Presentation on theme: "The Golden Age of Ancient Greek Theatre"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Golden Age of Ancient Greek Theatre the origins of drama
2 The Origins Of DramaThe Dances Celebrating Dionysus soon evolved into dramas (or, plays).The story goes: Thespis, a popular writer of Songs, is said to have invented drama when he asked one “performer” to stand outside the chorus to engage in some “call and response.”
3 Word OriginThe modern word “thespian,” meaning actor, comes from the name Thespis.
4 The ChorusBecause of the Musical origins of Greek drama, the plays featured Choruses.The chorus danced and either sung or chanted their lines.
5 Functions of the chorus an agent: gives advice, asks, takes partestablishes ethical framework, sets up standard by which action will be judgedideal spectator - reacts as playwright hopes audience wouldsets mood and heightens dramatic effectsadds movement, spectacle, song, and dancerhythmical function - pauses / paces the action so that the audience can reflect.
6 Word OriginThe modern word “drama” comes from the Greek word dran meaning "to do”The Greeks understood the role of action in plays.
7 The Theatre of Dionysus The first plays were performed in the Theatre of Dionysus, built in the shadow of the Acropolis in Athens at the beginning of the 5th century,These theatres proved to be so popular they soon spread all over Greece.
8 Amphitheatres Plays were performed outdoors. The side of the mountain was scooped out into a bowl shape, something like our amphitheatres today, and tiers of stone seats in semi-circles were built on the hill.These theatres often seated as many as 20,000 spectators, with a special first row being reserved for dignitaries.
10 TheatronThe 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.
11 Word OriginThe modern word “theater” comes from the Greek word theatron meaning "seeing place"
12 Orchestra The orchestra (literally, "dancing space") was normally circular. It wasa level spacewhere the choruswould dance, sing,and interact withthe actors who were on the stage (called the Proskenion) in front of the skene. In the center of the orchestra there was often an altar.
13 SkeneThe skene (literally, "tent") was the building 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.
14 ParadosThe 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.
15 The ActorsAll of the actors were men. Women were not allowed to participate.The actors played multiple roles, so a wooden, cork, or linen mask was used to show the change in character or mood.
16 StagingAll killing had to occur off stage and be reported to the audience by the chorus or a messenger.The deus-ex-machina was a crane-like device occasionally used for lowering in a god to assist the protagonist in neatly solving his problems.
17 The City Dionysia Festival In the sixth century BC, the Athenian ruler, Pisistratus, established the 'City Dionysia', a festival of entertainment held in honor of the god Dionysus.This festival featured competitions in music, singing, dance and poetry.Playwrights presented a series of three tragedies, or a trilogy.Interspersed between the three plays in the trilogy were satyr plays
18 Communal Involvement The entire city would be in attendance. All other businesses not directly involved with the 6-day festival would shut down, so that everyone could attend.The government even offered financial assistance to those who could not afford to attend.
19 Types of Greek Drama Comedy Tragedy Satyr Comedy and tragedy were the most popular types of plays in ancient Greece. Hence, the modern popularity of the comedy and tragedy masks to symbolize theatre.
20 Word OriginThe word “comedy” comes from the Greek word “komos” which means “band of revelers.”
21 TragedyThe word tragedy came to be derived from the Greek tragos (goat) and ode (poem). Tragedy literally means goat song or goat poem.
22 Traits of Tragedy Late point of attack Violence and death occurred offstageFrequently used messengers to relate informationStories based on myth or history, but varied interpretations of eventsFocus was on psychological and ethical attributes of characters, rather than physical and sociological.
23 structure of a tragedyPrologue, which describes the situation and sets the sceneParados, an ode sung by the chorus as it made its entranceFive dramatic scenes, or episodes--the last of which is called the EpilogueEach episode is followed by a stasimon, a choral ode, an exchange of laments by the chorus and the protagonist. (This ode is sometimes called a komos.)Exodus, the climax and conclusion
24 Sophocles ( bc)His plays are more character-driven rather plays that heavily use the chorusHe is credited with adding a third characterHis works include: Oedipus Rex & Antigone
25 The Final CurtainBy the time of Sophocles' death in 406 BC the golden era of Greek drama was ending.Athens was overrun in 404 BC by the Spartans, and was later torn apart by constant warring with other city states, eventually falling under the dominion of Alexander the Great and his Macedonian armies.Theatre went on but did not return to the same creative heights until Elizabethan England two millennia later.