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Kalani Carter

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Kalani C

on 6 April 2016

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Transcript of Kalani Carter

Greek Drama
Christian Drama
Morality Plays
One of the greatest and most renowned morality plays is
. Other examples include
The Castle of Perseverance
, and
The Castle of Perseverance
is the most complete vernacular play. Written in 1425, it describes the main character's battle with evil forces for the possession of his soul (Klausner).
Roman Drama
Kalani Carter
Works Cited
Morality plays were popular in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. A morality play is an allegory in which characters personify qualities, such as death or goodness (
). Morality plays were created to reinforce
Christian morals and principles. This genre of drama often featured the protagonist's conflict with sin and his journey to repentance. The main character in the play had a continuous struggle between good and evil, but virtue always ended up winning over vice.
Greek drama had its origin in 700 B.C. with festivals honoring the many Greek gods. Usually, only one actor was allowed on stage at a time. Later, up to three actors could be on stage. Each actor played multiple roles, dressing up in masks and costumes to portray a particular character. This made the role of the chorus extremely important. In fact, the chorus may have performed more the one-half the lines in the play (Robinson). The most popular genre of Greek drama in the 5th century BC was the tragedy.
Greek tragedy plays generally began with a prologue and a paradox, in which the chorus would introduce the characters and establish the mood for the play, and ended with the exodus scene, where all the characters would exit (Robinson). Most Greek tragedies were about mythology and focused on the character's struggle to find the meaning of life. The most influential Greek tragedians were Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus. Aeschylus is credited for bringing the second actor on stage, while Sophocles introduced the third actor. Sophocles also made many other contributions to Greek drama, including fixing the number of chorus members to 15 and inventing "scene paintings" (Robinson). Euripides is well-known for his memorable characters and challenging existing values (Trumbull; Robinson).
Greek comedy was not as popular as tragedy, but is still an important element in Greek drama. The most well-known Greek playwright of comedy is Aristophanes.
Roman drama had its origin in Roman religious festivals, which incorporated acting, dancing, and music (Robinson). In Rome, there were 175 annual festivals, 101 of which were for the theater (Trumbull). The first theatrical performance occurred in 364 B.C.
The Romans borrowed many ideas from the Greeks and Etruscans and modified them. Like the Greeks, Roman drama included costumed actors. In contrast with Greek drama, however, Roman drama incorporated pantomimes into their performances (Trumbull). Also unlike in Greece, comedies were more popular than tragedies in Rome (Robinson).
The most famous Roman comic playwrights were Titus Maccius Plautus, Publius Terentius Afer, and Terence. Playwrights of Roman tragedy include Quintus Ennius, Marcus Pascuvius, Lucius Accius and Lucius Annareus Seneca (Robinson). Their plays were performed in elaborate structures built across the Roman Empire.
Roman theaters housed plays and other ceremonies. The theater was similar to a stadium, with the stages being anywhere from 20 to 40 feet deep, and 100 to 300 feet long. The large structure could seat over 10,000 people and featured trap doors and dressing rooms (Trumbull).
Roman plays were acted out in Latin, with males dominating the theater for the majority of Roman history. No limits were placed on the number of actors in a play. One popular element in Roman drama was the pantomime. A pantomimic performance was put on by a dancer, sometimes accompanied by music. The dancer would use gestures that displayed the emotions of man ("What Roman").
Several factors led to the decline of the Roman theater, including Christian opposition (Trumbull). By the seventh century, the theater had all but disappeared ("Ancient").

Roman theater
After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the theater had disappeared. Emerging from the ashes of Roman theater, liturgical drama made its way into Europe. Seizing the opportunity to make pagan plays more moral and teach the illiterate about important Bible stories, the Church developed a new type of drama.
Starting out as small scenes acted out during Easter, liturgical plays became popular during the 10th and 11th centuries. The performances dramatized Jesus' Resurrection and other significant stories. Eventually, during the 12th and 13th centuries, the performances became longer and more sophisticated, marking the beginning of Christian drama ("Acting History"). Out of these performances emerged mystery, miracle, and morality plays.
In an attempt to teach the population about the Bible, the Catholic Church dramatized famous biblical stories, such as the Creation and the Last Judgment (Knight). Such performances came to be known as mystery plays. At first, these religious plays were only given in Latin. Later, however, they became vernacular. Mystery plays were often performed on pageant wagons, moveable stage carts decorated with two to three animated backgrounds called mansions (
Similar to mystery plays, miracle plays focused on Christian faith. However, these kind of plays depicted real or fictitious narratives about the lives of saints.

English Pageant Wagon
"Acting History Liturgical Drama."
Acting class Online Tips
. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 April


"Ancient Roman Drama."
Drama Online
. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc., 2011. Web. 3

April 2016.

Ecyclopædia Britannica
. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2016. Web. 3 April 2016.

Klausner, David N. "The Castle of Perseverance: Introduction."
University of

. N.p., 2010. Web. 3 April 2016.

Knight, Kevin. "Miracle Plays and Mysteries."
New Advent
. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 April


Robinson, Scott R.
Central Washington University
. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 April 2016.

Trumbull, Eric W.
. N.p., 16 Nov. 2007. Web. 3 April 2016.

"What the Roman Play was Like."
. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 April 2016.
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