Agon


Agon

Agon (Classical Greek "Polytonic|ἀγών") is an ancient Greek word with several meanings:
*In one sense, it meant a contest, competition, or challenge that was held in connection with religious festivals. [Trapido (1949)] [ [http://www.temple.edu/classics/dramaterms.html Greek Drama Terms ] ]
*In its broader sense of a struggle or contest, "agon" referred to a contest in athletics, chariot or horse racing, music or literature at a public festival in ancient Greece.
*Agon was also a mythological personification of the contests listed above.Citation | last = Schmitz | first = Leonhard | author-link = | contribution = Agon | editor-last = Smith | editor-first = William | title = Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology | volume = 1 | pages = 74 | publisher = Little, Brown and Company | place = Boston | year = 1867 | contribution-url = http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/0083.html ] This god was represented in a statue at Olympia with "halteres" (polytonic|ἁλτῆρες) in his hands. This sta­tue was a work of Dionysius, and dedicated by a Smicythus of Rhegium. [Pausanias, "Description of Greece" v. 26. § 3]
*In Ancient Greek drama, particularly old comedy (fifth century B.C.), the agon refers to the formal convention according to which the struggle between the characters should be scripted in order to supply the basis of the action. Agon is a formal debate which takes place between the chief characters in a Greek play, protagonist and antagonist, usually with the chorus acting as judge. The character who speaks second always wins the agon, since the last word is always hers or his. The meaning of the term has escaped the circumscriptions of its classical origins to signify, more generally, the conflict on which a literary work turns.
*Agon is also one of the four elements of play identified by Roger Caillois in his book "Man, Play and Games".

References

Other sources

*Joel Trapido (1949) " [http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0013-1989(194910)1%3A1%3C18%3ATLOTTI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E The Language of the Theatre: I. The Greeks and Romans] " Educational Theatre Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Oct., 1949), pp. 18-26 doi:10.2307/3204106


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