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GREEK

PRATINAS.

that he who had Eschylus for a rival, and over whom he was victorious, must have possessed dramatic merits of a very distinguished character. After citing the passage from Plutarch's Life of Themistocles, in which his victory is commemorated, he observes that Eschy-. lus himself was accused of having pilfered from the Tragedies of Phrynichus, adducing a passage from The Frogs of Aristophanes, v. 1334, where Eschylus attempts to exculpate himself from the charge of plagiarism. Nor does this charge appear to have been made without foundation; for Glaucus, who wrote on the subject of this Tragedian, has boldly asserted, as the Author of the Argument to the Perso tells us, that this play was pilfered from those of Phrynichus.

In two departments of the scenic art Phrynichus appears to have been eminently successful. To him, also, has been assigned the invention of the tetrameter verse, but erroneously; for, long before Phrynichus, Archilochus and Solon used this kind of verse, and, as Aristotle appears to relate, all the Tragic writers before Eschylus.

EUREBIUS, in his Chronicles, as well as other Authors, assures us that Pratinus flourished about Olymp. 70. Little is known about him, and for that we are indebted to Suidas. Dr. Blomfield, in his Preface to the Perso, considers it doubtful whether he ever exhibited Tragedy at all; and it is elsewhere remarked by the same authority, that Pratinas, confining himself to ludicrous fables, while Phrynichus and Eschylus adopted doleful stories, and being the first that committed his pieces to writing, gave occasion to his being considered as the inventor of the Satyric Drama. Schneider considers the words of Suidas, in styling him the first to write Satyrics, as referable to those Satires which were afterwards composed by the Tragedians, and that Pratinas enjoys the reputation of being the inventor of this species of Drama, from the circumstance of his having improved upon the rude essays of its first origin. There were not wanting some, however, who confounded the Satires of Pratinas with those more ancient farces, from which the Phliasians took occasion to assert their claim to the invention of Tragedy. From the testimony of two epigrams upon Sophocles, Anthol. Gr. 1, 2, it is evident in what honor the Satyric Chorus was held by the Phliasians. There is certainly no mention of Pratinas, but they evidently relate to him and his son, both being highly honored by the Phliasians.

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Nothing scarcely of Pratinas has come down to us, but a fragment preserved by Athenæus, lib. 11.

Two other Tragic Poets belong to the age of Pratinas,-Chœrilus and Carcinus. The first of these, according to Suidas, composed a hundred and fifty Dramas, all of which have perished. He appears to have been a very indifferent poet, and is never mentioned by ancient writers but in terms of reproof.

Of Carcinus the few particulars which are known are mentioned by Dr. Bentley, in his Dissertation on the Age of Tragedy, who there states him to have been an ancient Tragic poet, burlesqued once or twice by Aristophanes for a certain humor of dancing; that he had three sons, whom he brought up to dance in his choruses, and who, upon that account, are, among many other nicknames, there called dancers.

ESCHYLUS.

ÆSCHYLUS, son of Euphorion, was born Olymp. 63, 4, (B. C. 525,) and died, according to the Arundel Marble, Olymp. 80, 1. Bacchus is said, in fable, to have appeared to him, and commanded him to write Tragedies. This design he began to execute in Olymp. 70, being then 25 years of age. The next notice which we have of him is at Olymp. 72, 3, when he was present at Marathon, being then in his 35th year. In this action Eschylus greatly distinguished himself, as well as his two brothers Cynægiras and Amyrnias; and in a picture representing the battle, Eschylus was drawn encouraging the soldiers, thereby being associated in the same honor that was paid to Miltiades. Cynogirus was afterwards one of the ten Commanders, who, with a naval armament of 1,000 men, defeated 30,000 Persians. Six years after the memorable day of Marathon, Eschylus gained his first Tragic victory; and four years after this, viz. Olymp. 75, was fought the battle of Salamis, in which Æschylus nobly defended his surviving brother Amyrnias, who had his hand lopped off by a Persian sabre. Upon this occasion the Athenians decreed him the first honors; and in the following year he acquired fresh glory in the battle of Platæa, where the brave General Mardonius was slain. Eight years after this he gained the victory with the Perso. The Supplices was acted before the Persa, but its precise date is not determined by any chronological testimony. Dr. Blomfield, in his Preface to the Perso, p. 15, has arranged the remaining dramas of our Author in the following order :-Supplices, Perse, Prometheus, Septem contra Thebas, Agamemnon, Choephori, Eumenides. The last three, with Proteus added

