Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, April 01, 1875, Page 2, Image 2

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seem to mo essentially frivolous. I nntlc
ipate a time, and that, too, before tho coal
Holds and great forests of the North are
exhausted, when tho; South shall resume
her ancient and normal supremacy; when
the voices of other Isaiahs and Homers,
of other .'Greek and Hoinan orators, of
younger Ctusars and Napoleons, shall
give new law to human thought and hu.
man destiny. Other Phldiasos, Haphtols.
Mlehtul Angelos, Murillos, and Caiiovas
will again be found at Athens, Florence,
Madrid and Home, or will rise with glo
rlous masterhood at Mexico, Sonora, or
Tort Kico. If no divine decree has for
bidden the resurrection of decayed na
lions, and with intention transferred their
lurch abused piootninenco to newer
states that manifest a truer reverence and
a juster appreciation of privilege, the stir
of the world miut inevitably icach and
penetrate the old seats of civilization, as
well as every other region where climate
and landsoapo are most congenial to
grand necessities and the grandest dovel
opement. 0. 0. D.
Tlnin the common notion Hint a hlu tonipi'tu
we might well exchange some of them
for the productions of others, if for noth
ing more than the sake ol comparison.
Aeschylus may be regarded as the Cre.
ator of Tragedy: "in full panoply from
his head she sprang, like Pallas from the
head of Jupiter." He clad her with dig.
nity and gave her an appropriate stage;
he was the inventor of scenic pori ..id
not only instructed the clu'V"- 1.1 singing
and dancing, but appearut himself as an
actor. His characters are sketched with
a few bold ami strong touches. His plots
are simple in the extreme; lie did not un
derstand the art of enriching and varying
an action, and ol giving a necessary inarch
and progress to the completion and dis
covery of the plot. Hence his action
and punishment which had desolated the
house of Atreus.
This much I have thought proper to say
concerning the father of Traguly, and I
shall be content with a less lengthy notice
of the writings of Sophocles and Eurlp
Ido .
The birth of Sophocles occurred nearly
midway between that ot Aeschylus and
that of Euripides; and for the most. of his
life ho was the contemporary of both. He
often contended with Aeschylus for the
ivy wreath of Tragedy, and lie out-llvcd
Euripides, who also attained a good oid
age. Nature seems to have favored Soph
ocles In many respects. Horn of rich and
urlanco of his splendid and amiable
" Hut with all this wo must, never forgot
that Euripides was still a Greek, and tho
contemporary of many of tho greater
names of Greece in politics, philosophy,
and tho lino arts. If, when compute)
with his predecessors, ho must rank far
below them, he appears in his turn gn-nt
when placed by tho side of many of the
moderns. Ho has a particular stivimtii
in portraying the alienation of n , ,u;
diseased, misguided, and practically a bun
dotted to its' passion?. He is admirable
where the subject calls chielly for i-nio
lion and makes no higher requisitions,
honorable parents attd a free citizen of and lie is still more so where pathos
the most enlightened State of Greece, li .moral beauty are united. Few of a
often stands still; a ciicuntstanco which ' possessed oitth, necessary condition and j pieces aio without passages of the must
becomes yol moro apparent Irom the uu-1 foundation. Beauty of person and of 'ravishing beauty. Wo cannot deny him
duo extension of his Choral songs. Hut
all his poetry evinces a sublime and ear
nest mind. Terror is his element, and-noi
mind, and the enjoyment of both to the i tho possession of the most astonishing
utmost degree of perfection; a choice and ' talents: but we can truly say that tlu-sc
finished education lu gymnastics and the'talouts wt re not united with a mind in
the softer affections. In his handling, musical arts; tho rich bloom of youth , which the austerity of moral principles,
des iny appears aitslero in tho extreme; and the ripe fruit of age: the possession and the sanctity of religious feelings, ( rt
held in the highest honor."
Quito a number of the plajs of Eurip
ides luivc come down to us: and as most
she hovers over the heads of mortals in and enjoyment of poetry and art ; the love
all her gloomy majesty. He endeavors to ml respect of his fellow citizens: renown
....... ...- ----- .....-.) - - i
!"" Vrin'Z "lk M lfc'Ug correspond to his gi- abroad and the countenance of the Gods:
to tin- work nf hhi'iii-.v, . M. Uo-i-ut ciiiuiu-r guilt ic sublimity ol thought and the uisl 'those seem to be the principal features ot prominent among them wc might nun-
XXIX. Mix-, "It wus Hi-iiKim or -ullry lii-til tiiul .. . , , . ., , L, .... ,. ., . . , . I., ., ., . , . ,. t . . . .
lone drought : lmt thl -. to siu-iw-v. Mimll ot.- 'dimension ol his personages. Hence lie 'the lie ol this pious and virtuous poet. Hon tho "Alccstes", " Iphigen a n an-
"iirtuilvJ Iu llMMh uo,"P"i's mid over- When a youth of sixteen, ho was selected . lis", " Ion ", " Phicdra and Medea".
