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Kelly Jones

on 27 January 2013

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Transcript of GREEK THEATRE

GREEK & ROMAN THEATRE THE BEGINNING: * The Golden Age of Greece, 500-400 B.C. * Athens, a cultural, political, and military power * Festivals to honor the god of wine and fertility, Dionysus * There was dancing and singing of hymns, leading to the formation of choral groups THE THEATRES: An ancient Greek theatre in Epidaurus, Greece A theatre in Delphi * seat up to 20,000 people * a special, reserved row for dignitaries * SKENE: 3 doors through which the actor would enter - here the actors changed costumes * ORCHESTRA (full): acting area * built on hillsides for stadium seating * PINAKES: scenery painted on boards & placed against the skene * PERIAKTOIS: triangular prisms that could be revolved for scenery changes COSTUMES: TRAGEDY: * literally means, "goat songs"
- scholars aren't sure why:
+ maybe the chorus wore goat skins
+ maybe they draped the alter with a goat skin
+ possibly a goat was sacrificed to the gods * TRILOGY: 3 tragedies centered around 1 theme * written to glorify man, & teach morals by showing the destruction that comes from evil * DRAMA: the Greek "I do" or "the doing"
- always pertaining to actions ARISTOTELIAN RULES FOR TRAGEDY 1. Provide catharsis, or a spiritual purge; inspire the audience to live better lives 2. The hero must be in a high social position & possess a tragic flaw 3. Must be a change of fortune involving reversal or discovery 4. Must be written in the highest form of poetry 5. The plots must conform to action, time, & place COMEDY: * Written to ridicule man, & teach by showing how evil creates fools * robes with long sleeves * short dress affair * padded rump & stomach * leather phallus * PARABASIS: to step across, to come forward, the point in the comedy where the play turned out to audience; "discussion" of local issues WRITERS: Euripides Sophocles * 497-406 B.C. * introduced to the stage the third actor * dealt with heroes of an earlier Greece * Oedipus the King * 485-406 B.C. * writer of some of the wittiest comedy in the history of drama * sublime jester GRECIAN DOWNFALL * succumbed to superior military force * Caesar's armies were over seas; the small states of Greece were left defenseless * theatre slowly declined * replaced by Roman theatre THE BEGINNING * frowned upon by aristocratic Romans * audiences consisted mainly of lower class * means of entertainment * playhouses were portable wooden platforms which audiences stood around * in 61 B.C. Pompey had a huge auditorium built; erected a small statue of Venus & called it a temple of worship (in order to make it legal) THE THEATRES * half-circle orchestra * multi-purpose: seats could be swung around into an amphitheater for chariot races & gladiatorial contests * first to use a front curtain * CLAQUE: a person paid to arouse the audience into clapping & shouting SENECA * major playwright * borrowed plays from Greeks * "closet drama" - so gory it was meant to be read instead of performed * influential; plays rediscovered during Renaissance & served as models for European playwrights PLATUS * 254-184 B.C. * top comic writer * plots were Greek in origin THE DOWNFALL * overshadowed by other events - in coliseums, gladiatorial contests were interspersed with Christians being fed to lions * Rome fell in 476 A.D. * Christian church took over; all theatrical activity was banned
- for hundreds of years theatre lay dormant THE BACHAS By Euripides Come, Dioysus'
Come and appear to us
Come like a bull or a
Hundred-headed serpent
Come like a lion snorting
Flame from your nostrils
Swoop down, Bacchus, on the
Hunter of the Bacchae,
Smile at him and snare him;
Throw him and throttle him,
Catch, trip, trample him to death!
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