to them as a Satyric Drama, composed what was called the Orestean tetralogy, the representation of which took place at Olmp. 80, 2.

Eschylus survived the representation of this tetralogy little more than two years, since he died at the court of Hiero, king of Sicily, Olymp. 81, (B. C. 456,) aged 69 years.

The few last years of his life are involved in considerable obscurity; and various are the reasons which have been assigned for his leaving Athens. Jealousy of the preference given to Sophocles-which is the account given by Plutarch. The victory obtained over him by Simonides is an elegiac contest-but Simonides died Olymp. 77, 4. The offence which he gave to the city, by the representation of the Eumenides, and in consequence of which he was accused of impiety; upon which occasion his brother Amyrnias pleaded his cause, and Eschylus was acquitted. The common story respecting the Eumenides is, that the appearance of the fifty Furies on the stage, wearing masks of a hideous paleness, their hands brandishing lighted torches, and their hair braided with serpents, caused such extreme terror among the spectators, that women were seized with the pains of premature labor, and children died from fear; and that the magistrates, to prevent such fatal occurrences in future, ordained that the Chorus should hereafter be limited to fifteen. The first part of this account Dr. Blomfield, in his Preface to the Perse, throws aside as fabulous ; and observes, that fifty Furies would not cause more terror than fifteen, since the horror arising from the spectacle would not depend so much upon the number of the Chorus, as it would upon their appointments, viz., masks, torches, and twisted snakes; and that, so far from fifteen Furies being brought upon the stage by Eschylus, it is most likely there were only three; since it is altogether incredible that the poet should be so rash as to invade the received mythology of a superstitious country by augmenting the number of those goddesses from three to fifty, whom the Athenians regarded with an awful veneration. It has already been observed of Eschylus, by Aristotle, that "he retrenched the Chorus ;" upon which Mr. Twining remarks, that the critic would hardly have expressed himself thus, had he meant a retrenchment in the number of choral performers; (but the sense is, that he abridged the choral parts, which were immoderately long, and made the Chorus more subservient to the main interest of the fable. In the passage of Aristotle, alluded to above, another improvement is commemorated of Eschylus-his introduction of two actors upon the stage, which, was, in fact, to introduce the Dialogue. Mr. Tyrwhitt, in his notes on the passage, observes that Eschylus certainly introduced three actors into some of his plays. But he thinks that he borrowed the hint from Sophocles, by whom he was worsted in a Tragic

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contest at least twelve years before his death.* In the 7th chap. of the Poetics, the invention of painted scenery is ascribed to Sophocles; but to Eschylus, by the Author of his Life. To adjust exactly the rival claims of Eschylus and Sophocles with respect to the decoration of the Tragic Stage, would be a desperate undertaking. Some accounts are so liberal to Eschylus as scarce to leave his successors any room for farther improvements. They give him paintings, machinery, altars, tombs, trumpets, ghosts, and furies: to which others add a very singular species of improvement, the exhibition of drunken This last is taken from Athenæus, who goes a little farther into the origin of the improvement, assigning as the reason of Eschylus exhibiting drunken characters, that he always composed his tragedies when drunk, and introduces Sophocles as reproving him on this account. He is likewise commemorated by the same Author as being the inventor of the Tragic Robe, which the Priests of Ceres afterwards adopted. He also invented many species of dances; teaching the Chorus the various figures, which they were to exhibit on the stage, and, in a word, taking upon himself the whole economy of Tragedy. Eschylus certainly invented the mask; also the buskins; both of which inventions are acknowledged by Horace :

Post hunc (Thespin) personæ, pallæque repertor honesta
Eschylus, et docuit magnumque loqui nitique cothurno.

