Essay The Structure Of Early Greek Tragedy

Essay The Structure Of Early Greek Tragedy

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The Structure of Early Greek Tragedy:
The Greek performances that dominated ancient theatre, while undeniably ground-breaking, were subject to an exacting dramatic structure. Consistently, Grecian tragedies began with the prologue, serving as a spoken explanation of the performance’s mythological background and preparing the audience for what they were to see. Following this prelude would be the parados, an “opening number” of sorts in which the chorus enters the orchestra while both singing and dancing. Subsequently, the alteration of episodes (spoken scenes between members of the chorus) and statisma (choral odes reflecting on what occurred in the episodes) would begin. These respective dramatic forms worked together to create a cohesive mythological foundation within the piece. Finally, the exodus would conclude each piece with the chorus exiting while singing a reflective processional song (Levine “Greek Tragedy: Introduction” 4). When analyzing this theatrical procedure, one can see clearly the practicality of such an order. The conversion between episodes and statisma allowed early Grecian playwrights to convey the significance of their work to the audience in multiple forms. Arguably, having both spoken and sung dialogue would aid an audience of differential learners in initially grasping their attention and then keeping it. Furthermore, the sophisticated format of Greek tragedy provided an outline for aspiring playwrights, allowing for a more diverse group of creators and thusly, creations.
Aristotle and Western Theatre:
Aristotle’s influence on theatre, particularly tragedies, was analytical and calculated. While he intended to explore Grecian tragedy in terms of elements that evoked emotions within an audience, Aristotl...


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...their scripts and written techniques to reach farther than any preceding dramatists and playwrights. With these translations came a diverse realm of interpretations for the scenarios and common soliloquies and thusly, a more diverse world of theatre. Commedia Dell’arte brought with it the practice of improvisation, a wholly new technique for its time (Encyclopedia Britannica) This practice of spontaneous theatre has since impacted modern music (i.e. rap freestyling), public speaking and multiple genres of theatre. Overall, the influence Commedia Dell’arte has had on the world of theatre is expansive and significant. This technique not only began the acceptance of women in theatre but it also originated ideas that if we were without, art would be vastly different. Consequently, one can see the lasting impression Commedia Dell’arte on the world of dramatic performance.

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