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Introduction To Greek Theatre and Tragedy. Genre: Greek Tragedy the word "tragedy" refers to drama Drama is a piece of writing written to be performed.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction To Greek Theatre and Tragedy. Genre: Greek Tragedy the word "tragedy" refers to drama Drama is a piece of writing written to be performed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction To Greek Theatre and Tragedy

2 Genre: Greek Tragedy the word "tragedy" refers to drama Drama is a piece of writing written to be performed by actors In a tragedy, the main character (who is called a tragic hero) suffers some serious misfortune which connected with the hero's actions. So basically, the tragic hero has some flaw that causes some bad things to happen to him!! Tragedy in Greece pushes the idea that humans are fragile and that the gods can be cruel. Even if we are bad they punish us worse than we deserve. Comedy was not invented until later on in Greek drama

3 The Acropolis: The Ancient Temple of Worship

4 The Parthenon The Parthenon is a temple of the Greek goddess Athena built in the 5th century BC on the Acropolis of Athens. It is the most important surviving building of Classical Greece. Its decorative sculptures are considered one of the high points of Greek art. The Parthenon is regarded as an enduring symbol of ancient Greece and of Athenian democracy, and is one of the world's greatest cultural monuments.Greek goddessAthenaAcropolis of AthensClassical GreeceGreek artAthenian democracy

5 Theatre of Dionysus



8 Orchestra: The orchestra (literally, "dancing space") was normally circular. It was a level space where the chorus would dance, sing, and interact with the actors who were on the stage near the skene. T he center of the orchestra was a sacrificial altar. Theatron: The theatron (literally, "viewing-place") is where the spectators sat. The theatron was usually part of hillside overlooking the orchestra, and often wrapped around a large portion of the orchestra (see the diagram above).

9 Skene: The skene (literally, "tent") was the building directly behind the stage. The skene was directly in back of the stage, and was usually decorated as a palace, temple, or other building, depending on the needs of the play. It had at least one set of doors, and actors could make entrances and exits through them. There was also access to the roof of the skene from behind, so that actors playing gods and other characters could appear on the roof, if needed. Parodos: The parodoi (literally, "passageways") are the paths by which the chorus and some actors (such as those representing messengers or people returning from abroad) made their entrances and exits. The audience also used them to enter and exit the theater before and after the performance.

10 Side by Side It has been estimated that the Theater of Dionysus in the late fourth century could hold up to 17,000 spectators!

11 Greek Masks The Reasons the Greeks used big masks were to:  Show different emotions: They would were a happy one, sad one, angry one…  Make their voices louder (the mouthpiece was like a microphone)  Since there weren't a lot of actors, they could play multiple parts by using different masks

12 Attire The Chiton Chotharnus- elevating shoes Chalmys- short cloak Himation- long cloak

13 Qualities of Greek Drama oPerformed on special occasions or festivals for worshipping Dionysus oCompetitive- prizes awarded (maybe a goat!) oChoral-singing was very important, Greek Theatre evolved from a chorus singing oClosely associated with religion and worshipping gods. oThey also thought that having emotions like crying or laughing was good for your soul and they believed it was a kind of medicine!

14 Structure of Greek Drama and Sophocles’ Plays Here are a few FACTS ABOUT Greek Drama:  All of violence and Death was Offstage. Instead they used frequent use of messengers to relate information §It usually had only one setting §Most of the stories were based on myth or history, but varied interpretations of both Sophocles was a famous Play writer: Here are some characteristics of a Sophocles’ play: §Emphasis on individual characters §Reduced role of the Chorus §Complex characters, psychological well-motivated §Characters subjected to crisis which leads to suffering and self-recognition §Common Theme: The choices people make and consequences

15 The Greek Chorus The Chorus began in numbers as large as 50, then smaller sizes as actors become more predominate. They provided time for scene changes, introduced background and summary information. Their dance and chanting provided the visionary experience that separated audience from the actor and the essence of tragedy. §Ideal spectator: reacts as the audience should. Asks questions, takes part in the play §Establishes framework, sets the standard by which action will be judged §Heightens dramatic effect through movement, song and dance §Rhythmical Function- pauses/paces the action so audience can reflect and actors can rest/prepare

16 So What does all this mean? Big Theatre Big Characters Big Emotions Big Consequences for the tragic hero!

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