HICKEY  42.125  Western Civ to 1650 

Study questions on Five Great Greek Tragedies  

READ: Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and Electra and Euripides' Medea.

These plays make for difficult reading.  For one thing, they were written 2,500 years ago and represent a culture very different from our own.  You probably don't know these stories already, and you won't recognize the names of the characters and myths mentioned in texts.  But for people attending these plays 2,500 years ago, these names and myths would be as familiar as George Washington and Santa Claus are to you.

Another thing that makes these plays difficult to read is that the translations in this edition are from the late 1800s and 1900s.  That means that the English style is "old fashioned" and some of words will be unfamiliar.  Again, fifty or a hundred years ago the basic language in these translations would have been familiar to any educated reader.

So, you need to be patient as you read, you need to read with a dictionary near by, and it would be a good thing to look up the names of Greek gods who are mentioned.  (It is ok to do this by looking at an on-line encyclopedia like Wikipedia.)   You might want to read each play twice--once to "get" the basic story, and then a second time to answer the study questions.


Based upon these plays, be prepared to answer any of these four questions.  Each answer must make reference to evidence from at least two different plays.