BEGAN AS A FORM
WORSHIP TO THE
Dionysus & Religious
• DIONYSUS IS THE GOD OF WINE AND VEGETATION.
• DIONYSUS WAS BELIEVED TO DIE EACH WINTER
AND WAS REBORN IN THE SPRING.
• THIS CYCLICAL REVIVAL, WITH THE SEASONAL
RENEWAL OF THE FRUITS OF THE EARTH,
EMBODIED THE PROMISE OF RESURRECTION.
• YEARLY RIGHTS TO DIONYSUS EVOLVED INTO THE
STRUCTURED FORM OF GREEK DRAMA.
Or “Let’s have wine and put on a show!”
• THE GREATER DIONYSIA WAS HELD FOR FIVE
DAYS DURING THE SPRING.
• EACH WRITER WOULD PRESENT THREE
TRAGEDIES AND A SATYR PLAY.
• What word in English is “satyr” similar to?
• A SATYR PLAY IS A FARCICAL, OFTEN BAWDY
PARODY OF THE GODS AND THEIR MYTHS.
• PEOPLE WOULD SIT THROUGH THE PLAYS IN THE
THEATER AND WOULD VOTE FOR THEIR FAVORITE
PLAYS BY CASTING BALLOTS.
Parts of a
Your project will require
you to have knowledge
of the various parts of a
Here are some
definitions and facts to
help your group out!
A monologue or dialogue preceding the entry of the
chorus, which presents the tragedy's topic.
Example: The “prologue” in Shakespeare’s Romeo &
Juliet operates much like a Greek prologue.
Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair
Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient
grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood
makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal
loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross'd
lovers take their life…
The entering lyric of the Chorus which explains
Example: In Antigone, the entrance of the Chorus tells
us that the war has left Antigone’s brothers dead – and
that the king has forbidden any burial for one.
Parts of the play where characters perform/act
out the events.
Example: Think of an episode of your favorite TV
show. Actors act out the events – but don’t
comment on it.
In a Greek tragedy episode, the only character
who can comment on the action is the Chorus.
Think of Bernie Mac in The Bernie Mac Show.
4. Choral Odes
The Chorus speaks about the THEME of the story
by using metaphor, simile, or an anecdote.
Example: In musicals, the characters sometimes burst
into song to sing about their thoughts about the action
of the play. It’s sort of like that.
As the characters leave, the Chorus tells us what
we should have learned from the story.
Example: The EPILOGUE of a great many
Shakespeare plays or the MORAL of the story.
Think of Aesop’s Fables…
Other Words of Note
A “trailer” for upcoming plays. Actors would perform small
section for public as advertisement.
Other Words of Note
Person responsible for picking out
plays 11 months before festival.
Producer. They would
pick one playwright to
sponsor for one year.
Paid all major expenses
related to chorus:
musicians, which was
considered a form of
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