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Greek Theatre The origins of our stage. Ancient Greeks held ceremonies to honor the gods In one ceremony, to honor the god Dionysus, a group of chanters.

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Presentation on theme: "Greek Theatre The origins of our stage. Ancient Greeks held ceremonies to honor the gods In one ceremony, to honor the god Dionysus, a group of chanters."— Presentation transcript:

1 Greek Theatre The origins of our stage

2 Ancient Greeks held ceremonies to honor the gods In one ceremony, to honor the god Dionysus, a group of chanters called a chorus danced around an altar upon which a goat was sacrificed. These ceremonies evolved into dramatic contests with written plays. mg/html/ html The members of the chorus were called the goat singers and their ritualistic chant was called the tragos seido or goat song.

3 Who? Average citizens What? Performances When? c. 500 B.C. Where? Greece

4 Why ? ? ? ? To worship the gods Greeks worshipped their gods by performing on religious holidays One of these celebrations paid tribute to Dionysus, God of Fertility, Wine and Rebirth homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/

5 The Festival of Dionysus Each year three playwrights were chosen to present 3 tragedies and 1 satyr play (comedy) in the festival competition The Festival was held in Athens, Greece each Spring vienne/en/theatre3.htm vienne/en/theatre3.htm

6 Three major Greek playwrights Aeschylus These three men were often the playwrights chosen to present their plays. Prometheus Bound Euripedes Medea Sophocles Oedipus Rex Won 24 timesWon 13 timesWon 5 times

7 The Festival of Dionysus is considered the birthplace of true tragedy.

8 Common Themes of Greek Theatre Mans Relationship to the Gods and the Universe Limits of knowledge Moral responsibility Human suffering

9 The Structure of Greek Tragedy Prologos (1 st episode) 2 nd Episode Ode (strophe and antistrophe) 3 rd Episode 4 th Episode Exodos (5 th episode) Greek plays begin in medias res, in the middle of things, and build toward a climactic ending with alternating episodes and odes. Odes feature the chorus explaining or reflecting on the action of the play. Episodes carry the plot forward. The action of the play occurs here.

10 Chorus The chorus traveled back and forth across the stage narrating the story in chants and dance. The leader of the chorus was called the choragos. Strophe and Antistrophe Stanzas delivered as chorus moved first in one, then in the opposite direction. Choruses originally contained 50 actors, but Aeschylus reduced the number to around 15.

11 Tragedy According to philosopher Aristotle, tragedy is… a dramatic representation of an action, severe, which evokes pity and fear and leads to a catharsis in the audience. A catharsis is a release of emotions, a purging or cleansing. In other words, a kind of soul therapy. In order for a play to be considered a tragedy, the audience must be led to feel a catharsis. A central figure in evoking this catharsis is the main character, or tragic hero.

12 The tragic hero… is a man of Arête noble stature, or high estate who possesses Hamartia which causes his Perepeteia but leads to his Anagnorisis. some error of judgment reversal of fortune ultimate discovery or recognition The most common hamartia, or tragic flaw is hubris, excessive pride.

13 Thespis…our first actor In 534 B.C., a man named Thespis of Attica invented acting by designating one member of the chorus to stand apart from the others and respond to them. who_is_thespis.asp ai/ forschung.html Thespis, an actor/ playwright won the first dramatic contest at Festival of Dionysus. He is also credited with introducing masks to the Greek stage. Thespians are those like Thespis.

14 Theatre as we know it has its roots in the Greek theatre. we speak its language… and we perform on its stage. We perform its plays… we wear its masks…

15 Travel to a local outdoor amphitheatre that is structured like the ancient Greek theatres and… …perform scenes from a Greek play. …compare and contrast your local amphitheatre with the ancient Greek theatres. Ways to Travel through time to ancient Greece Dont have a local outdoor amphitheatre? Find a hillside and create one using your imagination!

16 Created by Amy Pugh Patel S.R. Butler High School Huntsville, AL 6/18/03


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