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Greek Theatre

Theatre Place where performances are put on for an audience. Developed from religious ceremonies to entertainment purposes.
Chorus A company of actors who comment (by speaking or singing in unison) on the action in a classical Greek play. Sing the dithyramb. They would sing and dance as well as recite lines.
Dialogue Developed by Thespis. Chorus talked to the actors, rather than speaking/singing together.
Play A performance wherein a plot comes to a climax and where characters are in conflict with themselves and others.
Mimic To copy or imitate. Aristotle said that theatre is not the action but an imitation of the action.
Tragedy From the Greek word tragos meaning “goat song." Developed from the dithyramb. Plot focuses on human suffering.
Comedy From the Greek word komos meaning “revel” or “carousing.” A funny, humorous play developed from games.
Tragicomedy A play that combines the elements of a tragedy and a comedy. It is, or can be, humorous. Usually a serious play with comic undertones.
Satyr Play A type of tragicomedy. Preserves the structure and characters of tragedy while adopting a happy atmosphere and a rural background. Usually involved satyrs, which are Greek mythological creatures who are half man, half goat.
Dithyramb A song like a hymn sung in unison by the chorus. Over time, went from being about religion to being about heroes, gods, and demi-gods. Usually dedicated to the god Dionysus.
Dionysus Greek god of wine, fertility, sexual fun, and theatre. Roman name = Bacchus
Plot The story or main idea of a play. Greeks already knew the stories of the plays they went to see.
Thespis Creator of theatre as we know it. Separated actors from the chorus and created dialogue. The first “actor.”
Thespian Greek word for actor. Comes from the name of Thespis, the first true actor.
Actor A thespian. Person who portrays different characters on stage. In Ancient Greece, only men were allowed to be this type of performer.
Trilogy 3 plays with the same theme. One story told in three parts. The Orestia by Aeschylus is the only existing example of a dramatic trilogy.
Orchestra The area where the chorus danced
Skene A small hut-like building behind the acting area. Served as the actors’ dressing rooms.
Machina A crane-like device that would hoist actors playing gods into the air. The phrase deus ex machina, or “God is the machine,” is a plot device where the conflict was unexpectedly resolved when a god would suddenly appear from nowhere and save the day.
Tragedy Involve conflicts that evolve from the clash between the will of the gods and the ambitions and desires of humanity. Shows how useless human efforts are in the face of fate.
4th and 5th Centuries BC The time period in which Aeschylus, Euripides, and Sophocles wrote.
Aeschylus This playwright expanded the number of actors and reduced the size of the chorus.
Aeschylus This playwright is referred to as the father of tragedy and Greek drama. He was the first to develop drama into a form separate from singing, dancing, or storytelling.
Aeschylus This playwright is known for the elevation and majesty of his language.
Aeschylus This playwright wrote the only surviving Greek trilogy, The Orestia. It tells the story of the murder of Agamemnon, the revenge taken by his children, and the punishment and final acquittal of his son.
Aeschylus This playwright wrote about the choices men make and the consequences that follow.
Aeschylus Most famous plays are the plays of The Oresteia: Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, and Euminides.
Aeschylus Hilarious legend that he was killed when an eagle dropped a tortoise on him from a great height, thinking that his bald head was a stone that would crack the tortoise open.
Sophocles Ranked with Shakespeare as one of the greatest playwrights of all time.
Sophocles His plays often compared the power of the gods to the importance of humanity, believing that humans possess god-like qualities that make them want to change fate.
Sophocles Characters in his plays were armed with the power to challenge the paths the gods set before them, which many believe was what made his characters some of the greatest to take the stage.
Sophocles His play Oedipus the King is the story of a man who, through a combination of fate and his own character, unwittingly kills his own father and marries his mother. When he realizes the truth of his situation, he puts out his eyes in horror.
Sophocles His most famous plays include Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Electra, and Antigone.
Euripides It wasn’t until after his death that his plays truly earned public appreciation. He was the least popular playwright of his time, but was greatly appreciated by later generations.
