Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Greek Drama. The Festival of Dionysus Dionysus: God of wine, agriculture, fertility of nature. Festival held in late March through April,"— Presentation transcript:
Introduction to Greek Drama
The Festival of Dionysus Dionysus: God of wine, agriculture, fertility of nature. Festival held in late March through April, a weeklong festival where they sacrificed bulls, performed plays (both tragedies and comedies) as competition. All Greeks would celebrate the God Dionysus
Evolution of Plays from Festival of Dionysus Members of the Dionysiac cult always told of the myths centered around their god by singing and dancing out their stories together as a chorus. In 6 th Century B.C., Thespis (a Dionysian priest) stepped out of the chorus as the first actor. He used spoken dialogue rather than song. Thespis considered the first actor…hence the term thespian (of or relating to drama; dramatic)
Function of a Greek Chorus offered a variety of background and summary information to help the audience follow the performance. comments on themes, shows how an ideal audience might react to the drama. represents, on stage, the general population of the particular story, in sharp contrast with many of the themes of the ancient Greek plays which tended to be about individual heroes, gods, and goddesses. chorus expressed to the audience what the main characters could not say, such as their hidden fears or secrets. chorus often provided other characters with the insight they needed.
Greek Theatre Skene (SKAY-nay) built directly behind the stage Used to store or quickly change into costumes or change scene Decorated to fit the needs of the play (i.e. palace, temple, etc) Death of character took place behind the skene Logeion (LOH-gay-on) Greek “speaking place” Orchestra Greek “dancing place” Space between the audience and the stage Primary Chorus performance space
Trap doors allowed characters to appear and disappear rapidly. Cranes lifted characters for flying effects. Wagons used to bring dead characters into view. Masks were used to indicate a change of character, the character’s emotion, and to project the actor’s voice. Seating was by social class. Members of the council were closest. Royalty or priests got the front row. The rest was general seating.
Types of Plays A glimpse of ancient Greeks: Rumors, Beliefs, Myths Comedies Written by Aristophanes and Menander, among others Included highly vulgar language, death, sex, etc. Followed a plot line like a sitcom does Generally had happy endings Satirized people in good fun Tragedies Written by Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus Followed the Path of the Hero Endings typically included a twist