Ancient Greek Theater Essay

Ancient Greek Theater Essay

Length: 1223 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Have you ever just wanted to kill your parents? Perhaps they are not letting you order a seventh slice of cheese pizza at Chuck E. Cheese’s, or not letting you hang out with that dreamy hunk Bryan on Saturday. For Oedipus, killing his parents was not something petty he threatened when he got too worked up, but rather his fate. This suspenseful and masterful plot, conceived by the legendary playwright Sophocles, was one of the many groundbreaking works to come out of fifth century BC Greece. Works of ancient Greek theater, particularly Oedipus the King, embodied the spirit of innovation that fifth century BC Athens was known for.
The fifth century BC in Athens, aptly known as the “Golden Age,” was a time of great achievements in art and philosophy. Sophocles and other notable Greek playwrights Euripides and Aeschylus flourished in this time period. After Greece’s victory in the Persian War in 449 BC, Athens evolved into the hub of art, culture, intellect, and freedom under its leader, Pericles, that it is remembered as today. While the city itself remained fairly small at a population around 300,000, this Athens is to accredit for not only the shape Western culture but also democracy (Knox xiii). Because of the city’s relatively small population, direct democracy, in which every citizen plays a direct role by voting, was born. Citizens also had the liberty to file lawsuits against one another and represent themselves in a court of law. Due to the necessity of self-representation in the Athenian government system, public speaking, or rhetoric, became a coveted skill (Knox xvi). The growing commodity of grabbing attention of the public perhaps contributed to the conception of the theatric performance.
While fifth century BC Greece wa...


... middle of paper ...


...rone and Jocasta, who is actually his mother, as a wife. However, he does not know that she is his mother. Eventually, the servant who gave Oedipus away tells him who his real parents are, that he has already killed his father and Jocasta is his mother. When Oedipus finds that Jocasta has hung herself after this revelation, he gouges his eyes out and is exiled to roam the countryside for the rest of his life (“Sophocles”). A ravenous plague is described in the beginning of Oedipus the King (Kousoulis 153). This plague could be a reflection of the plague that devastated Athens in 430 BC, at the start of the Peloponnesian War and just a year before the completion of Oedipus the King.
Sophocles and the theatre of ancient Greece were both greatly influential on the shape of theatre today and laid the foundation for shape of not only theatre, but also the modern world.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Ancient Greek Theater Essay

- Have you ever just wanted to kill your parents. Perhaps they are not letting you order a seventh slice of cheese pizza at Chuck E. Cheese’s, or not letting you hang out with that dreamy hunk Bryan on Saturday. For Oedipus, killing his parents was not something petty he threatened when he got too worked up, but rather his fate. This suspenseful and masterful plot, conceived by the legendary playwright Sophocles, was one of the many groundbreaking works to come out of fifth century BC Greece. Works of ancient Greek theater, particularly Oedipus the King, embodied the spirit of innovation that fifth century BC Athens was known for....   [tags: Sophocles, Golden Age, Oedipus]

Strong Essays
1223 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on It's All Greek to Me! Examining Ancient Greek Theater Architecture

- Ancient Greece was a thriving Greek civilization that lasted from the archaic period to the end of the antiquity era. The ancient Greek culture was a technologically advanced civilization who laid the foundation for many of our modern day cultural traditions. One tradition that is still very prominent in our culture is theatre. The ancient Greek’s have been considered the pioneers of theatre, and are known to have introduced the first actor, the tragedy genre, and most impressively theatre architecture....   [tags: acoustics, skene]

Strong Essays
1961 words (5.6 pages)

Ancient Greek Theater Architecture Essay

- Ancient Greek Theater Architecture Many aspects of ancient Greek theaters have long been studied and debated. Much of the information about these theaters is based on speculation due to the fact that so little of them still exist today. This lack of remnants especially applies to the architecture of the early Greek Theaters. However, through archeological finds and years of studying the people, the plays, and the architecture of the time, we are able to make many conclusions about these early structures....   [tags: Architecture History]

