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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Agon (Classical Greek ἀγών) is an ancient Greek term for a struggle or contest. This could be a contest in athletics, in chariot or horse racing, or in music or literature at a public festival in ancient Greece. Agon is the word-forming element in 'agony', explaining the concept of agon(y) in tragedy by its fundamental characters, the protagonist and antagonist.

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Transcription

Contents

Athletics

In one sense, agon meant a contest or a competition in athletics, for example, the Olympic Games (Ὀλυμπιακοὶ Ἀγῶνες). Agon was also a mythological personification of the contests listed above.[1] This god was represented in a statue at Olympia with halteres (dumbbells) (ἁλτῆρες) in his hands. This statue was a work of Dionysius, and dedicated by Micythus of Rhegium.[2]

Religion

Agon also referred to a challenge that was held in connection with religious festivals.[3] With a further religious meaning as used in 1 Timothy 6:12 in the New Testament and defined by Strong's Concordance as, agón: a gathering, contest, struggle; as an (athletic) contest; hence, a struggle (in the soul).[4]

Theater

In Ancient Greek drama, particularly Old Comedy (fifth century B.C.),[5] agon refers to a contest or debate between two characters - the protagonist and the antagonist - in the highly structured Classical tragedies and dramas. The agon could also develop between an actor and the choir or between two actors with half of the chorus supporting each. Through the argument of opposing principles, the agon in these performances resembled the dialectic dialogues of Plato.[6] 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.

Dance

In 1948, Lincoln Kirstein posed the idea of a ballet that would later become known as Agon. After ten years of work before Agon's premiere, it became the final ballet in a series of collaborations between choreographer George Balanchine and composer Igor Stravinsky.[7] Balanchine referred to this ballet as "the most perfect work" to come out of the collaboration between Stravinsky and himself.[8]

Literature

Harold Bloom in The Western Canon uses the term agon to refer to the attempt by a writer to resolve an intellectual conflict between his ideas and the ideas of an influential predecessor in which "the larger swallows the smaller", such as in chapter 18, Joyce's agon with Shakespeare.

In "Man, Play, and Games" Roger Caillois uses the term Agon to define games of competitive nature.

Sociopolitical theory

In sociopolitical theory, agon can refer to the idea that the clash of opposing forces necessarily results in growth and progress.[9]

Derivatives

Words derived from agon include agony, agonism, antagonism, and protagonist.

References

  1. ^ Schmitz, Leonhard (1867). "Agon". In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 74{{inconsistent citations}}
  2. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, book V (Elis), v. 26. § 3
  3. ^ Trapido (1949)
  4. ^ Strong's Concordance
  5. ^ Humphreys, Milton W. (1887). "The Agon of the Old Comedy". The American Journal of Philology. 8 (2): 179–206. doi:10.2307/287385. JSTOR 287385.
  6. ^ ["agon." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.]
  7. ^ Alm, Irene (April 1989). "Stravinsky, Balanchine, and Agon: An Analysis Based on the Collaborative Process". The Journal of Musicology. 7 (2): 254–269. doi:10.2307/763771.
  8. ^ Jordan, Stephanie (Autumn 1993). "Agon: A Musical/Choreographic Analysis". Dance Research Journal. 25 (2): 1–12. doi:10.2307/1478549.
  9. ^ Colaguori 2012

Other sources

This page was last edited on 27 November 2018, at 04:42
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