The Greek Theatre Selections from: The Book of the Ancient Greeks: The Greek drama began as a religious observance in honour of Dionysus. To the Greeks this god personified both spring and the vintage, the latter a very important time of year in a vine-growing country, and he was a symbol to them of that power there is in man of rising out of himself, of being impelled onwards by a joy within him that he cannot explain, but which makes him go forward, walking, as it were, on the wings of the wind, of the spirit that fills him with a deep sense of worship.
Today, we tend to look at theater primarily as a source of entertainment; the Greeks wanted to be entertained too. But for them, these performances had a much deeper cultural significance, one which we no longer share in the 21st century.
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From the outset, Greek theater was indissolubly linked with religion, which was itself an Greece its theatre component of Greek culture. The first tragedies were performed at religious festivals Theater was hugely important for the Greeks. The first tragedies were performed at religious festivals and undoubtedly had a cultic element to them.
The most significant of such festivals was that devoted to Dionysus, God of wine and merriment. The Dionysia, as it was called, took place at the beginning of each spring and lasted for about a week.
During that time, the Athenians would be treated to a huge number of performances, covering every form of drama. It is interesting to note that, initially, there were no permanent theaters in Athens.
Theaters were temporary structures erected for the duration of the relevant festival.
There was no sense, then, in which Greek theater had a life of its own apart from community festivities. And if nothing else, Greek theater was a communal activity.
The populations of Greek city states such as Athens were relatively small by today's standards so it was entirely practical for most citizens at any one time to come and watch a play.
This high level of community engagement was crucial to the Greeks. Playgoers weren't simply spectators looking on from their seats at the unfolding action below; they were active participants in a social ritual that reinforced the bonds between citizens.
In addition, theater became a way for Greeks to inculcate themselves with a sense of civic pride and virtue, celebrate their achievements in war, culture, and civilization, and project their power in relation to other cities and territories. In Athens, the theater also served as a forum for political debate and disputation.
For the duration of the Dionysia, the institutions of government and law would be suspended and the center of Athenian political life would then shift to the theater, where contentious issues could be aired and discussed through the medium of drama.
In this way, the substance of political life of the city state could still continue, albeit in a different outward form.Three well-known Greek tragedy playwrights of the fifth century are Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus. Comedy plays. Comedy was also an important part of ancient Greek theatre.
Comedy plays were derived from imitation; there are no traces of its origin. Aristophanes wrote most of the comedy plays. Sep 03, · The term Ancient, or Archaic, Greece refers to the time three centuries before the classical age, between B.C. and B.C.—a relatively sophisticated period in world history.
Archaic Greece. Greek theatre had its beginnings with Dithyrambs, in which choral groups composed of 50 men and boys would sing or chant in unison.
This was one of the key features of classical drama in Ancient Greece. The Theatre of Ancient Greece, or ancient Greek drama, is a theatrical culture that flourished in ancient Greece between c. and c. BC. The theatre of ancient Greece was at its best from BC to BC. It was the beginning of modern western theatre, and some ancient Greek plays are still performed today.
They invented the genres of tragedy (late 6th century BC), comedy ( BC) and satyr plays. 5 days ago · Lycabettus theatre in Athens. (Photo by Eurokinissi) ATHENS – Lycabettus theatre will be restored and ready to reopen its gates by next fall, it was announced on Thursday, at a press conference organized by the Region of Attica and Public Properties Company, the two entities in .