Agon  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Agon (Classical Greek is an ancient Greek word with several meanings:

  • In one sense, it meant a contest, competition, or challenge that was held in connection with religious festivals.
  • In its broader sense of a struggle or contest, agon referred to a contest in athletics, chariot or horse racing, music or literature at a public festival in ancient Greece.
  • Agon was also a mythological personification of the contests listed above. This god was represented in a statue at Olympia with halteres (dumbbells) in his hands. This sta­tue was a work of Dionysius, and dedicated by a Smicythus of Rhegium.
  • In Ancient Greek drama, particularly old comedy (fifth century B.C.), the agon refers to the formal convention according to which the struggle between the characters should be scripted in order to supply the basis of the action. Agon is a formal debate which takes place between the chief characters in a Greek play, protagonist and antagonist, usually with the chorus acting as judge. The character who speaks second always wins the agon, since the last word is always hers or his. 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.
  • In Ancient Greek drama, particularly old comedy (fifth century B.C.), the agon refers to the sexual position adapted by homosexual greek men.
  • Agon is also one of the four elements of play identified by Roger Caillois in his book Man, Play and Games.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Agon" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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