sun of "iimmrr uliroatl. or from th. wintor lire strained epithets, an the luteal parts ol
within door." And. won.' not the llvo of Allni- . . . .. ,, . . , ,
iiw"lu".Angii-iliic. uuil c'iirliiii. win. nr nil think-1 "is pieces, Irom their irresolved construe
er. hnw cxeivlM'il ilio cruniest and '" jioniw- j tl(U, urc oxtromelv obscure. In the sing
tii'iit iulliU'tico upon tin' world, mostly -lu-nt In ' "... ,
Xoritiuni Afrini. . uhii' strangeness ot bis images and ox-
I IniM' notifi'd t lint noiii'ritl lii'nlth I? tilwti ut . , , , ... 1.,1
its buM iu Si'iini-kn. ilurinsr tho iwiu-t muii: ' prwsiuns ho resembles Dnnto and Shakes.
niun.aM'niiM'irpiinudino.tiii wolahi wlii'ii H puare. Yet In these images there is no
thurinomi'tirtood fora tnonlli tit H)siiith'lititH'. , l
wain 01 uiiti icrruic grace which almost
all writers of antiquity commend in Aeschylus.
Origin of the Greek Drama.
The origin of the Greek Drama may
bo traced to the annual festivals, given by
the peasantry, in honor of the God Hue
chus, at the close of the harvest season.
Bacchus was especially venerated sis the
inventor of wine and joint patron, with
Ceres, of Agriculture. Upon Ihese festive
occasions, the natural fondness of the peo
ple for poetry and poetic recitation, to
gether with their keen relish for the joke.
to dance, on account of his beauty, tit a
celebration of a famous battle. He uftoi
wards held the rank of General, as col
wh me score 01 mommy none 01 iiuin
deserve greater praise, perhaps, than " Al.
cestes." As delineations of female mis.
league with Pericles and Thucydidcs; sion and the aberrations of a diseased
and still later was elected to the priest- mind, Phtedru and Medea, have been
He nourished in tho very height and
vigor of Grecian freedom, and a proud
sense of the glorious struggle by which
it was wn, seems to have animated him
and his poetry, lie had been an ee-wit-ness
of the greatest result in the history of
hood of a native hero,
At twciity-llvc lie began to exhibit Irag.
edics; twenty times ho was victorious; he
very often gained the second place but
never ranked so low as the third. He
continued in his most successful career
until his DOtli year, and some of his best
works bear even a still later date.
One gift was denied him by na'tire: a
voice attuned to song. He could only
gave rise to two kinds of extemporaneous ' battles. In his poems entitled -The Per-
effusions; the one, a kind of hymn direct
ed to Bacchus; the other, the oll'spring of
wit and wine wilii mutual j-sl aid sar
casm. From this ancient source has been de
veloped the modern drama, with all its
splendor; to us, of very little practical
value compared with what it was t'. the
Omitting much that has been said about
the strolling Thcspis and his influence
upon the progress of the drama, I pass to
a brief notice of the Tragedians Aeschy
lus, So hoclcs and Euripides; tho only
persons of whom we can have any accu-
rate knowledge and who may be regarded
as representing distinct epochs iu tho
progress of the Tragic art among the
Greeks. Although some improvement
had been made by the introduction of the 1 ny running through the actions of all
Greece, the overthrow and annihilation ol ! call forth and direct the harmonious ol
die Persian hosts under Darius and Xor.v lit ions of others: and consequently only
appeared once upon the stage in the char
acter of the blind singer pluing upon
an instrument.
justly praised.
Much more might be said upoju this
most fruitful subject; especially concern
ing tho form of the ancient theater and flic
manner of scenic representation.
This question, however, presents Itself
to 1110 before closing: what difference wits
there between tho inlluence upon and re
lation to the people of the ancient and
modern drama?
Doub'less the difference
es, and Had louglit with distinguished
bravery in two of their most memorable
shins" and the "Seven before Thebes",
there gushes forth a war-like vein; the per
sonal inclinations of tho poet for a sol
diet's life are apparent throughout. It
was well remarked by Georgias, tho
Sophist, thai Mars and not Bacchus, had
inspired this last drama; for Bacchus,
rather than Apollo, was the tutelary deity
of Tragic poets, which, at first thought,
appears somewhat singular; but then we
must recollect that Bacchus was not mere
ly the God of wine and joy, but also tho
God of alt highest inspirations.
