Theater can benefit greatly from the text, the innumerable references and the select illustrations presented in this book.
After telling briefly the life story of these dramatists, the author describes the new genre of literature called Theater: its origin, form, especially the use of the chorus with music and dance, also its style and manner of poetic language rich in metaphors, finally its production as a play in outdoor theatres for thousands of enthusiastic spectators.
The scrutiny of the mindsets of the leading dramatists, especially how they contributed with the Sophists to a major cultural evolution in the people’s lives and minds, completes this survey of their contribution to one of the most impressive literary and political times in history.