Alice Adams (1935) Director: George Stevens After several disappointing flops, Alice Adams rejuvenated Katharine Hepburn's Hollywood career from its glory with such hits as Morning Glory. It is based on the 1921 Pulitzer-Prize winning novel of the same name by Booth Tarkington (winner of the Pulitzer in 1922). I decided to watch this film in conjunction with reading the … Continue reading Alice Adams
In Classical Greek drama, the existence of a Chorus strikes the modern audience as odd. Why is there a Chorus? What role does it play? Where did the Chorus come from? The origin of the word "khoros" is cloaked in mystery, however it has been suggested by modern scholars that the word references an open dance … Continue reading What is the Chorus in Greek Tragedy?
Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes is an odd, archaic play. The bulk of the play is a long reflection and recital of the blazonry on a champion's shield, during the backdrop of the impending duel between Oedipus's two sons, Polynices and Eteocles, with Eteocles playing the main role. As David Grene (the play's translator) notes, the … Continue reading The Seven Against Thebes and The Phoenician Women Considered
Euripides's Phoenician Women comes down to us as a heavily edited dialogue. Some have suggested it was performed during Euripides's lifetime, while others have suggested it remained unfinished and was expanded upon by later Greek writers. The play is an interpretation of Aeschylus's Seven Against Thebes - in which Oedipus's two sons, Polynices and Eteocles battle for the kingship of Thebes. Recall … Continue reading Thoughts on The Phoenician Women
In Euripides's Electra he draws swords with Aeschylus's much earlier and superior version of the same Orestes story, in The Libation Bearers. In Aeschylus, there is a kind of hero-worship in which Orestes triumphantly returns to Mycenae and he kills his parents, only to be troubled by the Furies. In Euripides's version, the story is told … Continue reading Electra in Aeschylus vs. Euripides
Published in 1917, Ernest Poole's, His Family, winner of the first Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1918, is a surprisingly delightful read. The book has been largely out of print in recent years, much like other early winners of the Pulitzer Prize, including Booth Tarkington's The Magnificent Ambersons. It tells the story of the … Continue reading Thoughts on His Family