GreekDrama

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Greek Drama: 

Greek Drama The Origins of Roman Drama

Slide2: 

This project is available at: V:\motesj\World Humanities Greek Theatre (on the school’s server) Or on the web at: http://www.guilford.k12.ct.us/~motesj/

Drama built on religion: 

Drama built on religion Roman theater, Shakespearean theater, and modern theater were heavily influenced by the Greek theater of the 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries B.C. Yet, how did this Greek theater itself begin?

Drama built on religion: 

Drama built on religion By the sixth century B.C., the cult of Dionysus had spread across all of Greece with its celebrations of wine, women, and song.

Drama built on religion: 

Drama built on religion DITHYRAMBS: These songs were called dithyrambs. This cult contained groups of nearly naked men with horses’ ears and tails chanting rhythmically with songs celebrating Dionysus for his gifts of wine, happiness, life after death (according to some believers), and a host of other extravagant gifts.

Drama built on religion: 

Drama built on religion TRAGWIDIA: (Tragedy) This leads down to our word “tragedy” for any sad or wretched story. Originally, songs sung for Dionysus’ festivals were usually laments and paeans (serious and often doleful songs to the gods), with the best singers winning a he-goat for a prize (a tragoV).

Drama built on religion: 

Drama built on religion Eventually one brave soul felt possessed by the god himself and stood up to chant as the hypokrites, or “answerer” to the chorus. This created the first character role to play opposite the chorus, and thus drama was born. THESPIS (543 B.C.)

Drama built on religion: 

Drama built on religion After this great innovation, playwrights began to compete at the yearly festivals in Athens, creating tetralogies of three tragedies and one satyr play (a farce or crude comedy). THEATER CONTESTS

Drama built on religion: 

Drama built on religion The hypokrites was also known as the protagonistes (a word which means “first competitor”). Playwrights, producers, and hypokrites were awarded a crown of ivy (a plant sacred to Dionysus) and had their names inscribed in marble slabs called didaskaliai.

Who were these playwrights?: 

Who were these playwrights?

Aeschylus: 

Aeschylus Aeschylean tragedy is, above all, grand, massive, and dignified. The language is heavy and, even in the Greek, often difficult to understand, full of compound forms and complex metaphors. He is still considered by many (as Aristophanes writes about in The Frogs) to be the greatest Greek playwright. Aeschylus' first victory: 484 B.C. Number of victories by Aeschylus: 13

Sophocles: 

Sophocles The so-called “Sophoclean heroes”(such as Oedipus or Creon) dominate six of the plays of Sophocles that we possess. They are stubborn and self-willed, and they pursue their own purposes and fashion their own identities. Athenians had traditionally identified themselves through family. Now that democratic society had begun to focus on the individual, citizens were compelled to define themselves through what their own actions. His first play Triptolemos wins: 468 B.C. Number of victories by Sophocles: 18-24?

Euripides: 

Euripides Euripides appears to cast tragedy's religious foundations into question. Some later playwrights, such as Aristophanes, portray him as arid in his dialogue, and determined to make tragedy less elevated by introducing common people. Others call him a misogynist, an underminer of received morality, and unorthodox in his religious views. Yet, no other playwright from antiquity challenged the status quo in such a controversial manner. He brought about issues for the people and for the philosophers, and not just for the literary figures. Euripides’ first victory: 442 B.C. Number of victories by Euripides: 5

Aristophanes: 

Aristophanes Aristophanes is the only comedian from Greece’s periods of Old and Middle Comedy of whom we possess any complete plays. His wit and satire supposedly sparked many debates and angered many people, especially the politicians he parodied, but he did win at least six first prizes and four second prizes in the contests. Number of victories by Aristophanes: 6

Menander: 

Menander Very little has survived from this playwright from Greece’s Late Comedy era, other than what later comedy writers such as Plautus and Terence adapted from Menander. He is said to have written more than 100 plays, but only one survives, Dyscolus, which wasn’t printed as a modern text until 1958. Produced his first play: 321 B.C. Menander’s first win (Dyscolus): 316 B.C. Number of victories by Menander: 6

Slide16: 

Timeline of Ancient Greek Drama c. 625 Arion at Corinth produces first dithyrambic choruses. 540-527 Pisistratus, tyrant of Athens, founds the festival of the Greater Dionysia 536-533 Thespis puts on tragedy at festival of the Greater Dionysia in Athens Aeschylus born 499-496 Aeschylus' first dramatic competitions c. 496 Sophocles born Euripides born Aeschylus' first dramatic victory Aeschylus defeated by Sophocles in dramatic competition Aeschylus' Oresteia (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides) 456 Aeschylus dies

Slide17: 

c. 450 Aristophanes born 441 Sophocles' Antigone 431-404 Peloponnesian War (Athens and allies vs. Sparta and allies) c. 429 Sophocles' Oedipus the King 406 Euripides dies; Sophocles dies 404 Athens loses Peloponnesian War to Sparta 399 Trial and death of Socrates c. 380's Plato's Republic includes critique of Greek tragedy and comedy 380 Aristophanes dies 342 Menander born 291 Menander dies Timeline of Ancient Greek Drama

Extant Works of Greek Tragedy: 

Extant Works of Greek Tragedy Aeschylus Persians (472) Seven Against Thebes (468) Suppliant Women (463?) Oresteia Trilogy: (458) Agamemnon Libation Bearers Eumenides Prometheus Bound (450-425?) Sophocles Ajax (450-430) Antigone (c. 442?) Trachiniai (450-430?) Oedipus Tyrannos (429-425?) Electra (420-410) Philoctetes (409) Oedipus at Colonus (401) Euripides Alcestis (438) Medea (431) Children of Heracles (ca. 430) Hippolytus (428) Andromache (ca. 425) Hecuba (ca. 424), Suppliant Women (ca. 423) Electra (ca. 420) Heracles (ca. 416) Trojan Women (415) Iphigenia among the Taurians (ca. 414) Ion (ca. 413) Helen (412) Phoenician Women (ca. 410) Orestes (408) Bacchae (after 406) Iphigenia in Aulis (after 406) Cyclops (possibly ca. 410)

