عنوان مقاله [English]
‘Description’ as a dramatic element in the explanation of actions, events, objects, and special dramatic situations is an important technique in Greek tragedies. These plays base their plots, the hero's actions and speeches on description. Furthermore, description is the way in which the Greek playwrights announce to the audiences, the events of the background plot, pre story and in particular, the offstage events. One of the important kinds of characters who plays a significant role in Greek tragedies is the "anonymous character". Anonymous Character is usually a name for some kind of sub- character who is commonly named with general titles, not with a specific name, such as spade, educator, and nurse.
In Greek tragedies, the weight of the drama is based on narrative. Greek playwrights create their plays on the basis of famous stories and adapt the characters into their plays. In this regard, it is notable that there are many characters who are not the main characters and they are so called sub characters. It is important to notice that these characters have a close relationship with the main characters, either the protagonist or the antagonist.
The function of these sub-characters has a significant part of developing the plot and it is interesting to notice how they can inform the audience about anything that has occurred on and offstage. Usually, they have an insight into the events and about the pre-story of the drama and the background of the story. These anonymous characters serve to observe many facts about the plot of plays. Since the definition of ‘description’ is a statement that gives details about someone or something; descriptions of anonymous characters also include geographical and historical context of the play. In ancient Greece, playwrights wrote hundreds of plays. But only thirty -one plays have survived that we know of and interestingly most of them have anonymous characters. Their dialogues guide us to search about the settings of the plays and reveal the biography of main characters as well as reveal their aspirations.
The purpose of this study is to explore the ways selected tragedies written by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides have moved the plot foreward by descriptive speech of "anonymous characters",. This study focuses on how and by which patterns the "anonymous characters" assist to create the dramatic narrative of tragedy based on Greek mythology. The present research uses a descriptive-analytical method and by classifying different types of descriptions in the anonymous characters’ dialogs. This study concludes that anonymous characters, although they have a sub - role in tragedies, have an important part in developing the dramatic narratives. Their inclusion in the play includes a wide range of functions, such as encouraging the hero to action, or giving news of the death of main characters or revealing important secrets. These functions are classified in the conclusion section tables of the article. This study can be a useful guide for further studies and research on old and modern plays with a focus on anonymous characters and their functions.