Keywords: Theatre,Tragedia,Ethics,Classical,Modem


History of theatre telis us that classical playwrights have an ethical sensibility. İn the plays of classical authors human relationships and the moral values that determine the nature of those relationships have been examined. Greek tragedies are the plays in vvhich the validity of moral rules is questioned in a nevv and unexpected situation. In the tragedies of Aiskhylos and Sophocles the ideal moral values dominate the critical desicion of the hero. But in practice the hero's ecxusable fallacy becomes the cause of his final destruction. We think about the aim of the hero's desicion, the way he exercises it, the expected and unexpected result of his action and above ali, about the moral values that determined the hero's first critical desicion. On the other hand, in Shakespeare's tragedies, good and bad, right and wrong nourish from the same social environment. Avoidable and the unavoidable consequences of the hero's action are examined. On the other hand, in contemporary theatre we observe a general confusion of moral values. While the helpless individual of the plays of Anton Chekhov and Arthur Miller tries hard to preserve his integrity, his modem successor gives way to total inaction. İn the plays of Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter we experience an sense of despair and absurdity. Such a deep pessimism is presented in a way to make us think about the political and ecenomical system that created such a moral confusion and ethical destitution.