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A History of Greek Theatre With some random historical facts thrown in.

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Presentation on theme: "A History of Greek Theatre With some random historical facts thrown in."— Presentation transcript:

1 A History of Greek Theatre With some random historical facts thrown in

2 Theatre of Dionysus, Athens 2010

3 The Battle of Marathon In the year 490 B.C., the Athenians defeated an overwhelming force of Persians at the Battle of Marathon The result of this upset was one of the largest flowerings of creativity the world has ever seen Interesting fact: a Greek runner ran about 26 miles to carry the news to Athens

4 The Golden Age of Greece After the Battle of Marathon, Greece enters a Golden Age during the 5 th century B.C. Athens, Corinth, Sparta, Argos are the citystates Greece forms a democratic government Every male citizen has the right to vote; however, women and slaves are not considered citizens A woman is considered the property of her husband

5 Greek Drama and Religious Worship Drama begins as a form of religious worship of the Greek god Dionysus Earliest forms of worship included religious chants and songs performed by the chorus The chorus would walk back and forth on the stage chanting religious hymns Tradition states that Thespis, a choral leader, stepped out of a chorus and spoke to the chorus; thus he is known as the first actor This is where we get the word for an actor, “thespian”

6 Dionysus Dionysus is the god of wine and vegetation He was worshipped by the Maenads or Bacchantes female devotees who roamed the wilderness is ecstatic devotion to him Dionysus was believed to die each winter and was reborn in the spring The cyclical revival, accompanied by the renewal of the fruits of the earth, embodied the promise of ressurection

7 Dionysian Festival The Greater Dionysia was held for 5 days during the spring Each writer would present 3 tragedies and a satyr play A satyr play is a farcical and bawdy parody of the gods and their myths 15,000 people would watch the plays and vote for their favorite by casting stone ballots Winners would receive a laurel wreath

8 The Greek Theatre Theatres were built into hillsides The Greek actors were all men The actors wore larger than life masks, which indicated the nature of the character If a character was happy, the mask would have a smile, etc. Each mask also contained a megaphone so the voice would project

9 Sophocles, 496 B.C B.C. Sophocles was one of the three great dramatists of Athens He was the most successful playwright at the greater Dionysia, winning at least 20 times Of the 100 plays he wrote, only 7 survive today Oedipus Rex and Antigone are 2 of his most acclaimed plays His plays often deal with the pain and suffering caused when a person defies divine will

10 Aristotle and Greek Drama Aristotle was the first literary critic and thinker He defines a tragic hero as one who comes from nobility, has a tragic flaw, has a great fall (a reversal of fortune), has recognition His 6 elements of drama are: 1.Plot 2.Character 3.Theme 4.Music 5.Spectacle (scenery and visual elements) 6.Diction/language (dialogue and poetry)

11 Aristotle’s Play Structure Inciting moment Rising action Climax Falling action Denouement/resolution Today this is also known as Freytag’s Pyramid


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