Greek Theater and Tragedy Essay example

Greek Theater and Tragedy Essay example

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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. As more time passed they added more actors, choruses, masks and costumes as a way to grab the audience’s attention and participation. Theater was first seen by ancient Greece before it spread all throughout western civilization. For the Greeks it was more than a culture, it was how they worshipped the gods. The three great playwrights changed theater for the better by introducing multiple characters, by adding drama and irony to the stage and by utilizing props such as masks and costumes; from the work they have done only some remains, but the pieces that remain show the depth and creativeness of the Greek theater.
The dithyramb was performed at a festival usually held in the City Dionysus at the end of March where people came to Greece to worship the god Dionysus. “An important turning point came in 566 B.C when an Athenian lead named Solon, who wanted to enhance the prestige of a popular festival, instituted Homeric recitation contests – the rhapsodia”. (Nardo 15). Solon began the idea of celebrating Dionysus by reciting Homer’s play. These festivals were first held in honor of Dionysus, but through the years it evolved into a celebration of other gods and hero’s inside the walls of Athens. “The ...


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...e to lash out were the three best playwrights of 5th century BC. They were Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles. They changed theater for the better by introducing multiple characters, by adding drama and irony to the stage and by utilizing props such as masks and costumes. From the work they have done only some remains, but the pieces that remain show the depth and creativeness of the Greek theater.



Works Cited

"Greek Tragedy." Greek Tragedy. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2013
http://www.bsu.edu/classes/magrath/cc201ss/tragedy/GreekTragedy.html
Nardo, Don. Greek Drama. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven, 2000. Print.
Nardo, Don. Readings on Sophocles. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven, 1997. Print.
Radice, Betty. Three Plays: Alcestis, Hippolytus, Iphigenia in Tauris. Harmondsworth,
Eng:Penguin, 1974. Print.
Zimmermann, Bernhard. Greek Tragedy. N.p.: n.p., 1986. Print.

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