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How different were Greek theatres to modern theatres

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Introduction

Fred Speight How different were Greek theatres to modern theatres Theatre today as in ancient Greek times is a popular from of entertainment. Today's theatres share many similarities with the Greek predecessors however they are also very different. There are in fact many differences for example; layout, special effects, seating arrangement, the importance of drama and religion, setting, location and architectural features. In ancient Greece festivals were mainly held at the Great Dionysia. This was the oldest theatre in Greece and many plays were performed here for example the first performance of Antigone. The patron of the theatre was the God Dionysus and there was a temple near which was dedicated in his honour. There was also a statue of the patron Goddess Athene. Today there is no link between religion and theatre, as we live in a multi-cultural society with people who follow many different faiths; therefore the theatre is secular to appeal to all people. First I will discus the various aspects of ancient Greek theatre then compare with today's modern version of theatre. Today it is widely believed that theatre first began in ancient Greece, the evidence people used to come to this conclusion was from ancient Greek plays, Greek art and architecture. ...read more.

Middle

are the cheapest. These seats were used by the lower classes. The higher your social status the better view of the play you could expect to get. Importantly women were not allowed in the theatre at any time. In today's modern society everyone is considered equal, therefore if you have enough money you can sit wherever you like in the theatre. Also women can attend and enjoy the exact same privileges as men. This is because society has progressed and women are seen as equals in all walks of life whereas in Greek times they were very much second class citizens. Location Theatres in ancient Greece were built so they were open air and exposed to the elements. When being built the builders used natural curved sides for the seating area, this provided excellent acoustics and it is a technique used today. However today theatres are not open air as the weather would prohibit performances for the majority of the year therefore building them with a roof allows performances to take place all year round increasing revenue and profit. Some modern theatres today have domed ceilings which enable sound to circulate better. In ancient times theatres were often built on hills to improve acoustics however today they are almost always built in flat urbanized areas that have a high population for example London, this is because large urbanized areas have easy access because of good transport links e.g. ...read more.

Conclusion

With all this choice it is no wonder the number of people attending plays is far less than in ancient times. Special effects today are also much more advanced giving modern audiences a very different experience. However their experience can not be describes as better as many people today often prefer more dramatic based performances with low key special effects. It is however true to say that modern theatre is more accessible to the general public especially women and the working classes. This is due to changes in modern values in society for example equality for all human beings. It is also much more comfortable today then it was in ancient times as there are plush seat with cushions instead of solid stone rows. However modern theatres have borrowed some things from there ancient Greek counter parts. For example the basic layout, as many theatres are still semi-circular today. They were built using natural curved sides for the seating area, this provided excellent acoustics and it is a technique used today. So in conclusion, although ancient Greek theatres have similarities with modern theatres the differences far out way the similarities. This is because modern theatre has changed so much from special effects to the clientele who are allowed to participate. Also in ancient times women could not act, whereas today actresses are very highly thought of. ...read more.

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