Euripides He was more interested in people's lives than in the religious views of his day. His plays emphasized human relationships and he was the master of pathos, human sorrow and compassion.
Euripides This playwright is credited with creating tragicomedy.
Euripides This playwright originated the use of the prologue to summarize the play for the audience before the action.
Euripides His play Cyclops is the only complete Satyr-Play known to exist.
Euripides His play Medea is about a woman who seeks revenge on her husband, Jason, to the extent of killing her own sons.
Euripides Most famous plays include The Trojan Women, Medea, and Hippolytus.
Zeus King of the Gods; God of Thunder; Roman name = Jupiter
Aphrodite Goddess of Love and Beauty. Roman name = Venus
Apollo God of the Sun, the Light, the Music and the Prophecy. Roman name = Apollo
Ares God of War. Roman name = Mars
Artemis Goddess of of the hunt, the moon, and chastity; the protector of pregnant women and the young. Roman name = Diana
Athena Goddess of Wisdom. Roman name = Minerva
Demeter Goddess of Agriculture. Roman name = Ceres
Hades God of the Underworld. Roman name = Pluto
Hephaestus God of Metallurgy and the Smith of the Olympian Gods. Roman name = Vulcan
Hera Zeus's wife; Goddess of Marriage and Family; the protector of married women. Roman name = Juno
Hermes God of the trade, the god of eloquence, and a luck-bringing messenger of the Gods. Roman name = Mercury
Hestia Goddess of the Hearth, Home and Family. Roman name = Vesta
Poseidon God of the seas, horses, and earthquakes. Roman name = Neptune
Chorodidaskalos A choral trainer (called this) was employed for all festival productions, so this is how we know that the chorus was an integral part of each play.
50 When Aeschylus began writing, there were about ___ men in the chorus.
12 Aeschylus reduced the number of men in the chorus to _____, which would be more manageable.
15 Sophocles again raised the number of men in the chorus to ________, which is where the number remained for many years to come.
Half In many plays by Aeschylus, more than _____ the lines were given to the chorus.
Reduced Sophocles ___ the number of lines, and Euripides ____ the amount even more.
Functions of the Greek Chorus Storytelling Device
Functions of the Greek Chorus Provide link between the audience and the action on stage
Functions of the Greek Chorus Provide expository or background information, bring the audience up-to-date and explain the situation.
Functions of the Greek Chorus Comment on the action, emphasize the current emotional state
Functions of the Greek Chorus Describe offstage action
Functions of the Greek Chorus Interact with other characters
Functions of the Greek Chorus Provide spectacle- they sang and danced and entertained
Common People In tragedies- Often represented the __________ of the city-state ruled by the tragic hero or heroine; the audience members could identify with the feelings and ideas of these people
Modern Examples of the Greek Chorus The Stage Manager in Our Town; The Mariachi Owls in Rango; Lizzie's animated self in Lizzie McGuire; The muses in Disney's Hercules; Future Ted in How I Met Your Mother; The "chorus" in musical theatre productions
Aristophanes The most famous Greek comedy playwright
Lysistrata A comedy by Aristophanes in which the women of Athens go on a sex strike in order to get the men to end the Peloponnesian War.
Aristophanes This playwright wrote Lysistrata
Aristophanes The only comic dramatist of Athens of whom we have complete plays
Aristophanes Known as The Father of Comedy or The Prince of Ancient Comedy
Aristophanes Plays are related to politics and social customs of his time; plays use social satire, buffoonery, personal criticism, and obscenity
Aristophanes Wrote the plays “Knights,” “Wasps,” “Birds,” “Clouds,” “Frogs” – titles all taken from disguises of the chorus
Lysistrata A theme of this play is "make love, not war."
Oedipus Rex Characters in this play include Jocasta, Tiresias, and Creon.
Oedipus Rex In this play by Sophocles, a man unknowingly fulfills a prophecy by killing his father and marrying his mother.
Medea In this play by Euripides, a woman rages against her husband who is leaving her for another woman.
Oracle at Delphi This famous place of prophecy is referenced in many Greek plays.
Created by: wghsdrama



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