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The following program was produced and recorded by the University of Michigan broadcasting service under a grant in aid from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Classical drama a series of five Complete plays of antiquity in modern translation. Today seven against thieves by Escalus translation by Gerald F. else. Original music composed by Florian Mueller and conducted by Henri and Dolly. But it was a full day's University of Michigan series. Jerry Sanders now to introduce this production of seven against thieves It is today's translator and consultant for the series of classical dramas. Professor Gerald F. else chairman of the department of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan. The seven against the odds is the oldest and simplest of the five classical dramas in the series. It represents the work of Escalus who fought in the Battle of Marathon when Sophocles was a boy in Europe Ind. was not yet born. Yet old and simple do not necessarily mean primitive. The play you were about
to hear is not an offshoot of some primitive rite chanted by priests and choruses in honor of a tribal god called Dion ices when Escalus wrote it and composed the music and dances for it and produced it and acted the lead in it. Well we know that in those brave days the tragic poet did all those things he had been a practicing man of the theater for 30 years. He knew his dramatic form and he knew his audience. The seven against teams has its own kind of dramatic power. This play was the third and climactic one in a connected trilogy dealing with the family of Laos Oedipus and the sons of Oedipus. After Oedipus his discovery of the fearful truth about himself he went or was sent into exile leaving his kingdom of Thebes to be shared between his two sons. Please and Paul and I Cs. But somehow the sons had angered their father and he left a curse upon them that they should divide their inheritance with the sword.
One main theme of the seven is the fulfillment of that curse. It has refused to share the Kingdom with his brother and Paul and I sees now comes at the head of an army with six other heroes supported by a grassed as king of Argus to claim his inheritance with the sword. But the curse on the sons of Oedipus is only one strand in the fabric of the play. Most often he calls it a drama full of Aries. The play dominated by the God of War. It typically plans the defense of Thebes in the hard male spirit of a born warrior and commander of men but he finds himself be set and be doubled by a frantic mob of women. The chorus they flutter and shriek they hear they almost see the sounds of war approaching. The rattle of chariots the clang of spears the horrors of rape and looting the play is a symphony of these varied themes. The fearful realities of war the Berzerker spirit of attack and destruction the sober
determination to defend one's City the repository of all human virtue and achievement of civilization itself. And the curse on the sons of Oedipus. All these themes light and dark are woven together to make the drama. We have set it to music here as Escalus did. Because music was of the essence of his kind of drama. By the same token the chorus plays a far greater role in this play than it does in later Greek tragedy wider emotional scope greater dramatic importance. The chorus is really one of the two major characters. The other being E.T. Oakley's and it is the chorus that brings the drama to an end with its limitations in traditional form over the bodies of the two brothers in the seven against Thebes. We are not very far from the oldest and purest form of tragedy. I hope you will listen to it as a dramatic fugue on war and the tragic destiny of the heroic spirit. Thank you Professor else and now the University of Michigan broadcasting service
presents seven against eight years as the play opens the Prince plays confronts a crowd of the buttons is news is Agent. The. He must speak to the time he. Would be disastrous to eat cheese was man's name on many lips will be the citizens cry in groaning preludes and urges. All the children of.
Manhood men of every age must dedicate the swelling strength of your bodies and your lives to defend the rights your children and mother she harbored and bore the troubles of your upbringing and real citizen warriors to keep on your death. This day for victory. And all soothsayer. Minding the birds with the air and on the air without sacrifices of marshalling of a conspiracy framed in the night
for all citizens to the towers and Gates rise up you know you put on your clothes Let's take your stand on the decking and fur. Good courage. This mark is with us. Most noble prince of the Kashmiris. I come with exact report of the enemy's axes me I myself saw with my own eyes what was. There were seven heroes headstrong captains of men. They poured us
laden boars blood on the Black Rim fuel and dipping the hens in the gourd of that slaughter. They swore by eries God of bad in you and panicked lover of men slaying that so help them they would either level and plunder the Citadel despite us would die and need us into a bloody paste. They're in for their parents at home. They hung memorials upon addressed this chariot. They shed tears but no pity was on their lips a spirit of Irom angry blazing with blood lust breeze through them like well like lions with a look at their eyes. You'll hear from these men soon no long delay for I left them casting lots to see which one should grow which gate lead his troop against it. Now quickly king send out the best you have champions chosen from the whole city to man the gates of the host of OG I was in full array and drawing near. Dust rises white flecked foam from horse's nostrils tames the ground as they come. Prince like a shrewd pilot.
Make the city fast before was Hurricane blunders upon us the army is a roaring wave marching on land. Seize the occasion do what must be done quickly enough. You will watch them again with a careful eye by day so far as clear reports can do it you shall be secure knowing what comes outside the gates. God is God. Oh my God. He's. Never been in the bonds of slavery. What.
Should we. Like. We love you to
show yourselves lovers of the same. Question. This class. Good fortune with a race of women. Reasoning with these with. With these women.
