The types of plays performed were: Tragedies Comedies
Medea is one of the greek tragedies by Euripides. The Medea tells the story of the jealousy and revenge of a woman betrayed by her husband. Medea was the daughter of King Aeetes of Colchis, who helped Jason obtain the Golden Fleece. Medea fell in love with Jason and agreed to use her magic to help him, in return for Jason's promise to marry her. There Medea bore Jason two children before Jason forsook her in order to marry the daughter of Creon, the king of Corinth. Medea got revenge for Jason's desertion by killing the new bride with a poisoned robe and crown which burned the flesh from her body; King Creon died as well when he tried to embrace his dying daughter. Medea fled Corinth in a chariot, drawn by winged dragons, which belonged to her grandfather Helios. She took with her the bodies of her two children, whom she had murdered in order to give Jason further pain. Medea then took refuge with Aegeus, the old king of Athens, having promised him that she would use her magic to enable him to have more children. She married Aegeus and bore him a son, Medus. But Aegeus had another son, Theseus. When Theseus returned to Athens, Medea tried to trick her husband into poisoning him. She was unsuccessful, and had to flee Athens, taking Medus with her. After leaving Athens, Medus became king of the country which was later called Media.
Oedipus was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. Oedipus was the son of Laius and Jocasta. At his birth it was prophesized that he would murder his father and marry his mother. To avoid this calamity, the child was given to a herdsman who was told to kill him. The herdsman, out of pity and yet fearing to disobey, instead abandoned the child, tying him by his feet and hanging him from a tree-branch (which caused him permanently to have swollen feet - hence Oedipus which translates to "swollen foot"). The child Oedipus was found by a peasant who took him to his master, the king of Corinth, Polybus, who adopted him as his own son. Many years later Oedipus was traveling by horse to Thebes. At a crossroads he met a chariot, which in fact had his true father riding in it. A dispute arose between Oedipus and the driver, and the outcome was that Oedipus killed Laius. Continuing on the way to Thebes, Oedipus encountered the Sphinx, who stopped any traveler and asked him a riddle that no- one had yet been able to solve. If the traveler failed, he was eaten by the Sphinx. Oedipus solved the riddle, and the Sphinx instead perished. The gratitude of the Thebans led to them appointing Oedipus their king. Oedipus then married the widow Jocasta, who unbeknown to anyone was also his mother, by whom he then had four children. Soon after, on account of these happenings, a plague struck the city of Thebes. No soothsayer could find the reason. He then found the very same herdsman who had left Oedipus to die as a baby. From that peasant Oedipus learned that his nominal father was not his true father, who was Laius. Thus, at the crossroads at which he had killed Laius, he had killed his own father; and then he had married his own mother Jocasta. At this realization, Jocasta killed herself, and Oedipus blinded himself. The Thebans then drove Oedipus out of the city, and his daughter Antigone acted as his guide as he wandered blindly though the country, ultimately dying at Colonus, after being placed under the protection of Athens by Theseus, its king. His two sons Eteocles and Polynices arranged to share the kingdom, each to take an alternating one-year reign. But Eteocles refused to give up his kingship after his year was up. Polynices then brought in an army, a battle ensued, and at the end of the battle the brothers killed each other. Jocasta's brother Creon then took the throne. He made the decision that Polynices was the "traitor," and should not be buried. Antigone did attempt to bury her brother, and Creon was ultimately forced to have her killed - leading to tragedy for all of Creon's family
Antigone is chronologically the third part of the Oedipus Rex Trilogy which tells the story of Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus, after her father's death. The story opens at the end of a battle between Antigone's brothers, Eteocles and Polyneices, for control of Thebes. Both brothers died in the battle, but Creon, the new king of Thebes, has declared that while Eteocles should be buried with honors Polyneices body should be left unburied. This is a severe punishment for Polyneices since the Greeks believed that one could not go to the afterlife unless one's body was properly buried. Since she loves both of her brothers, Antigone decides to bury Polyneices in spite of Creon's order and tries to enlist her sister, Ismene, in the task. Ismene refuses to break Creon's law. Antigone says the law of the Gods is more important than mortal man's law. It is ironic that just as Antigone is burying her brother, Creon comes on stage declaring that anyone caught doing so will be put to death. When Antigone is caught burying her brother, she makes no apology, declaring that she is only doing what is right. Creon is a proud man and no amount of convincing will make him change his mind. The plot thickens as it comes out that Creon's son Haemon is engaged to marry Antigone. He tries to use reason to convince his father that killing Antigone for burying her brother will make him unpopular and hurt his rule. Creon accuses his son of disloyalty and sends Antigone to be locked in a cave with only limited food and water thus sending her to her death. Finally, Teiresias, the blind prophet who foretold the tragedy of Oedipus, arrives and manages to convince Creon to change his mind by foretelling of the deaths that will come from this Creon's action, but it is too late. When they get to the cave, Antigone is already dead, a suicide. Haemon also commits suicide and upon learning of her son's death, Eurydice, wife to Creon, follows her son's example. Creon is left with nothing but his kingship He had put his pride and his power ahead of his family and angered the gods. Although he kept his kingship it was poor consolation for losing both his son and his wife.
Through singing and dancing, the people of the Dionysian cult would tell stories. One day Thespis, a man singing in the chorus, stepped out of the group and took the role of a character. He became the first actor and the first playwright.
Those in the orchestra were the followers, most commonly known as the chorus. They sang, or sometimes said, basic information. They were the narrators of the play.
Aeschylus He was a Greek dramatist, the earliest of the city's great tragic poets. Euripides Euripides was the youngest of the three principal fifth-century tragic poets. His work, which was quite popular in his own time, exerted great influence on Roman drama. Sophocles he was to become one of the great playwrights of the golden age.
Ancient Greek theatre was in, its basest form, a ritualistic celebration in honor of the cult of Dionysus, the god of wine, drama and fertility. Theatre took much of its original form from pre-extant choral dithyrambs (i.e., circular hymns & dance rituals performed by choruses often culminating in the sacrifice of a live animal; supposedly, a goat -- hence, the wordtragoidia, meaning "he-goat-song"), and as rooted also in the various arts of oration extant at that time, such as rhapsodic recitation of the Homeric epics.
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