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Midterm Review

Amphitheater Roman theatre, built on level ground but with stadium style seating
Anonymous Of unknown authorship or origin
Antagonist Person who is opposed to the protagonist
Protagonist The leading character of a work
Catharsis The emotional release that the audience collectively feels after the downfall of a tragic hero (Aristotle)
Story/Ritual/Ceremony Relation Stories became rituals, rituals became ceremonies, ceremonies became theatre
Ceremony A formal act or series of acts prescribed by ritual, protocol, or convention
Chorus Originated from goat-singing chanters (Notes). Function was to was to provide exposition and comment on the action in the play to the audience
Closet drama Writings not intended to be produced. Written by Seneca. Intended to be read, not acted.
Old Comedy Biting political satire: Aristophanes first 9 plays
Middle Comedy Quieter, more coherent: Aristophanes last 2 plays
New Comedy Writing nearly 100 years after Aristophanes, wrote comedies about ordinary people and made his plays seem more like sitcoms
Neoclassicism Comedy Lower and middle class characters, dealt with domestic affairs, common language, happy ending (usually a wedding)
Commedia dell’arte Professional improvised comedy that developed in Italy during the Renaissance. Uses Stock characters
Lazzi Refers to humorous bits of stage business, such as people getting beat up
Zanni Foolish servants; Harlequin (or Arlecchino) was the most popular. End up getting beaten up
Innamorati and Innamorata The young lover stock characters. Almost all Commedia dell'arte plays have them, and they generally don’t have masks
Scenario Plot outline
Craft guilds From Medieval Times. By the late 14th century, they had taken over the production of the Saint and Mystery plays. The members of the guilds were closely associated with the church, and each guild presented one part of the story
Deus ex machina Created by Euripides. God from machine. Resolution to end of play or story is “stuck on there”. Solution out of nothing.
Dionysus God of wine and theatre, son of Zeus, was worshiped by chanting dancers called “goat-singers”
Elizabeth I Queen of Great Britain during the Elizabethan Era. She encouraged theatre in England
Feudalism Government during Medieval Times. Church had massive influence, possibly even more than the King
King Ruled by “Divine Right”
Barons Noblemen that ran large estates or manors and pledged allegiance to the king
Knights Protected noblemen and their lands
Freemen and Serfs Peasants that worked the land. Owed absolute allegiance to the lord of the manor
Folk drama Generally rural theater and pageantry based on folk traditions and local history
Groundlings The people who paid the least amount of money and had to stand on the floor. Often peed on said floor
Hell’s mouth In Medieval Times, this was on one side of the “street” of mansions, while Heaven was on the other side. Where dirty humor takes place
Isis Egyptian god, magician, wife and sister of Osiris, rebuilt him
Liturgical drama Of the Church. Performed by priests, altar boys, monks and later nuns, all in Latin. Stations of the Cross served as acting areas. Costumes were church clothes. Few people in Medieval Times could read, so clergy acted out Bible stories for congregation.
Mansions and platea Acting areas of Liturgical Drama
Mansions Small pieces of scenery on raised platforms to indicate location (throne for Pilate’s palace). Actors start at one of the mansions
Platea Acting area adjacent to mansions
Mimesis Imitation or mimicry, a Greek term. Aristotle wrote that all poetry is imitation and that people naturally enjoy mimicry
Miracle or Saint plays Based on legends of the saints
Morality plays Taught the difference between right and wrong (Ex: Everyman)
Mystery plays Based on biblical history
Neoclassicism Of, relating to, or constituting a revival or adaptation of the classical especially in literature, music, art, or architecture
Tenets of Neoclassicism Verisimilitude, Decorum, Purity of Genre, Unity of time, place and action, Five act form, Purpose
Verisimilitude Only what could reasonably be expected in real life
Decorum Characters behave according to their class, good was rewarded and evil was punished
Purity of Genre Tragedy and Comedy were not mixed
Purpose to teach and to please
Opera Began because Florentine scholars wanted to see how the music in ancient Greek drama sounded. Intended to be a replica of the Greek goat songs to Dionysus
Osiris Egyptian God of the Underworld and Judge of the Dead (Ancient History Encyclopedia) Older brother of Set. Descendants are the Egyptian royal family. His death was the subject of many passion plays
Pageant wagon In Medieval Times, performances were staged on these. Audiences remained stationary while they moved from place to place. Dressing rooms were beneath platform stage. Almost every pageant wagon has some representation of Heaven, Earth, and Hell
Pantomime Acting without words, no lines
Passion Play A play that tells the story of a God’s death (In Egypt, Osiris) (Egyptian Era) Can also refer to a play about the last week of Christ’s life.
Pathos Pity and compassion, appeals to emotion. Used by Euripides
Raked Stage Stage that is at an angle. This gave new meaning to moving upstage and moving downstage. (moving closer to the audience meant literally moving down)
Renaissance Rebirth, movement of education development and art appreciation initiated in 14th century Italy
Major influences on the Renaissance Weakening Church influence, Invention of the Gutenberg press, Italian nobles patronized the arts.