Strong Essays
2138 words (6.1 pages)

Essay on Ancient Greek Drama: A Comparison of the Euripides and Sophocles

- Theater was an important part of Ancient Greek Civilization. History of Greek theatre began with religious festivals which aim to honor Dionysus, a god. During the festivals some citizens sing songs and perform improvisation plays and other participants of festivals judges this performances to decide which one of them was the best. These plays form the foundation of the Greek Theatre. Because of the competition between performers to create best performances, plays gained an aesthetic perspective and became a form of art....   [tags: history of Greek theater]

Strong Essays
952 words (2.7 pages)

Greek Theater and Tragedy Essay example

- Many ancient civilizations witnessed Greek theater and tragedy as the world’s first theatrical performances. Tragedy comes from the Greek word Tragos and Ole meaning goat song. The dithyramb, a song and dance performed in honor of the god Dionysus, was performed at a ceremony in Athens; it told the story of Dionysus’s life and his many adventures. Throughout the years the playwrights added things other than Dionysus’s life to the performance. They added other gods and some hero’s that made a name for themselves within the temple....   [tags: History: Ancient Greece, Drama]

Strong Essays
1875 words (5.4 pages)

Essay about Greek Mythology And Greek Myths

- People wonder why the world is so obsessed with ancient Greek myths when there just stories that was told millenniums ago. Although if you looked at the number of Greek-themed books and movies today, people would see that the world is still dazzled by Greek myths even if they can’t explain why. People see something related to a Greek myth every day and they don’t even notice. These ancient myths gave us an inside look on how the Greek lived back in that time and how their minds worked. Not only did the Greeks give us things like the alphabet, the Greeks gave us interesting stories that make us think if these Greek myths were real or just fables....   [tags: Greek mythology, Zeus, Apollo, Homer]

Strong Essays
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Early Greek Theater vs Elizabethan Era Theater Essay

- Antigone and The Tragedy of Julius Caesar are two tragic masterpieces written by playwrights Sophocles and Shakespeare in two completely different time periods, but more importantly, in two completely different cultures. In light of this one must wonder to what degree culture influenced Antigone and The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. These tragedies are just as equally a creation of Greek and Elizabethan culture as they are of Sophocles and Shakespeare. Greek and Elizabethan culture both greatly influenced drama and theater as we know it today, but the two periods were very different....   [tags: Antigone, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare]

Strong Essays
917 words (2.6 pages)

Greek History: The Dark Ages Essay

- Over sixty percent of the English words have originated from the Greek language. Many of these words came into the English language through the poetry and theater plays done in ancient Greece. The Greek plays have been shaped by historical events and their tragic past and put into one story. The ancient Greek theater demonstrated historical events and poems in the form of plays like in The Cyclops and performed them for the audience’s entertainment and awareness. Greek history has shown many tragic events over the course of time....   [tags: greek language, mycenaeans]

Strong Essays
1208 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on The History of Greek Theater

- The History of Greek Theater Theater and drama in Ancient Greece took form in about 5th century BCE, with the Sopocles, the great writer of tragedy. In his plays and those of the same genre, heroes and the ideals of life were depicted and glorified. It was believed that man should live for honor and fame, his action was courageous and glorious and his life would climax in a great and noble death. Originally, the hero’s recognition was created by selfish behaviors and little thought of service to others....   [tags: Art]

Free Essays
2467 words (7 pages)

Greek Theater Essay

- Ancient Greek Theater is the first historical record of “drama,” which is the Greek term meaning “to do” or “to act.” Beginning in the 5th century BC, Greek Theater developed into an art that is still used today. During the golden age of the Athenians plays were created, plays that are considered among the greatest works of world drama. Today there are thousands of well-known plays and films based on the re-make of ancient drama. Theater originated from the religious rites of ancient Greek tribes....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
1166 words (3.3 pages)