January 10, 2010

Sophocles and Aesop

As a part of my lit project, I read the surviving plays of Sophocles and Aesop's fables.

Tragedy has something to teach me, but I am not yet sure what that something is.

Ancient Greek Dramatist Scorecard--
Aeschylus ... no
Aristophanes ... yes
Euripides ...
[Menander ... yes]
Sophocles ... no

Let's do this, Euripides.

I do not understand why I did not read these as a child instead of Dr. Seuss. These are so much more bizarre. Many similar stories strike on similar morals, undoubtedly leaving a fine impression on young minds. Their matter-of-fact telling is at odds with the whimsical story told. It is adorable.

Favorite fable:
The Ass and the Grasshopper.

An Ass, having heard some Grasshoppers chirping, was highly enchanted; and, desiring to possess the same charms of melody, demanded what sort of food they lived on to give them such beautiful voices. They replied, "The dew." The Ass resolved that he would only live upon dew, and in a short time died of hunger.


Lauren said...

I could never be persuaded to touch this stuff again, but I did always think Euripides was the most fun. A bit more sinister and playful than the rest. The Bacchae and Electra are fun as far as the stuff goes... but lord, I could never touch this stuff again. I'm impressed with you boys.

Ian said...

Everything I've heard about Euripides says he's the most "modern" of the three tragic poets. I am hoping to have fun with him. Sophocles was not so bad -- I felt able to appreciate him, and this is especially true of Antigone, which was the only Sophocles I had read before and which I definitely did not understand the first time around. Ah, but I am so much more grown up these days....