Essay about Theater in Ancient Greece

Essay about Theater in Ancient Greece

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Theatre in Ancient Greece

Among the many inventions of the ancient Greeks, there have been a few that have specifically impacted modern day life for the better. Many of the things that are taken for granted today can be accredited to the intellectual minds of the people of ancient Greece. Our complicated plumbing and sewage systems that manage sanitation in most of the cities in the world have their roots in ancient society. The earliest concept of the crane was also developed during this time. Every successful society thrived on expansion, and one could not expand without the building of new structures; the invention of the crane and its evolution sped up this process of industrialization for societies to come. Despite these great achievements, arguably the greatest contribution of the Greeks was theatre. While theatre offers less utility than the previously mentioned contributions, it has had a resonating effect on the art and culture of the modern day world.
Originally, theatre in ancient Greece served solely to pay tribute to their gods. The Greeks would hold festivals where men would dress up and perform song and dance to honor Dionysus. These festivals eventually evolved into a competition where playwrights would compete against one another in regards to the superiority of their plays (this paralleled the competitive aspects of the Olympics). Emerging playwrights of this time took this competition quite seriously and began to focus their efforts on creating the ‘perfect formula’ for creating the finest tragic play (“Ancient Greek Theatre” Web). These playwrights also explored other ways to sway the audience in their favor including the incorporation of the more lighthearted performances being the comedies and satires. Th...


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...“Ancient Greek Theatre.” Ancientgreece.com, University Press Inc. 2012. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.
2. Fonseca, Ruben. “Greek Theater.” Cartage, Cartage. N.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.
3. MacLennan, Bruce. “Typical Structure of a Greek Play.” University of Tennessee, University of Tennessee. 14 Sept. 1999. Web. 3 Dec. 2013.
4. “Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature.” Merriam Webster, Inc. Merriam Webster. 1995. P. 217
5. “Oedipus.” Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
6. Osens, Beth. “Acting: An International Encyclopedia.” ABC-CLIO, 2001. p.295
7. “The Structure of Greek Tragedy.” The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley. 8 Jan. 2013. Web. 3 Dec. 2013.
8. Webster, Michael. “Tragedy: The Basics.” Gvsu.edu, Grand Valley State University. N.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2013.

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