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Roman and Medieval Drama Vocabulary Words Plautus Terence Seneca Closet play Liturgical drama Vernacular drama Mystery plays Miracle Plays Morality Plays.

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Presentation on theme: "Roman and Medieval Drama Vocabulary Words Plautus Terence Seneca Closet play Liturgical drama Vernacular drama Mystery plays Miracle Plays Morality Plays."— Presentation transcript:

1 Roman and Medieval Drama Vocabulary Words Plautus Terence Seneca Closet play Liturgical drama Vernacular drama Mystery plays Miracle Plays Morality Plays Mansion Pageant Wagon Cycle of plays

2 Evolution of Theatre - Roman Time period roughly 200 BC to 476 AD Romans conquered and assimilated cultures of surrounding areas Roman Theatre conventions were heavily based on Greek theatre conventions

3 Roman Plays - Comedy Comedy more popular than tragedy Comic playwrights - Plautus, Terence Characteristics of Roman Comedy: Chorus was abandoned No act or scene divisions Songs or music with the dialog Subject: Everyday domestic affairs, often bawdy Action placed in the street

4 Roman Plays - Tragedy Tragic Playwright - Seneca Closet plays written to be read not performed Characteristics of Roman tragedy: Plot Structure - five episodes / acts divided by choral odes Elaborate speeches Violence and horror seen onstage - Characters dominated by a single passion (such as revenge) – drives them to doom

5 Roman Theatre Conventions Plays took place outdoors - about 2 hours long Actors were men who wore Roman dress, with wigs and makeup - eventually no mask Chorus not important - eventually abandoned Scenery was a street with 3 or 4 houses behind A place of entertainment not of worship

6 Roman Theatres First permanent theatre built of stone in 55 BC Seated 17,000 people - on level ground, not in hillside like Greeks Had half-circle shape orchestra - chorus less important Larger proskenon to feature actors

7 Other Roman Entertainments Romans loved sports - chariot racing Romans loved animal fights - bear-baiting, lions eating Christians Romans loved combat - gladiators

8 The Dark Ages Rome Fell in 476 AD to conquering Germanic peoples Roman Catholic church dominated religion, education and often politics Church was a vital part of civic, economic and religious life Common people were kept ignorant and illiterate to have power over them

9 The Dark Ages Theatre activities were outlawed due to violence and sins of Roman entertainment Little is known about the theatre between 600-1000 A.D Only drama in dark ages was traveling troupes based on Greek and Roman performing art: mime, minstrels and jugglers.

10 Medieval Drama Reborn as liturgical drama to “act out” stories so they could be understood by all Text was written in Latin (as was mass) Subject was stories from the Bible Performers were priests or church members Purpose to teach Catholic doctrine

11 Medieval Plays Mystery/cycle plays based on bible Miracle plays based on lives of saints Morality plays taught a lesson Characteristics in common: Aimed to teach or reinforce Church doctrine Melodramatic: good rewarded, evil punished

12 Vernacular Drama Vernacular drama (spoken in common language) took place in town squares outside the church Scenery was mansions in church then wagons - wheeled platforms that could move from place to place Costumes were church clothing with accessories “Noah’s Ark” presented as part of a cycle of plays


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