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Greek Theater - Research Paper Example

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Course and Number Date Greek Theatre This essay is about the ancient Greek theatre. It gives a brief history of city of Athens, where there was performance of the first plays. It discusses the origin of theatrical events and factors that led to various festival activities…
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Greek Theater

Download file to see previous pages... However, performance of the plays began in the city of Athens during a religious festival of Dionysus, perceived to be the patron god of theatre and agriculture, peace promoter and the god of wine and harvest (Thomopoulous, p56). The actors would perform the plays within the first two weeks in the month of March in every year. An Archon would arrange, run and manage the activities of the festivals. He was an official whose election was at the end of every festival in every year. The Archon would perform his duties of managing the festivals only once (Rieger, p70). The new Archon would start immediate preparations for the next year’s festivals immediately after their election. He also appointed the playwrights who would present during the festivals and the judges, who would determine the winner. He selected two sets for the plays supposed to be staged during the festivals, one of tragedy and one for comedy (Nobles, p56). The theatre of Dionysus, located near the Acropolis, was one of the first theatrical structures where actors presented their plays. The Acropolis was a major structure in the city of Athens. The theatre, which resembles a baseball stadium in the modern day, comprised of three parts, the orchestra, a large circular space and buildings behind it. The other part was the skene, which in modern days is “scenery”. These were the buildings behind the orchestra, whose painting portrayed the play’s settings. They also held a backstage area where actors would rest in between the scenes and change their costumes. Then the third part was the audience who surrounded the stage on three sides (Porter, p56). A grand processional into the theatre of Dionysus kicked off the festivals, where people carried baskets of bread and jugs of wine and water as they entered in. They would offer the foodstuffs as a sacrifice to Dionysus (Porter, p95). Various groups of choirs performed songs, Dithyrambs right after the processional. These were songs accompanied by flutes and archived Dionysus’ life, particularly focusing on a single instance and were only performed by boys and men. The audience spent the remaining evening hours dancing and singing and in the following day, playwrights would announce the titles of their works to the audience. Performance of these works would take place in three days (Rieger, p75). A cycle of three plays formed the tragedies, where audience spent the whole day watching the entire cycle, which in many occasions ended in a burlesque and open sexual play known as a satyr. The characters in this play consisted of Greek myths and in addition, the playwrights from the previous tragedies, who would then engage in different kinds of immorality. There was performance of five comedies on the sixth day of the festival (Nobles, p67). Although people perceived these comedies as less complicated, it was still honorable for the best comedy to win. Judges would determine the winner at the end of the festival, whom they would award with a trophy and festoons. The greatest prize from the competition was however a goat, where the winner had an opportunity of giving it as a sacrifice to Dionysus. Aeschylus won many times the prize for the best tragedy than any other person. Unlike today’s plays where actors speak, the actors in the Greek plays would sing. These plays consisted of about four to thirty people who stood at the back of the orchestra. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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