The History Of Greek Theater


Theater and drama in Ancient Greece took form in about 5th century BCE,
with the Sopocles, the great writer of tragedy. In his plays and those of the
same genre, heroes and the ideals of life were depicted and glorified. It was
believed that man should live for honor and fame, his action was courageous and
glorious and his life would climax in a great and noble death.
Originally, the hero's recognition was created by selfish behaviors and
little thought of service to others. As the Greeks grew toward city-states and
colonization, it became the destiny and ambition of the hero to gain honor by
serving his city. The second major characteristic of the early Greek world was
the ...

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a pleasurable experience. Aristotle, by searching
the works of writers of Greek tragedy, Aeschulus, Euripides and Sophocles (whose
Oedipus Rex he considered the finest of all Greek tragedies), arrived at his
definition of tragedy. This explanation has a profound influence for more than
twenty centuries on those writing tragedies, most significantly Shakespeare.
Aristotle's analysis of tragedy began with a description of the effect such a
work had on the audience as a “catharsis” or purging of the emotions. He
decided that catharsis was the purging of two specific emotions, pity and fear.
The hero has made a mistake due to ignorance, not because of wickedness or
corruption. Aristotle used the word “hamartia”, which is the “tragic flaw” or
offense committed in ignorance. For example, Oedipus is ignorant of his true
parentage when he commits his fatal deed.
Oedipus Rex is one of the stories in a three-part myth called the
Thebian cycle. The structure of most all Greek tragedies is ...

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poet's names and the titles of
their plays. On this day it was likely that the image of Dionysus was taken in a
procession from his temple beside the theater to a point near the road he had
once taken to reach Athens from the north, then it was brought back by torch
light, amid a carnival celebration, to the theater itself, where his priest
occupied the central seat of honor during the performances. On the first day
of the festival there were contests between the choruses, five of men and five
of boys. Each chorus consisted of fifty men or boys. On the next three days, a “
tragic tetralogy” (group made up of four pieces, a trilogy followed by a satyric
drama) was performed each ...

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Added: 6/18/2004 07:22:13 PM
Category: Arts
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2432
Pages: 9

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