Dramatic Action in Greek Tragedy and Noh: Reading with and Beyond Aristotle
This book explores the ramifications of understanding the similarities and differences between the tragedies of Euripides and Sophocles and realistic Japanese noh. First, it looks at the relationship of Aristotle's definition of tragedy to the tragedies he favored. Next, his definition is applied to realistic noh, in order to show how they do and do not conform to his definition. In the third and fourth chapters, the focus moves to those junctures in the dramas that Aristotle considered crucial to a complex plot - recognitions and sudden reversals -, and shows how they are presented in performance. Chapter 3 examines the climactic moments of realistic noh and demonstrates that it is at precisely these moments that a third actor becomes involved in the dialogue or that an actor in various ways steps out of character. Chapter 4 explores how plays by Euripides and Sophocles deal with critical turns in the plot, as Aristotle defined it. It is not by an actor stepping out of character, but by the playwright's involvement of the third actor in the dialogue. The argument of this book reveals a similar symbiosis between plot and performance in both dramatic forms. By looking at noh through the lens of Aristotle and two Greek tragedies that he favored, the book uncovers first an Aristotelian plot structure in realistic noh and the relationship between the crucial points in the plot and its performance; and on the Greek side, looking at the tragedies through the lens of noh suggests a hitherto unnoticed relationship between the structure of the tragedies and their performance, that is, the involvement of the third actor at the climactic moments of the plot. This observation helps to account for Aristotle's view that tragedy be limited to three actors.
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Aeschylus Aisomegawa anagnorisis Aristotelian Aristotle Aristotle's asks audience beginning Benkei Bijo brother change of fortune chapter character's child chorus commits suicide complex plot Creon crucial dance deus ex machina dialogue distance dramatic action Electra emotional Euripides example exile father gongo dodan Greek tragedy hamartia Iapan Iapanese Ikenie innkeeper interrupts involved Iphigenia in Tauris Kannushi katharsis kill kyogen learns letter loved main character mance Manju messenger moments mother mugen noh Nakamitsu Neoptolemus Nishikido noh actor noh and Greek noh plays noh with plot ocasta occur Oedipus the King Oedipus’s Orestes pathos performance peripeteia peripety Philoctetes philoi playwright Poetics pollution priest Pylades realistic noh recognition scene recognizes relationship reunion role sacrifice Sanehira says shepherd Shun’ei Shunkan sister Smethurst 1998 Sophocles spectators spirit noh sudden reversal Tanenao Tauris and Oedipus Text in Sanari theaters third actor third person three actors tion tragic Translated turns wife woman words Yoshitsune Zeami