Among the remaining pieces of Aes
chylus, we have a complete Trilogv. The
Tho principal points of improvement
in the dramas of Sophocles were a smooth
er polish of the rythm, tho introduction
of a third actor, the multiplication ot
incidents, a more striking theatrical effect
allowed to the more decisive action., and
above all, 11 more harmonious perfection
of mind than was possessed by Aeschy
lus. According to some authors Sophocles
was exceedingly fertile, having produced
l!iO pieces and according to the most
moderate account, over eighty. However
Tho relation of the modern drama to the
people Is simply that of artistic represen
tion and amusement; while to the an.
cients its relation was one of political
importance. It was the chief source of
disseminating ideas among the populace,
and from this fact its additional import
an ce can easily be inferred. It wns to
Greece and later to Homo what the press
is to America. d.
Granger B.eKi.slation.
In the last number of the Stl'dknt wc
find a severe criticism upon Ihomis-dlrec-ted
economy of our Inst Legislature, in
which the writer reviews the educational
legislation and points out the short-sie-lii.
we have but seven of these remaining, in- .edness of the legislators, and finally clos.
iiiuiiir kiniiii ill iiiwi irrniiiiiiii jittirr-i. a . I il t 1 j .......... ..t ii
Trilogy wns a serie. ,,, -...rco plays, with , . f 7, ,, V ,, . ., """'w.ngs.gnw.cant language-
which the poets, at a later period con- 'T! ' ;V'"'". c " Bloc, " , By the way, it is our private ,,l,..l,i
tended for the prize ot the goat and "! 7 " f " ''P'". .'""" tsa sample of Granger legislation,
wi.lP.i. ...... ,,,.iii i... ..,?, 1,1 Il,,s "". rolcri'iico to his writings and we might further add. if we tlmmri.t
.....v.. ...v,. w.,... vwv"-. V''III01WI M-.OII-
Choi- s and still more by intiuducing an
actor, separate from the Choi us, and al
though Phrynicus had advan ed still far
ther by dropping the ludicrous represen
tations and elevating the mythological
hislorv of the country, still, the most im
In other wolds it was the thesis, the an
tithesis, and the synthesi. The three
pieces which form the Trilogy of AcbChy
1 U8 are the " Agamemnon," " Eloctru" and
the " Furies
the murder of Agi
........ 1.,. .. 111. .:..... r. . ,.......,.
i.u.si ui- suiiiuii-m 101 present, purposes; , u poncy, unit wo tliiiut the nation should
and I pa to notice his hticcessor Eurip. celebrate, with due splendor and rei. .ic
ing, the death of that institution, wheuev-
". The subject of tho first isiis (.ui, 'cnlt to
)f Ainuneinnon bv Chtonines- 8,,ou,(1 lise or con
So much has boon said both to the
credit and discredit of Euripides, that it
dlfilciiK to docido whethor we
demn him. Howov-
liortant changes in the drama were ; tra, on his return from Troy. In the sec- !er' T ,Il'"k il "u,sl ,,(' "dmltted that he
wrought by Hie three jiersons just men
tioued. Of each of the two older poetb
Aeschylus ind Sophocles, we have but
seven pieces remaining; but among these,
according to the best authority, are their
iiiost distinguished productions.
Of those of. Euripides, we have a .much
greater number; and if it were possible;
ond, Oros'os avenges his father by killing iail(,l'(l muc1' ,() tl,(s Progress of the tragic
his mother: facto piux el acelemluHCotlein."
Iu the third, the conflict of natural duties
is repiosontod by ji contention between tho
Goils, some of whom approve the con
duct of Orestes while others persecute
him, until Minerva establishes peace, and
puts an end to the long series of crime
...I ....i. ...- ii... rH..i. rt -1 ...
uu luu.-ny u,i; uiiiuKii. ioiisiucrcu Willi
out reference to his predecessors or con'
temporaries, he is deserving of great
praise; but he either lacked the lofty
earnestness of purpose, or the severe lirtls-
tic wisdom which wo reverence in Acs-1
or it may occur. 'God speed the dav "
M'l...t .1... I..... .1 ... .. '''
niu uiu legMiuuiro 01 187.1 was short,
sighted, and that its so-called economy
will prove highly detrimental to the prog
ress of the State, we shall neither attempt
to palliate nor deny; but that all this
should bo attributed to tho Grange olc
moot, we shall attempt (p show, is not on
ly unjust, bui wholly false.
We did not suspect that our editorial
friend would admit that the Grangers nos-
ticsscd so great Influence as he would now
chyltts and Sophocles, io regulate the lux- 'have us believe that they wielded In the