Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lady Gaga: The Ancient Greek Playwright of the 21st Century

I was thinking about the ridiculous level of influence held by playwrights in Ancient Greece, so much that they were essentially politicians. As we see specifically in Medea, Euripides uses his plays to comment on social and political issues. Seriously, using plays to comment on and make changes regarding society and politics was absolutely brilliant. Even in the BC days people were obsessed entertainment and public (aka famous) figures. Plays to the Greeks were like Hollywood blockbusters to us and playwrights to the Greeks were like Oprah or Lady Gaga to us. Think what you may, but Lady Gaga has major influence over her millions (or billions?) of fans, and she uses her influence to comment on social issues like gay rights (Listen to "Born this Way" if you don't believe me).

Imagine you had Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader and a supporter of same-sex marriage, on one hand and Lady Gaga on the other. Harry is in a suit logically stating why there should be same-sex marriage. Lady G is dancing and singing in a bedazzled leotard about same-sex marriage. Which one would capture your attention?

Ancient Greece is no different. They would rather watch and learn from an entertaining play than listen to some guy in a stuffy toga.

6 comments:

Megan Hoolahan said...

Interesting analogy Brooke, I completely agree. It seams quite strange that in 431BCE Euripides was commenting on the female condition and how unfair it was that women had little to no rights yet we didn't allow women to vote and participate in government until the 20th century. It makes me wonder how long it will take until we allow same-sex marriage in every state. I also wonder how long it will take for women to receive equal rights throughout the world. At times, it's concerning how close-minded society can be.

Miranda Martinez said...

I love this analogy, and I totally agree with you. Euripides challenges the social standard of the Greeks through his playwrights. Art as a whole captures the interest of humanity more than a person preaching their beliefs. You have to interest them first, then deliver the message. I think people tend to respect those who do this (and even if they do not react right away) will have a changed perspective regardless of what they believe.

Samantha Gillen said...

Awesome! How did you think of this analogy? It makes more sense to me now. Sometimes when I think of historical societies I forget that they were actually people. As you pointed out, most people enjoy entertainment far more than plain, stuffy politics. In mixing the two you combine both education and fun, kind of like school house rock. Your analogy is better but I thought I would try :)

Kincy GIbson said...

Angela Merkel is the most powerful woman in the world. Michelle Obama is the 4th most powerful women in the world. Oprah WInfrey is the 13th, and Beyonce is the 17th most powerful. It is amazing to me that Beyonce is seventeenth most POWERFUL woman IN THE WORLD. Forbes survey doesn't rank the most influential women or the wealthiest, but the most POWERFUL. Beyonce is a self empowered woman who encourages young women to be independent and expect social equality like Euripides (to a certain extent).

Amy Clement said...

This analogy is just perfect. It's apparent just how influential the playwrights were in Greece. Just as their plays pushed certain messages, entertainment today not only reflects society norms, but also influences the audience. Some have very powerful messages such as sitcoms that portray gay families with the same normal attitude as straight ones. This helps people to see that families come in different shapes and sizes but still go through the same everyday life as others. Even mindless reality TV shows have an impact. I've read articles crediting 16 and Pregnant with helping to lower the rate of teen pregnancy.

Brooke M. Hathaway said...

Just LOLing at the fact that all the girls are like YES LADY GAGA, whereas Ian and Joey are probably like who's Lady Gaga?