Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
The Athenian term given to the group of four plays which the poets produced in rivalry with each other at the dramatic contests held at the feast of Dionysus. After the introduction of the satyric drama, this, or a drama of a comparatively cheerful character (such as the Alcestis of Euripides), formed the fourth piece of three tragedies or of a trilogy. By a tetralogy is more particularly meant such a group of four dramas as had belonged to the same cycle of myths, and had thus formed a connected whole. Of such a kind were the tetralogies of Aeschylus. It is doubtful, however, whether he found this type of connected tetralogy already in use, or was the first to introduce it. Sophocles abolished the connexion between the several pieces, and Euripides followed his example. A complete tetralogy is not extant, although a trilogy exists in the Oresteia of Aeschylus, consisting of the tragedies Agamemnon, Choephoroe, and Eumenides; the satyric play appended to it was the Proteus.
Type: Standard
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