If there is anyone not by orders be he be he won't ever lies between the public. Death by stoning business woman stands outside. Stay within and work no mischief. Do you hear me or not hear me are you deaf. Do you know that it is I was afraid when I heard the clatter the dreadful shouted echoing clatter the hugs clanging as the wheels spin and the horses bridles ready to go the fire forged rather than can a mariner contrived means of salvation by deserving the rudder and running to the prow when his ship is laboring in the waves of the sea. No it was to the ancient images of the gods I ran placing my trust in the gods help when the snowstorm of storms rawer down rained upon the gates. Yes it is true I lifted myself up to pray to the deathless ones that they hold their shield
over our seat cover the gates will be used like gold. They say the city when she is taken. Never while I live maid This is simply of God's deserts. Never May I behold my city close by running feet victims and victims. By enemy fire. Not bad by calling on the gods. Discipline is mother of sex and wife of salvation. But the dog's power is still greater than ours. Often in the spate of disaster when a man is helpless when the fogs of anguish and despair. Cloudy skies these things are men's business to sacrifice to consult God's will when the enemy is upon us. Your part is silence and to keep inside the house it is because of the gods that our cities are called good in the world. This from the mob of our enemies. What is the full reproach and you do not reproach you for honoring the gods
do not make them be of calm spirit Fear not be on the ball here in the new risen crackle. I came in panic dismay and confusion to the city to this place of reverence and awe and. Well then if you hear of men dying did not seize upon them for your lamentations. That is the blood of men. He said Do you know the meaning of what we see here or do not hear a growling from the ground. You deserve to make the decisions that bear on nights of. Silence Not a word of this within the city or guardian company do not abandon the hotel not endure in silence citizens of the. Let me know what you are making me masterings you use to like force against your fellow has made us all race of women in testimony just like man was telling us about cats. Nor will the ones with your hands upon the image of the sickos that you
think with fear that other groups might tell me you won my service if you will speak you did it once at once how will they find. I am silent. I was among the rest. That word is better than before I accept it. Now away from the images stand apart and pray to a moral purpose that the gods fight with us. Then when you have heard my prayers. Live your cry the holy Hellenic Victoria appointed by custom for the sacrifices of the faithful dissolving all fear. His eyes smile and. Watches over flocks. To spring News mean as soon. As I.
See the cities die the gods all blood and raise the trophy. I know I sound from the spot someone from the enemy yet you're wrong. Join with me in these prayers. No patients no more of these useless screeching mad. They will not help you one whit to escape what must be now. I would go with six men myself the seven stolid Roseman to face the enemy heroic spirits and post them at the seven gates of the LOA before all messages come rushing to me burning with haste and the imminence of the day. But my heart's out.
Of the way to. See if you like this. True. And bring glory to. Stun bolt securing the ring clear with.
Women like. That. With.
Just sneering just beginning to expect to see. The rich of the reckless confusion. Here's the messenger I think from the gates. He has some news to tell us of the our media
friends. He's flying Phoebe to swift pace towards us in see the king himself. Oedipus son comes in exact conjuncture do you don't you. He also was too rigid with things destroyed slowly. Now I can tell you from close knowledge the enemy's posture and how we drew his lodge at the gates. The protein did rural with the serum. Let him cross the stream. Who are the sacrifices give bad omens and tie Jews in blood lust in battle rage hisses like a snake in the Sierra with murderous abuse calling you dog cringing before battle. Shouting so he shakes his helmet shattering maimed the triple horsehair crest below bronze bells ring with the claims of Tara and this is the arrogant blazon on the shoot the heavens worked in Metro blazing with stars in the buckler Samter most revered of
stars Knights believing I stand was the form load. Such is the boasting of those braggart who while he ate the riverbank in the heat for battle. Snorts like a horse that chimes the bit and quivers with eagerness when he hears the pompous voice whom you say Will you match with him. What he been here already just ten days ground at the protein gate. No this will make me tremble devices never made a wound. Crests and barrels cannot bite without the spear. This you speak of glittering with the stars of heaven. I say to you with the end this folly may show itself prophetic if night fall on his eyes this device might then be proved rightly and truly devised to suit its bearer and he will have prophesied his destruction. I was set
against this shrewd champion reverencing the throne of modesty. Talk to me names of those whom no man could be more Thebe in his work with the dice of Justice sends him for a. Grand victory because he stands for justice to defend it I shudder to see bloody death come to the US. God indeed grant him victory now. Kaplan used his drug with his
luck the electric gate. This man is a giant bigger than him before and beyond all human measure the good fortune of earth and the CDC as being God's will albeit not his will down discord crashing to hold off his onslaught the thunder and lightning flashes in the midday sun shield blaze and he carries a naked man flaming in his hands in readiness in the golden city. And wonder if such a man standing against the posters on said without flinching. One of the TV. Action nothing. He.
It. With. Name me the next man at the gates.
I will name him. The third lot had leaped from the upturned bronze helmet and his charge was to attack the gate. He wheeled his horse his snorting and their bridles quivering to descend upon the gate. Then those bands pipe in outlandish them for the noise of braggart nostrils. He is decked out with no. A man climbing a ladder. The enemy towers confident of capture and he is written simply proclaims. You cannot keep me from the tower. Against this man and your champion toward the yoke of slavery from the city. You may be sure and with good omens. Indeed he said here is to see someone. Never in fright at the names of unruly horses back from the gate
he guards his death will pay his dues of nurture to earth he will take both men and the City Fathers house with the spoils.
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Classical drama
Seven against Thebes
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-k35mf37b).
Episode Description
This program presents part one of Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus. The introduction is by Professor Gerald Else, University of Michigan.
Series Description
This series presents full-length productions of Greek and Roman plays of antiquity in modern English translation with original music especially composed for this series. Each play is introduced by William Arrowsmith, University of Texas.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Composer: Mueller, Florian, 1909-1983
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Speaker: Arrowsmith, William, 1924-1992
Speaker: Else, Gerald Frank, 1908-1982
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-58-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:07
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Chicago: “Classical drama; Seven against Thebes,” 1961-11-25, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “Classical drama; Seven against Thebes.” 1961-11-25. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: Classical drama; Seven against Thebes. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from