Extant Works of Greek Comedy: 

Extant Works of Greek Comedy Aristophanes Acharnians (425 B.C.) Knights (424 B.C.) Clouds (423 B.C.) Wasps (422 B.C.) Peace (421 B.C.) Birds (414 B.C.) Lysistrata (411 B.C.) Women at the Thesmophoria (411 B.C.) Frogs (405 B.C.) Ecclesiazusae (c. 391 B.C.) Plutus (388 B.C.) Menander Dyscolus (316 B.C.) parts of: Perikeiromene Epitrepontes Samia

Actors and Masks in Greek Theater: 

Actors and Masks in Greek Theater Roles in the play The main actors (playing multiple characters each) protagonistes deuteragonistes tritagonistes Chorus 12 or 15 choreutes (dancers) trained to sing and dance from their youth

Actors and Masks in Greek Theater: 

Actors and Masks in Greek Theater Who could be an actor? Males Young males Young citizen males Young citizen males with some money or authority in society Young citizen males with some money or authority in society, and the approval of the Honorable Archon

Actors and Masks in Greek Theater: 

Actors and Masks in Greek Theater Who could be in the chorus? males trained by a poet to sing and dance twelve or fifteen, depending on when the play was written the leader was called the coryphaeus (“head man” or “leader”)

Actors and Masks in Greek Theater: 

Actors and Masks in Greek Theater Masks were used in Greek drama to portray character types or character emotions to the entire audience, which could be up to 20,000 people crowded onto a hillside. These masks fit over the head, with a wig attached, and had large mouth openings so that speech would not be muffled.

Masks in Greek Theater: 

Masks in Greek Theater prevented the audience from identifying the face of any actor with one specific character allowed men to impersonate women without confusion helped the audience identify the sex, age, and social rank of the characters were often changed by the actors when they would exit after an episode to assume a new role

Structure of the Play: 

Structure of the Play Prologos Episode III Parodos Stasimon III Episode I Episode IV Stasimon I Stasimon IV Episode II Exodus Stasimon II

Structure of the Play: 

Structure of the Play Prologos The first speech of an actor (hypokrites) or actors, usually to set up the plot and explain what has happened prior to the play’s beginning.

Structure of the Play: 

Structure of the Play Parodos The first speech of the chorus, usually to explain their purpose in being there, or to explain the overall purpose and meaning of the play. Be careful! The message can be well hidden!

Structure of the Play: 

Structure of the Play Episodes Actions between actors or between an actor and the chorus Their purpose is to present the action or dialogue within the play.

Structure of the Play: 

Structure of the Play Stasima Songs of the chorus addressing an abstract theme of the play, or focusing upon the central theme of the play. The stasima are not necessarily focused on the action of the episodes, but may contain similar themes.

Structure of the Play: 

Structure of the Play Exodus The final resolution of the play, and an explanation of the final actions in the play by one or more of the hypokriteis.

Features of Classical Theaters: 

Features of Classical Theaters Theaters (like this one at Ephesus) were in Outdoor, open spaces

Features of Classical Theaters: 

Features of Classical Theaters earlier theaters had wooden benches

Features of Classical Theaters: 

Features of Classical Theaters in later theaters Romans replaced these wooden benches with marble seating

Features of Classical Theaters: 

Features of Classical Theaters The skene (from which we get the English word scene) was originally a wooden-framed tent behind the staging area used for costume and mask changing, or for housing actors while off-stage. Eventually, when theaters became more permanent, stone skene buildings were constructed and used as part of the permanent “scenery.”

The Theater of Dionysus Today Situated on the southern side of the Acropolis in Athens, the Theater of Dionysus was the major theater used in Athens and the surrounding country for festivals and celebrations to Dionysus.: 

The Theater of Dionysus Today Situated on the southern side of the Acropolis in Athens, the Theater of Dionysus was the major theater used in Athens and the surrounding country for festivals and celebrations to Dionysus.

Slide36: 

The Theater of Dionysus in Athens, Greece Restored by the emperor Nero in 68 A.D. (Computer recreation)

Slide37: 

Theater of Epidauros (built 330 B.C., near modern day Nauplion, Greece)

Slide38: 

Epidauros

Slide39: 

Epidauros

Slide40: 

Features of Classical Theaters Thymele: the focal spot acoustically of the orchestra (also called the “sweet spot”), where the sacrifices to Dionysus would be made Theatron: the theater itself Kerkis: a wedge of wooden seats where the audience sat Eisodos: ramps where entrances were made Orchestra: the playing space; it means “place for dancing”

Slide41: 

Features of Classical Theaters The fifth-century skene was a single-story building with one central door, which could be used to give the skene the identity of a palace, a temple, a hut, or a cave if necessary.

Theatrical Machines (mechanai): 

Theatrical Machines (mechanai) The ekkyklema (“a wheeled-out thing”) was a cart on wheels which carried a dead body onto the stage. It was sacrilegious to show a character actually dying on the stage.

Theatrical Machines (mechanai): 

Theatrical Machines (mechanai) The mechane (machine) was a crane-like machine that could lift a character up as if flying, or could carry an actor, usually in the guise of a god, to the top of the skene.

Greek Drama: 

Greek Drama The Origins of Roman Drama

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