Presentation on theme: "Ancient Greece: The Start of it All"— Presentation transcript:
1Ancient Greece: The Start of it All History of the TheatreAncient Greece: The Start of it All
2Greek Drama Western drama began to develop in the 6th century to worship the god Dionysus,the god of wine and fertility.The first theatre consistedof a group of chanters(the chorus) dancing around asacrificial goat.Their song was called thetragos – where the word tragedycomes from.
3The First Dramatic Competitions Ceremonies honoring Dionysus evolved into contests.Legend states that Thespis won the first competition. History remembers him as the first actor.The term “thespian” has been given to actors ever since.
4The Festival of Dionysus Dramatic contests became part of a festival to honor Dionysus.These festivals lasted five or six days.Each playwright presented four plays: a tragic trilogy (three plays related by theme, myth, or characters) and a satyr (satirical, comic) play.
5The Theatre of Dionysus The first theatres began as circular or semicircular areas called orchestras, surrounded by a hillside on which the audience sat.Eventually, stone seats and a stone building called a skene were added.
6The SkeneThe skene (origin of our word “scene”) was where they built masks and costumes.Scenery was painted on the front.The roof was called the “god walk,” for actors playing gods.
7The MachinaThe Greeks used the machina, a crane- like hoist that allowed actors to “fly.”Usually characters lowered by the machina represented gods come to earth to solve the problems of man.From this comes the term “deus ex machina,” meaning “god from the machine.”This term is still used to refer to an artificial plot device introduced by an author late in a play to resolve difficulties. (Examples: Unexpected inheritance; long-lost letter, etc.)
8The Greek Chorus The chorus was a very important part of Greek plays. The chorus served to explain the situation and to comment on the action.The chorus also interacted with the actors.
9The Greek Chorus TodayThe Greek chorus is alive and well in theatre and film today!There are many modern examples, including:The Stage Manager in Our Town by Thorton WilderEl Gallo in the musical The FantasticksThe Muses in Disney’s animated HerculesAn actual chanting Greek chorus in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite
10Greek TragedyThe Greek tragedies, considered classics of Western literature, involve conflicts that come from the clash between the will of the gods and the ambitions and desires of humanity.They show us how to fight fate.
11The Great Writers of Greek Tragedy AeschylusNoted for the majesty of his writingWriter of the only surviving Greek trilogy, The OresteiaSophoclesRanked with Shakespeare as one of the great playwrights of all timeHis balance between the power of gods and the importance of humans created some of the strongest characters ever to walk on a stage.Wrote Oedipus Rex; Antigone; etc.
12The Great Writers of Greek Tragedy EuripidesEmphasized human relationships and became a master of pathos (mixture of sorrow and compassion)Wrote The Trojan Women; Medea; etc.
13The Great Writers of Greek Comedy AristophanesConsidered nothing sacredSkilled satirist“Old Comedy” style – wild comic fantasyWrote The Frogs; The Clouds; LysistradaMenander“Middle Comedy” style – everyday lifeWrote Dyskolos