In so great honor was the memory of this illustrious Author held at Athens, that a decree of the people permitted any Poet to aspire to the crown, with one of the pieces of Æschylus retouched and corrected as he might judge proper. The writer of his Life has preserved an epitaph, supposed to be from the hand of the poet himself. It is remarkable for its modesty, recording no other circumstance of his life than that of his gallant conduct at Marathon.

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The style of Æschylus has not escaped the censure of ancient wriThe boldness of his figures, and the novelty of his expressions, are noticed by Dionysius Halicarnassus. This is also alluded to by Aristophanes, in the Frogs, where he is rallied upon his affectation of compound words; which are compared, in that inimitable Comedy, to

* The following remark of Mr. Elmsley is transcribed from the Quarterly Review, vol. 7, p. 449: "The actors were not only assigned by lot to the several com. petitors, but the number was limited to three, which each competitor was allowed to employ. In consequence of this regulation, when three characters were already on the stage, a fourth could not be introduced without allowing one of the three actors time to retire and change his dress. The poet was at liberty to employ as many mutes as he thought proper."

the proud towers that overlook the ramparts of a city. This is the piece in which Euripides and Sophocles are represented as contending in the infernal regions before Bacchus for the throne of Tragedy, which is, in the sequel, awarded to Eschylus.

The following is the character given of Eschylus by Quintilian-a comparison being instituted between the respective merits of Eschylus and Euripides:

Tragedias primus in lucem Eschylus protulit, sublimus et gravis et grandiloquus sæpe usque ad vitium, sed rudis in plerisque et incompositus: propter quod correc tas ejus fabulas in certamen deferre posterioribus poetis Athenienses permisere, suntque eodem modo multi coronati. Sed longe clarius illustraverunt hoc opus Sophocles atque Euripides: quorum in dispari dicendi via uter sit poeta melior, inter plurimos quæritur. Illud quidem nemo non fateatur necesse est, iis qui se ad agendum comparent, utiliorem longe Euripidem fore. Namque is et in sermone (quod ipsum reprehendunt, quibus gravitas et cothurnus et sonus Sophoclis videtur esse sublimior) magis accedit oratorio generi; et sententiis densus, et in iis quæ a sapientibus tradita sunt, pene ipsis par et in dicendo ac respondendo cuilibet eorum, qui fuerunt in foro diserti, comparandus.

In affectibus vero cum omnibus mirus, tum in iis qui miseratione constant, facile præcipuus.-lib. 10. c. 1.

SOPHOCLES.

SOPHOCLES, Son of Sophilus, native of Colonus, was born Olymp. 71, 2. (B. C. 495.) Diodorus relates that he died about the same time as Socrates, viz., in the third year of Olymp. 93, aged ninety. He was, therefore, thirty years junior to Eschylus, and fifteen years older than Euripides. He was early distinguished for the attractive beauty of his form; and we learn that after the battle of Salamis, he headed a Chorus of youths, being then in his fifteenth year, and received the applause of the Athenians for his skill on the lyre. He had been taught music and dancing, according to Athenæus, by Lamprus, and throughout his career we frequently hear of his excellence in these arts. It is related that he performed on the harp during the representation of his Thamyris, and at that of his Nausicaa: his skill with the ball was very great. We have the authority of Suidas for saying, that in early life he first applied himself to Lyric Poetry, but his genius soon led him to the haunts of the Dramatic muse, and his first success fixed him there forever. He was in his twenty-seventh year when he competed with Eschylus for the possession of the stage. After the representation of the pieces, the suffrages of the Judges were divided, and the Theatre becoming clamorous for a decision, Cimon, who was then in the zenith of his fame, was appointed to name

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