Dionysus: greek god of wine and festivity “God of the fun stuff ”
Plays were performed outside
The side of the mountain was scooped out into a bowl shape, and tiers of stone seats were built on the hill.
often seated as many as 20,000
Roman Sea Battles
Performers actually died!
The largest known sea battle involved 19,000 participants and approximately ½ of them died
Performance spaces are Massive!
Word origin for “theatre”
where the audience sits and was usually part of the hillside around the performance space
The Greek Chorus
The traditional Greek Chorus usually moves and speaks in unison
Functions of the chorus
an agent: gives advice, asks, takes part
ideal spectator - reacts as playwright hopes audience would
sets mood and heightens dramatic effects
adds movement, spectacle, song, and dance
pauses / paces the action so that the audience can reflect.
Thespian= relating to drama/ actor or actress
comes from thespis - a popular greek writer
The word “comedy” comes from the Greek word “komos” which means “band of revelers.”
All of the actors were men. Women were not allowed to participate.
The actors played multiple roles. a wooden, cork, or linen mask was used to show the change in character or mood.
The actors made themselves taller – They wore thick soled platform shoes.
standard Greek attire (Robes, Draped fabric) with masks
'City Dionysia', a festival of entertainment held in honor of the god Dionysus.
This festival featured competitions in music, dance, plays, and poetry.
The entire city would be in attendance.
All other businesses not directly involved with the 6-day festival would shut down, so that everyone could attend.
The government even offered financial assistance to those who could not afford to attend.
And the grand prize…
Types of Greek Drama
Comedy and tragedy were the most popular types of plays in ancient Greece. Hence, the modern comedy and tragedy masks symbolize theatre.
The word tragedy came to be derived from the Greek tragos (goat) and ode (poem). Tragedy literally means goat song or goat poem.
Traits of Tragedy
Violence and death occurred – often offstage
Frequently used messengers
Stories based on myth or history, but varied interpretations of events
Focus was on psychological and ethical attributes of characters , rather than physical
These were short plays performed between the acts of tragedies. They made fun of the plight of the tragedy's characters.
The satyrs were mythical half-human, half-goat servants of Dionysus.
not admitted to Dionysus festival until very late into the Greece’s golden age----487 b.c.
The first comedies were mainly satirical and mocked men in power for their vanity and foolishness
Style: exaggerated, farcical
Death by tortoise
Aeschylus has one of the strangest claims to fame. He was bald, and the story goes that a passing eagle, looking for a rock on which to drop and crack open a tortoise in order to eat it, dropped it on him by mistake, killing him outright.
The fate of the tortoise was not recorded .
Three blind mice, Three blind mice See how they run, See how they run! They all ran after The farmer's wife She cut off their tails With a carving knife Did you ever see Such a sight in your life As three blind mice?
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you Nobody too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! They'd advertise – you know!
How dreary to be Somebody!
How public – like a Frog
To tell one's name – the livelong June
To an admiring Bog!
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Swung down, he fell on the earth with a crash/
Torch in hand ,in the frenzy of the mad/
was raging against us with the blasts of his hate./
But those threats fared not as he hoped; /
and to other foes/ the mighty War-god dispensed their dooms, /
dealing havoc around, /a mighty helper at our need.
O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear,
the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel,
the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! Heart!
the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
Righteousness has flown up from the earth to the feet of God.