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Introduction to Greek Theatre

Sophocles and Greek Theatre
by

M Bokano

on 23 September 2014

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Transcript of Introduction to Greek Theatre

An Introduction to
"Oedipus the King"
Sophocles and Greek Theatre
One of the three greatest writers of Greek tragedy
Lived from 496 to 406 BC
Live entire life in Athens
entered annual theatrical competitions sacred to the god Dionysus
In 468 his play won first prize
soon after he gave up performing because he had a weak voice
wrote 123 plays; 24 of them won first prize, and the rest second
Sophocles
first playwright to have 3 actors onstage at the same time-this allowed for the development of more dramatically complex scenes
increased the number of singers in the chorus
wrote single dramas of concentrated action that focused on a dominant individual (normal was to write 3 interconnected plays featuring a diversity of characters)
wrote about a partly-mythical heroic era of Greek History
Additions to Greek Theatre
Only 7 of Sophocles' tragedies survive today
"Oedipus the King" has been called the most perfect example of Greek tragedy that we have today!!
Legacy
began in the sixth century BC as part of the worship of Dionysus, god of wine and fertility
to commemorate the god's death, a group of chanters (chorus), danced around an altar where a goat was sacrificed
chorus called "goat-singer" and their chant tragos (goat song)
this is where "tragedy" came from
evolved into contests
Greek Theatre History
held in Athens
City Dionysia developed into festival of tragedies
prizes awarded
businesses suspended for a week
state would pay entrance fee if one could not afford it
men and women attended
lasted 5-6 days
wooden and then stone seats formed the theatre
skene-stone building where actors changed masks and costumes
machina-cranelike hoist so actors appeared to be flying
sacred ritual
Greek Theatre Festival
outdoors
only male actors
seating for up to 20,000
first row reserved for dignitaries
orchestra-circular acting area (65-85 ft in diameter)
more speech than action
Greek Plays in Performance
wore thick -soled shoes and a high headpiece to be seen
wore wooden, cork, or linen masks that fit over entire head
these projected actors' voice, denoted character and emotion
wore standard Greek attire: chiton, himation, or chlamys
colorful
wore half-calf boots or sandals
chorus members dressed alike
Style of Costumes
Full transcript