Monday, September 10, 2012

Chorus and Theatre

The protagonist of ancient Greek drama will always be the Chorus.

In my opinion, the Chorus, which represents the essence of team spirit, affects the thoughts and the feelings of not only the spectators but also of the roles of the drama.

How I justify my opinion:

The Chorus represents the Unconscious of people. Unconscious: the stage between the conscious and the subconscious. Subconscious: all the desires we were unaware of having or unaware of having suppressed them or having even buried them.

The Chorus observes the problems that trouble the actors. Each member of the Chorus has its own thoughts but, the minute something happens, these members react to it as a group: “...While we were washing our robes in the sea, we heard a cry of pain. Lady, share all of your problems with us...”

However, Plato thought that the Chorus had no rhythm no harmony in its movements. He said that the bodies of the dancers were not expressive, their movements were clumsy and their voices out of tune (Laws, 665e).

I believe, though, that the notion of individuality is not incompatible with the notion of the Chorus. In the Chorus we find the trace of the current events (that even the Chorus itself does not understand, hence its comparison to the Unconscious). “There are some wheat branches moving and we sense that there is wind there.”(Tarkovsky).In what extent can it help? Individuality: the particle seems to be made of energy. In order to modify the particle we would have to modify its inner energy.

Einstein said that the field that holds everything together is the Managing Authority. He said that the field defines the individual’s attitude. The field is made of electric and magnetic energy, meaning of particles.

Nowadays, science teaches us that by modifying the electric or magnetic field we modify the particle. How can it change?

The strongest electric and magnetic field in our body is our heart. There lies our sentiment. Sentiment: the union of our Feeling and our Thought. In our hearts there is Hate, Sorrow, Compassion, Happiness. The sentiment creates waves of electric and magnetic energy in our hearts, which waves change our body (and in extent our world). Our beliefs also modify the electric and magnetic fields.

The Chorus expresses a view on the relationship of man and god, on peace in the world. Specifically: while addressing Helen after the exit of the first messenger, “He speaks the truth, my lady. Be friends with gods and not with prophets.”

In the scene of Helen-Theonoe-Menelaus, the Chorus says to Helen: “... your words and your appearance have made us feel sorry for you.”  “Those who are fair prosper, while those who are unfair should be cursed.”

“Till when will hate and blood take the place of peace?”

“Who can look for god? And who was able to put god in a box? Man is floating on the tide of fortune. Only the word of god is certain and true.”

Euripides sometimes used odes that are not in concordance with the plot of the play, that’s why they are called inserts. Some scholars condemned this innovation calling it an anachronism. What were ancient Greeks aware of?

They were aware of the fact that the heart’s electric field is 100 times more powerful than that of the brain. The heart’s magnetic field is 5000 times more powerful than that of the brain.

In conclusion, what was Euripides’ purpose in having the Chorus recite old songs and hymns? He wanted to create feelings in the hearts of the members of the Chorus (and consequently in the hearts of spectators).

In accordance with the poet’s expectations, the Chorus implores Dioscuri, the brothers of Helen, for their aid. They believe and hope that Dioscuri will appear and so they do in the end. In addition, the king came to his senses (he changed his mind).

In 1901, during an experiment, scientists proved that the spectators could affect the reality of what they were witnessing. Consciousness affected the king’s behavior. This leads us to the conclusion that we are not mere observers of our world. Our existence in this world has a constant effect on it. John Wheeler said that the word “observer” should be replaced by the word “participant”. Hence, the Chorus participates.

In 1998, the above mentioned experiment took place again with the same results and with a more interesting observation: it was discovered that the longer the observation, the bigger the effect it had.
Euripides does not let the Chorus interfere in a great extent. However, it still participates in the play.

Scientists, in 1998, discovered that the more we observe our natural environment, the bigger the influence we have on it, with merely our active presence!

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