Revelry-filled FestivalsReligious contests were for prizes.Men dressed in rough goat skin.Plays were only presented at one of thefour annual festivals in Athens, CityDionysia.Many tribes competed for prizes and thehonor of winning the contest.
In Athens four festivals wereorganized to honor the god,Dionysus:1.Small Dionyssia—end ofDecember2.Lenea in January- worshipoccurred at the festival, but it mayhave been in honor of Dionysus as ayouth, or the rebirth of Dionysusafter his murder by the Cyclops.3.Anthesteria in February4.Great Dionyssia in March
•During Small Dionyssia some oldplays were performed.•Tragic contests were organizedduring the Lenea and GreatDionyssia.•New tragedies were performedduring the Great Dionyssia.
•The celebration lasted six days.•Day one—the sacred parade.•Days two and three—dithyrambicdancing contests held.•Days four, five, six drama contestsoccurred.
Only three The choruspoets were was paid byallowed to wealthyparticipate. Athenians.Poets were A few daysallowed to before thehave three contest, 500hypocrits judges (50 from(actors). each tribe) wereArchon chosen.chose the The contestspoets, who began withwere paid by sunrise.the state, as Threewere the tragedies andhypocrits. one satyric drama.
The 50-man chorus sang hymns toDionysus, first swaying one way, then theother.In 534 B.C. Thespis, the first actor steppedout of the chorus and spoke as a god, ratherthan about a god.With this action, the concept of dialoguebegan; thus, the birth of drama.Thespis is called the “father of drama.”
•“Father of Greek tragedy”(goat-song)•Introduces 2nd actor--creates dialogue•Wrote 90 plays--7 have survived history•From suffering, comes wisdom•The working of divine justice (gods)•Punishment is inevitable for disobeying thegods•Excessive pride creates humantragedy•Self-will is destructive
• Three actors produce -conflict• Masterful use of dramatic irony• Complex human characters• Uses the reversal of fortunes• Accepts the ways of the gods• Fall of great people through character flaws• Stresses emotions• Innocent people suffer• Arrogance, pride, sin leads to disaster.
•Complex plots•Employed deus ex machina (god bymachine)•Psychological drama-not fate or divinepower•Introduced love themes•Conflict of human emotions betweencharacters or within one character•Epic hero reduced to ordinary hero•Emphasis on human weakness•Made female characters more important
DiazomaA passageseparating tiers ofseats in theatreKoilonA section ofseatingParadosThe procession ofthe chorus goingin and out of thetheatre.
ProscenionThe part in front of theskene (scene). Scenerywas painted on it. Scene The action occurred in front and eventually lifted for a stage. There were one to three doors where actors could change costumes. Orchestra A large circular area where chorus danced and later acted.
•Performed outdoors during daylight•New tragedies performed for threedays, comedy one day•Satyr plays: comedy performedafter tragedy (chorus of satyrs)•Religious ceremony•Attendance required•Produced by Polis as function ofPolis three times a year.•No intermission•Prizes for winning poet•Gave significance to suffering•Admission free or nominal fee
Unity of place--few if any change ofscenery.Unity of time--usually only one daySingle action--no subplotsThree actors took different roles--onlythree actors on stage.Nemesis=destructionHubris=excessive (obdurate) pride
Hero unconscious of his fateBloody events occurredoffstage, but chorus reportedthe incident to the audience.Concern for meaningAudience identifies with issueson stageResults in catharsis or purgingof emotions.Religious in nature
Western Civilization is indebted to the Greeks for many things;they taught us to examine our hearts and then to share it in away that we could talk about it, through drama.
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