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Greek Theatre

Humanities I Mrs. Cave-Mattie

They felt that by imitating the intended act.  Can you think of how individuals in today’s society might do the same thing? Are religious plays performed in our society? (―History of Theatre‖) . fishing.).The Roots of Drama Ancient Rituals (Google Images)       Drama is a Greek word meaning ―to do‖ or ―to act‖. etc. The earliest forms of civilization acted out activities that were important to them before engaging in them. Many plays were performed by these people to teach the young boys about the rituals they would soon partake in (hunting. war.   Since most people were not able to read. They believed that this form of drama would grant them success in meeting their real needs. It has been built on traditions that are up to 2500 years old. Drama is rooted in sacred ritual. they would increase their chances of success in the act. religious plays were performed to teach important religious beliefs that the particular culture held in highest esteem.

 Isn’t it interesting how although so much has changed.  Today’s drama is the direct descendant of primitive ritual.Ancient Festival (Theater Animations) Many cultures made use of choral hymns and dances in their worship. teaching ceremony and ancient festival. so much has also remained the same?   Do you think this will be true 100 years from now? (―History of Theatre‖) .  Classical forms of tragedy and comedy are said to have sprung from these folk celebrations. This practice parallels what we commonly see in musicals that are performed in today’s society.

(―History of Theatre‖) Statues of Greek actors (Google Images) . Tragedy competitions were held in Athens each spring between many playwrights. By the 5th century. and the dancers became known as the ―chorus‖. The legacy of Greek Theatre has never been surpassed—even to this day. a man named Thespis of Attica ―invented‖ acting by designating one member of the chorus to stand out from the chorus and respond to them. During these celebrations. This chanting evolved into Greek Tragedy. Dionysus. This is why actors are often called Thespians. Greek drama has its roots in Greek religion. Celebrations were held in honor of the god of wine and fertility. dancers would chant around the altar. BC. or Golden Age of Greece (500-400 BC) brought about the greatest tragedies of all time.Greek Theatre       The Classic.

Usually a messenger or other character would enter and tell about the murder.Greek Theatre   Special practices of drama are called conventions and are based upon the traditions and customs of that particular time period. the skill of the actor’s presentations. (―History of Theatre‖) . suicide. taking away even more of the realism we expect today  Rule: ALL VIOLENCE MUST TAKE PLACE OFFSTAGE. This allowed the audience to concentrate on appreciating the poetry of the speeches. The audience usually knew in advance how each play would end. or whatever had happened. rather than quick exchanges of dialogue  Speeches were delivered more to the audience than other characters. and movements of the chorus. Greek Conventions:  Chorus  Plays were performed outdoors  Acting area was called the orchestra The Greek Chorus  Theatres sat up to 17. costumes.  Masks were constructed so that the mouthpiece amplified the actor’s voice  Plays were based on myths and legends that the audience already knew about. and the spectacle of masks. Acts of violence must be out of sight by the audience.000 people  Actors wore thick shoes to appear taller (Google Images)  Only three actors played all major roles  Long speeches were the rule.

 Emphasized psychological motivation and social consciousness  Appealed to the emotions by including in his plays a look at the small details of the daily lives of his characters Aeschylus wrote about gods. with emphasis on the inevitability of suffering. Sophocles wrote about heroes. most modern.Greek Playwrights  Aeschylus (525-456 BC)     Often called the Father of Tragedy Plays dealt with the interaction between gods and men. and least popular of the three great writers of tragedy.  Known for his Orestia trilogy Sophocles (496-406 BC)  Responsible for the addition of the third actor on stage  He wrote over one hundred plays  He won the City Dionysia prize 18 times  Only seven of this plays have survived Sophocles  Known for Oedipus Rex (Google Images) Euripedes (480-406 BC)  Youngest. and Euripedes wrote about men. (―History of Theatre‖) .

(―History of Theatre‖) Aristophanes (Google Images) . and young lovers—types who have been standards in the comic theatre ever since.Greek Playwrights  Aristophanes (448–380 BC)   The eleven surviving plays are the only examples we have of what is called ―Old Comedy‖. Menander (342-291 BC)  He is known for ―New Comedy‖.  The only surviving work of this style was written by Menander  He wrote comedies dealing with daily life and domestic situations  His plays featured characters such as clever servants.  He was not above having the gods come out second best in plays.  Wrote very funny and popular social satire  He poked fun at public figures such as Socrates and Euripedes. protective fathers.