Greek Theatre: Back from the Dead

The father of Greek tragedy will rise from the dead in Athens. Aeschylus won’t actually rise, but his great work, Prometheus Bound, will have another go in the Theatre of Dionysus. Kind of. Let me just break it down for you.

Let us first let the scene in a place where theatre came to be:  the Theater of Dionysus.  Built in 6th century BC, stands as one of the oldest stone theaters in existence, though it was rebuilt in 4th century BC by the same people; the rebuilding added the fine luxury of marble seating–how swank. Created in the side of a natural slope, the theater could seat up to 17,000 spectators in 64 rows, though only 20 still exist.

Theatre of Dionysos

Theatre of Dionysus

Before we go any further, we should talk about where this new work came from. Monologue, the title of the new piece, originated from Prometheus Bound. The tale, one that most people know, covers the story of Prometheus and his theft of fire from the gods. The piece derived its new title of Monologue because it bases itself off of two monologues from the original piece.


Depiction of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods

Next up we have our cast! Aeschylus, the great, although deceased, poet, and George Kouroupos, the talented man selected to revive the work of our dearly departed dramatist.  Aeschylus, rumored to be born in 525 BC, is credited as the creator of the second character, thus creating dramatic dialogue. This original thespian also gave birth to two major elements of theatre, scenery and costuming. Who knew that a man who fought in the battle of Marathon would make such a difference to theatre?

Our other cast member, George Kouroupos, created the new concert premiering September 22nd. Kouroupos also worked on the tribute to the great poet Odysseus Elytis and the 100th anniversary of Elytis’ birth. Elytis is seen as one of the greatest Greek poets of recent years, so composing a concert in his name really boosts résumé potential.

Monologues, dedicated to all the archeologists and preservationist of the Theater of Dionysus, opens on September 22nd in the south of Acropolis. This event should not be missed. Often, old theaters, such as the one mentioned above, is only used as a place to tour and nothing more. A type of ‘keep your hands and feet in the vehicle at all times’ ride. Without people, the theater has no blood. When the stage lacks a story, it renders the space brain dead. Monologues though, gives it a pulse, it brings it all back to life.

The simplicity of swears

The above poster says “Dick” and below it the message states “we do not swear.”

I suspect that this poster is a parody to what may be in an office to announce the rules.

What is representative of Russia? Is it their beautiful women, their Soviet regime, their love for vodka, or may it be their distinguished language and art of swearing?

This is a video I found on (Russian equivalent to from something called “nasha Russia,” which literally translates into “our Russia.”

I thought this video was great because of the amount and complexity of swears the Old Lady uses.

This video is basically a journalist interviewing a resident of a building as to why a fire started. She seems to be the one who started it and rambles on a while about getting wasted with her neighbors.

When the journalist further questions her, she explains a discussion that she had with the fire itself about sharing vodka. In the end the Old Lady states she was not home when the fire started and does not know what happened.

In this video she uses exaggerations and and had her own way of talking. Much like other people globally she uses certain words to express herself, even though most of them are swears. I can compare her language to a way a Southerner would use slang, something we can refer to as hill billies. They of course have their own dialect and way of saying things, just like this old woman does. Many people speak like this, but just like everywhere in the world not everyone uses exaggerations.

Russian swear slang is really hard to translate since there are no words for some of it in English. It would be like trying to translate ebonics to a person in the Middle East or Asia. They can basically ad on a few prefixes and syllables and make a simple word a swear.

One saying that comes to mind for me is “Ta pishla von” which literally means go over there, but translates into f*** off.

This article explains that Russian swears are even sometimes a form of philosophy. It also talks about how Gorbachev tried to make one uniform proper Russian language.

“Mat” literally means swear and it is what many people use.

This Newsweek article I found explains that some cities in Russia are imposing an anti-swearing campaign. They can fine people up to $33 for swearing in the streets and people can be jailed for up to 15 days. One librarian went as far as getting rid of all the books in the library that contained profanity.

In Russia, different villages will have different ways of saying a swear or using a different pronunciation. The same goes for the United States. Just look at the way people in Texas say something as opposed to people in New Jersey.

There is an online dictionary dedicated to deciphering the different terms people have come up with in the past for the United  States.

Take for example the term “cougar.” According to this means

“Noun. A 35+ year old female who is on the “hunt” for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male. The cougar can frequently be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, propped up against a swanky bar in San Francisco (or another city) waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path. “Man is cougar’s number one prey.”

This term and definition is the way some people use words in the United States today. Although it is not a regional term, this is the way some people speak. This definition of cougar is not the same as the animal but rather a slang that has been created.

So what do you think? Does having a diversified slang characterize a certain place? Why and how do you believe it evolves over time?