• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Greek Tragedy

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Ancient Greek Theatre Greek theatre was a tradition that flourished in ancient Greece between 550 and 220 B.C. It developed from the state festival of Athens, honouring the god Dionysus. The earliest drama is Seven against Thebes, 467B.C. Athens was the centre of ancient Greek theatre. Theatre was a festival occasion, with a religious overtone, lasting for about five days. On the first day the statue of Dionysus was taken to Eleusis; at night the statue was placed in the middle of the theatre. There was a crowd of about 17,000 and performances were of a high standard. (Catholic mass was originally a performance; this occasion has an equally serious tone.) As this was a religious festival, it was a sin to behave aggressively in the theatre - on stage no acts of violence were performed; violent actions were 'performed' off stage and described through commentary. ...read more.

Middle

The judges were selected to avoid bribery or favouritism - by lot from an urn brought into the theatre. (Aeschylus came first thirteen times; Sophocles eighteen, Euripides, five -Sophocles' Oedipus Rex came second!) The winning poet was crowned with ivory, a glorious reward, and names were set up in tablets in the theatre area. The playwright then won a producer and a flautist (there was no orchestra, just a flute). The producer gave financial backing. Because it was basically religious, everything in Greek drama was traditionally fixed. The poets selected their own chorus, which led to a 'dance' - mimetic, singing, speaking and gesture were important. ('Orchestra', from 'ochre' to dance - the 'dance' took place in a pit of hard floor, set in a natural hill.) Unity: Tragedy tries to keep within one revolution of the sun - 24 hours limit. ...read more.

Conclusion

The chorus would come on chanting, in between dialogues, take their places and sing odes that separated the pieces of dialogue. They took up the position of an oblong, which they rotated about in 45� - strophe, a turn; antistrophe, a turn in the opposite direction. Dances were mimetic, to suit the acts; actors and dancers always entered from particular entrances. Even dialogue was formalised. The messenger speech: because the tragic act was never shown on stage, the tragedy was described in extraordinarily vivid speeches by the messenger, a highlight of the plays. The formal aspect was contributed to by the subject matter. The subject must come from the Epic Cycle (a collection of epic poems recording events leading up to and including the Trojan War). The myths centre on a few families, such as the House of Atreus. 'Tragodia' - 'tragos', a goat; 'odia', a song. The theory is that the original chorus were goat satyrs, who sang to win the goat as a prize. Drama: 'dram', to do. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Shakespeare's Theatre

    I was out of breath but I kept whispering words of encouragement to myself. My voice was wobbly due to all the running. I felt more like a horse then a human, but I had no choice. I couldn't back down from a challenge.

  2. Irony in Oedipus Rex

    Rich now, then a beggar, stick in hand, groping his way to a land of exile. Brother and father to his children; husband to the woman who bore him; father killer and father supplanter." In contrast to Teiresias, Oedipus, the "sighted" man, can see the blind man in front of

  1. To what extent are Shakespeares plays a product of the Elizabethan theatrical context in ...

    The language of this quote is effective because again, if people could not see the stage, the actors' lines would inform of what was happening.

  2. Pre-1914 Drama

    The Red Room features some elements of gothic writing, for example, Loraine Castle, grotesque characters, haunted rooms, ghosts, witches, superstition, previous deaths and curses. In 'The Signalman' the setting is centred mostly around the tunnel. This is where most of the suspense and frightening imagery comes from.

  1. Haylesdown - Original Writing

    'It can smell our scent that's why it's running, whatever it is it's going to kill us!' Ryan shouted frantically as the stormed into the barn, together the began to shut the large wooden door, as it was almost shut a long skinny hand and arm slipped through the opening

  2. Women in 'A Raisin in the Sun'

    times that they face, and she never really reprimands him for his misdeeds, apart from some glares and witty remarks. She is depicted as a family woman that will do whatever she can to make her family happy and get them through life.

  1. Portrayal of Wessex far from the madding crowd

    A form of divination is also used in the traditional 'key and bible' method of foretelling who they will marry by Bathsheba and Liddy. Such traditions are demonstrated throughout Hardy's novel and they show the rustics' attachment to the ways of the past ill-founded system of traditional beliefs.

  2. Diwali is a festival of joy.

    This offering should be made near a sacred tree. On Dhanteras Hindus consider it lucky to purchase silver item. In my house we have a small temple and we do this at home while singing Indian hyms. The third day of Diwali: Lakshmi Puja Hindus join with their families and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work