The Origins of Greek Theatre Essay

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Theater was born in Attica, an Ionic region of Greece. It originated from the ceremonial orgies of Dionysos but soon enough its fields of interest spread to various myths along with historic facts. As ancient drama was an institution of Democracy, the great tragic poets Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides as well as the comedian Aristophanes elevated public debate and political criticism to a level of aesthetic achievement. Euripides and the ethologist Menandros, in the thriving years of Alexandria and later on during the Roman domination, reached a beau ideal level and through the Romans managed to form Western Theater, from Renascence and thereafter.DRAMA FESTIVALSThe plays were presented at festivals in honor of Dionysus, including the…show more content…
Movement was apparently stately and formal, and the greatest emphasis was on the voice. Music accompanied the dances. An ancient Greek production was probably more akin to opera than to modern drama.In keeping with its religious function, the theater was state supported, admission was free or nominal to everyone, and actors were highly regarded. Working at the same time were the mimes - male and female popular entertainers who plied their trade wherever an audience would toss a few coins.THEMES OF PLAYSAs Greek culture spread in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great, the topical, literary comedies and philosophical tragedies became inappropriate, and domestic comedy - called Middle and New Comedy - proliferated. Only one complete New Comedy survives the Dyskolos (The Curmudgeon or The Misanthrope, 317 BC) by Menander. These plays are similar in plot and style to the situation comedies on television today. The plot hinges on a complication or situation revolving around love, family problems, money, or the like. The characters are stock - identifiable, simplified social types, such as a miserly father or a nagging mother-in-law.Greek tragedy flourished in the 5th century BC. Of the more than 1000 tragedies written during that century, only 31 remain, all by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.AESCHYLUSAeschylus lived between 525 BC and 456 BC.
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