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Ancient Greek Theatre UNIT 2 Name___________
How did theatre begin? • Dithyrambs – poems, chants, or hymns sung at festivals to worship the god, Dionysus. • Dionysus is the god of fertility, festivities, and wine. • He is the patron of the arts and inspires creativity. • The dithyrambs at the festivals that worshiped Dionysus were the origins of theatre.
Parts of the Greek Theater • Orchestra – “dancing space” where the actors would perform. • Theatron – “viewing place” where the audience would watch the performances. • Skene – “tent” the background scenery and a place to store costumes and props. • Parados – “passageways” where actors and audience members would enter/exit.
Ancient Greek Theater Diagram The first Greek theater was called “Theatre of Dionysus”
Greek Tragedies • Protagonist, the leading character, makes huge mistake and the world crumbles around him/her. • Ends in death of protagonist. • Tragic Flaw – a fatal flaw that is the cause of the downfall of the hero/heroine
Greek Comedies • A “happy idea” is put forth by one of the characters. • This idea is put into application. • Situations are exaggerated. • Typically about low class citizens. • Satyr plays – made fun of politics, based in Greek mythology, and had a chorus of satyrs.
Greek Theatre Festivals • “City Dionysia” – the main festival of entertainment to honor Dionysus. • Typically 3 tragedies and 1 comedy/satyr in one day. • Festival lasted several days during March/April time period. • The festival would be judged for the best playwright/plays.
Greek Actors • Thespis – the first person ever to appear on stage as an actor playing a character in a play. (This is where the word “thespian”, meaning actor, comes from. ) • No women actors. • 3 actors would play all the main roles. • Actors used masks to distinguish between the characters being played.
The Greek Chorus Duties of the Chorus • Narrated the story • Sang and danced • Commented on the play’s action • Represented the public https: //youtu. be/a. SRLK 7 S ogv. E
Greek Playwrights Aeschylus • Father of tragedy • Increased the number of characters in plays. • First to present plays in a trilogy. Sophocles • Most popular playwright and won most competitions. • Developed characters in depth. • Lessened the importance of the Chorus. Euripedes • Shows sympathy to all members of society, including women. • Unpopular at festivals. • Displayed heros as ordinary people.