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Ancient Greek Theater

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Luke Prince

on 15 April 2013

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Transcript of Ancient Greek Theater

and the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus An Introduction to Greek Theater Dionysus – God of wine, ritual madness, and ecstasy The Festival of Dionysus took place annually in Athens during the springtime. Theatrical performances were the central event and were a means of worship and festivity. censored for your
own protection It was custom for three tragic playwrights to compete against each other. A jury would judge the plays and decide on the winner, whose name would be inscribed on the theater wall. Types of Plays The Tragedy τραγῳδία pronounced "tragoidia" Translated as "goat song" Why? Well it could be many reasons. Tragic Hero - generally good and usually of nobility The Tragic Fall The Tragic Flaw Catastrophe A terrible event that is brought about
as a result of the actions of the tragic hero Audience experiences catharsis,
or an emotional purging, and feels
pity or compassion towards the tragic hero Whooosh The Comedy While tragedies depicted real and glorified characters,comedies depicted stereotypical and more crude characters. Costume and mask varied from the exaggerated
to the ridiculous. The Satyr satyr are half man half goat creatures
that were companions to Dionysus. A satyr play had a chorus of satyrs Generally vulgar, drunken, merry.

The performers often wore props
of a phallic nature as a means of comedy.

Considered tragicomedy The Classic Playwrights

"The Persians"
"The Oresteia"
"Prometheus Bound"


"The Bacchae"
"Helen" The Three Tragedians

"Oedipus the King"
"Oedipus at Colonus"
"Antigone" All Athenians, 5th century BC The Comic Playwright Aristophanes

"The Acharnians"***
"The Clouds"
"The Wasps" Ancient Greek Theater The Theater Open air, built into side of a hill
Orchestra – “dancing space” the flat stage, where the chorus would perform Behind the actors was the
skênê (skay-nay), the origin
of the word scene. A stage building.
Backdrops were painted on it for the plays, Stage effects were
contained in it, such as a hoist used to have a “god” descend onto stage. The Masks Masks were because it was a religious ritual

Also used in changing character

Only 3 performers did all the speaking roles in a play The Chorus 2 fundamental roles:
1 – fun! Exciting! 12 – 15 performers singing and dancing in exotic costume and mask.
2 – perspective of the community on what was happening in the play. The Great Theater of Epidaurus Greek Theater to honor Dionysus

Where: Hills of Epidaurus, about 100 miles from Athens, Greece

Consists of 55 row of stone seats built into hillside Known for its perfect acoustics Origin in medicine.

Reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo's
son Asclepius the healer, Epidaurus was
known for its sanctuary situated about
five miles from the town. Reason theater was located here?
The sanctuary became reputable across
the greek empire and well as wealthy.

In 360 BC, the money collected from
patients was used to build the theater,
built by the architect Polykleitos
the Younger. The Ruins of the Asclepion At Epidaurus Layout for the Asclepion at Pergamum Notice the theater at the bottom To the ancient Greeks, theater was medicine.

Music was used in medical therapy. ^ Polykleitos the Younger Thousands of limestone blocks
formed the seats
His design was for 32 rows, though
23 more were added 2 centuries later The Physics Behind the Acoustics Performances done to audiences of up to 14000 without benefit of microphones.
A coin dropped in the center of the performance circle can be heard clearly from the back rows. Secret behind the theater’s acoustics?

The secret lies in the stone itself. Research done at the Georgia Institute of Technology has shown that the limestone ‘cuts’ frequencies below 500 Hz. Frequencies above 500Hz were left undiminished. The stone reduces echo. The surface of the limestone along with the fact no surface at the theater is flat diffuses the sound. The rows of limestone seats filter out low-frequency sounds, such as the murmur of the crowd, and amplify high-frequency sounds from the stage. The greeks also developed a technique to get rid of unwanted frequencies in order to make the actors’ voices even clearer. They used a resonator, which was a large hollow object tuned to the unwanted frequency. The theater is still used to this day End Tragedy involves a tragic hero. Ex. Oedipus from "Oedipus the King" ***You should ask me about this play
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