Ancient Greek Theatre and Drama

1648 WordsJul 17, 20187 Pages
Ancient Greece, the birthplace of theatre, continues to greatly influence theatre today. Drama is a form of poetry, because dialogue was spoken or sung in verses. Many Greek plays are still relevant today. Some plays survived on their merits, while others were preserved from academic interest or by accident (Peter Arnott). The Great Dionysia was an important yearly religious celebration and festival, honoring Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and fertility. The Great Dionysia is where theatre first began. Also, the actors of ancient Greek theatre were treated much differently than actors are today. They heavily impacted ancient theatre and shaped the way performers act today. Most actors performed in tragedies and comedies, the two main…show more content…
. “It was the ancient Greeks specifically, the Athenians of the 400s BCE, who perfected the two genres known as tragedy and comedy, which defined European theatre for centuries following” (Sacks, David). In Athens, in the sixth century, the role of comedy in theatre began to expand. Today, historians do not have a clear picture of the origins of Greek comedy. Oddly, some of what is known of comedy in Greece came through pottery. Exquisite clay pieces illustrated the impact comedy had on the world. The pottery was covered with beautiful designs and pictures. It was developed in various states around the country, but was most popular in Athens. Comedic plays were meant to be funny and riotous, just like they are today. This form of theatre often made fun of politicians, fellow artists, and philosophers. It also was an insight into Greek society. It provided details on the workings of politics, religion, education, and warfare during this time. During the sixth century BC, all popular comedies were written by Aristophanes. He was a playwright who competed in major Athenian festivals. This incredible man wrote forty plays, and eleven of those are still performed today. He is most famous for writing one of the most controversial pieces of literature to come from ancient Greece. It was called Lysistrata and was a humorous tale about a women who leads a female coalition to end the war in Greece. This was important in ancient Greece
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