Presentation on theme: "Δρᾶμα Drama: from Greek words meaning "to do" or "to act.""— Presentation transcript:
1δρᾶμαDrama: from Greek wordsmeaning "to do" or "to act."
2Greek TheaterBegan as part of a religious ritual and gradually progressed into a dramatic form that included music, masks, costumes and actorsTheater was used as part of religious services to celebrate and honor the gods, especially Dionysus and Zeusfor the purpose of ethical and moral improvement of the spectators and to ensure the spiritual survival of the communitySpring festivals were important; people wanted to celebrate the fact that what had been dead was now coming to life
3TragedyBased on significant worldly things such as love, loss, pride, the abuse of power, a search for meaning or stories about ‘gods and men.’Tragic HeroMacbeth, Oedipus, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, John Proctor (we’ll meet him soon in The Crucible), Winston Smith (remember him?), Odysseus, Antigone, Othello. . . Bill Clinton? Tiger Woods? Jesse James?
4Tragic Hero The hero is flawed with one or more weaknesses. Hubris: Greek word for excessive pride or arroganceHumartia: Greek word for error in judgment, especially resulting from a defect in the character of a tragic hero; the tragic flawThroughout the drama, the hero struggles to achieve his objectives, which involves overcoming obstacles placed in his path.The hero is normally defeated and as a result of this, the play ends in unfortunate circumstances.
5Tragedy - EtymologySacrifice a goat - prayer for fertility, pour blood on the landgoat = tragos in Greektragedy comes from the word “song of the goat”tragedy begins to stand for serious songPeople drank the blood of the goat in order to become fertilelater they drank wine
6Introducing the God of Drama: DIONYSUS! Dionysus, also commonly known by his Roman name Bacchus, was the god of wine, agriculture, and fertility. He is also the patron god of the Greek stage.
7Festival of DionysusThe people of Athens held an annual week-long fertility festival in March devoted to the god Dionysusmen would dress up in rough goat skins (goats were thought to be sexually potent)men gorged themselves on winethey strutted about, sang and chanted to welcome Dionysusone simple rule:you had to be drunk
8Festival of DionysusBegan as random, frenzied improvisations of song and dance (remember the week-long wine fest)These religious rites were eventually written down in verse formlater took on a more structured formatThis is how the art of the ‘play’ was formed.People sat on hillsides to watch; seats were eventually built
10Greek DramatistsDrama was highly respected because it was part of religion.Authors were high-ranking citizens.
11Greek Dramatists Thespis Father of drama (6th c. BC) introduced first actor (which makes dialogue!)before Thespis, Greek theatre was performed entirely by a chorusprotagonistThespis was the first performer to step away from the chorus and deliver lines to them, introducing the concept of dialogue.he is also credited with inventing the theatrical mask.And the winner is Thespis the only actor in the play!
12How’d he do it?Thespis amazed the audience by leaping on the back of a wooden cart and reciting poetry.Last tidbit:It is his name with which the dramatic arts are associated in the word "Thespian".
13Greek Dramatists Aeschylus (525-426 BC) added second actorantagonistwrote trilogies on unified themesLegend has it that Aeschylus met his death when a Gypaetus barbatus mistook his bald head for a rock and dropped a tortoise on it.
14Greek Dramatists Sophocles (496 – 406 BC) added third actor fixed number of chorus to 15introduced painted scenerymade each play in the trilogy separate in naturehis plays are more about the relation between humans rather than between humans and gods
15In 468 BC Sophocles defeated Aeschylus the great tragic poet in a dramatic competition.
16Greek Dramatists Euripides (486 – 406 BC) reduced participation of chorus in main actionhis plays include ordinary people ie: women and slaveshe showed the reality of war and he criticized religionrelied on heavy prologues and “deux ex machina” endingsHis plays are more exuberant than those of Sophocles and Aeschylus; often, he has the heroes and heroines face difficult choices, which are finally solved by the sudden appearance of a god (deus ex machina).The homely one
17Structure of the Greek Theater Skene -- wooden building with three doors through which actors made their entrances and exitsTheatron -- “seeing place” where audience satOrchestra -- circular dancing place of the chorus; where performance is heldParados -- chorus marching in from the left or rightThymele -- altar to Dionysus on which sacrifices were made, and which was sometimes used as a stage propProscenium -- level area in front of the skene on which most of the plays action took place
21Tragedy Usually followed a formula set down by Aristotle demanded that tragedy must be formal and of great moral significance for the Greek peopleConflict was an essential ingredientAristotle saw tragedy in drama as a benefit to societyby the end of a play the audience would have been made to release a whole range of healthy human emotionscleansing experience
22Tragedy serves the purpose of catharsis – purging the soul of fear and pity. - Aristotle
23MECHANICS OF GREEK DRAMA (items in pink are also limitations of the theater) Scenes of the drama were always outdoorsno lightingThere was no violence on stageThere was “unity” in plotAction – simple plotTime – single dayPlace – one scene throughoutThere were no curtains or intermissions.Continuous presence of chorus “on stage”Messengertells news happening away from scenereports acts of violence not allowed to be seen
24Structure of Greek Tragedies Prologue-- opening scene (introduction)Parados – entrance of chorusFirst, second, third and fourth episode episode -- act or sceneChoral odes (end of each episode)Exodos -- final action of the play (recessional of chorus)
25Structure of Greek Tragedies Choral ode -- lyric sung by the chorus which develops the importance of the actionStrophe (in Greek means turn)-- a turning, right to left, by chorusAntistrophe (in Greek means turn back)-- a turning, left to right, by chorusSophocles may have split them into two groups, so that it was as if one part of the Chorus was conversing with the otherPerhaps this represents the endless irresolvable debates for which Greek tragedy is famous???Epode -- the part of a lyric ode following the strophe and antistrophe
26Parts of a Greek Tragedy Contest (Conflict between main characters)Sacrificial deathMessenger’s speechLamentationRecognition sceneCelebration of the gods
27ACTORSActor and dramatist originally the same – playwright took leading roleRemember Thespis?All maleCostumes and masksLong, flowing robes – colored symbolicallyHigh boots, often with raised solesLarger than life masksMade of linen, wood, corkIdentified age, gender, emotionExaggerated features – large eyes, open mouth
28Chorus Function Choragos Sets overall mood and expresses theme Adds beauty (theatrical effectiveness) through song and danceGives background informationDivides action – breaks play into scenesUsually fifteen membersAdds color, movement, spectacleOffers reflections on eventsChoragosChorus leaderQuestions, advises, expresses opinion