Italian contributions to stagecraft Raked Stage, Raked Props, Artificial and colored light, Sets designing took perspective into account
Ritual [Something] done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol
Satyr Goat-men, drunken, lustful and not very smart
Satyr Play Not very serious, intended to cause laughter. Had mock drunkenness and sexuality. Almost none have survived
Secular Plays Of the world. Performed by traveling troupes that risked excommunication from the Church if they were caught performing
Skene or Scaena Dressing room (Greece) (Rome)
Soliloquy One character or actor speaking by themselves or to themselves (to the audience) describing their innermost thoughts and feelings. (Elizabethan)
Teatro Olimpico 1584 in Vicenza, Italy; Andrea Palladio; Oldest surviving Renaissance Theatre
Teatro Farnese 1618— 1628 in Parma, Italy; Giovan Battista Aleotti; Destroyed during WWII, rebuilt in 1962; Permanent Proscenium Arch
The Globe A theatre in London where Shakespeare’s plays took place. (Elizabethan)
Theatron Greek for seeing place, house, where plays took place. (Greece)
Thespian A term for “actor”. Derived from Thespis
Thespis Credited as the first actor. According to legend, he stepped out of his chorus, jumped onto the back of a cart and began reciting his lines in character
Globe Theatre Parts Tiring house. The Heavens, Scenery Hut
Tiring house Dressing and storage room where actors rested between scenes and changed into lavish costumes. Props stored here. Doors served as actors’ main entrances and exits
The Heavens Roof on stage, painted with stars and housed descending actors and sound effects
Scenery Hut The structure that housed the machinery that raised and lowered actors to the stage
Greek Tragedy Usually dealt with conflicts between Gods and Men
Neoclassicism Tragedy Upper class characters, dealt with affairs of state, elevated language, unhappy ending
Tragos Song of the goat-singers. (Notes) (Greece) Word “tragedy” comes from it
Trilogy 3 plays united in theme, myth, or characters. (Greece)
Zeitgeist The spirit of the time (rough translation). Every time period has its own zeitgeist, or “feel” to it
Doctor Faustus and Tamburlaine Written by Christopher Marlowe
The Great Dyskolos (The Grouch) Written by Menander
Medea and The Trojan Women Written by Euripides
Oedipus Rex and Antigone Written by Sophocles
Everyman Anonymous author
Quem Quaeritis Earliest extent drama from the middle ages. Line dramatization of the resurrection was sung by a choir and performed as part of the Easter services
The Persians The oldest surviving Greek play. Written by Aeschylus
Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Midsummer’s Night Dream Plays by William Shakespeare
The Clouds, The Birds Old comedies by Aristophanes
Lysistrata Middle comedy by Aristophanes
The Oresteia Written by Aeschylus, only surviving Greek trilogy. Had 3 parts: Agamemnon, Choēphóroi (The Libation Bearers), and Eumenides
Volpone and The Alchemist Plays by Ben Jonson
The Deposition A passion play that has been performed every 10 years in Oberammergau, Germany since 1634 (except WWII)
Zeitgeists of "Origins of Theater" Religious rituals and ceremonies
Zeitgeists of "Egyptian" None, passion plays if any
Zeitgeists of "Ancient Greece" Idealism, religious
Zeitgeists of "Ancient Rome" Realism
Zeitgeists of "Medieval European" Religion and the Church
Zeitgeists of "Italian Renaissance" Rebirth of classical thinking
Zeitgeists of "Elizabethan" Entertainment became a business
Aeschylus (Greece) Father of tragedy. Introduced the antagonist. Reduced the chorus from 50 to 12. Wrote The Persians, the oldest surviving Greek play, and The Oresteia
Antonin Artaud (Modern/no formal era) Theater of Cruelty. Avant-garde. Extreme emotional stimulation. The purpose of his plays was to elicit responses from audience members. Performance style was largely movement-based. Emphasized improvisation rather than scripts.
Aristophanes (Greece) The first master of comedy. Some plays of his are The Clouds, The Wasps The Frogs (old comedies), and Lysistrata (middle comedy). His first 9 plays were old comedies, and his last two plays were middle comedies
Ben Jonson (Elizabethan) Father of English Comedy. Edited Shakespeare’s First Folio. Plays: The Alchemist, Volpone, Every Man in His Humor
Bertolt Brecht (Modern/no formal era) Epic Theater presentation of life not to be emphasized but rather analyzed and judged. Verfremdungseffekt, distancing of emotions from stage. Political, moral, Breaking of fourth wall. Posters. Often interrupted action scenes with songs.
Christopher Marlowe (Elizabethan) Used blank verse, melodramatic. Was killed. Plays: Tamburlaine, Jew of Malta, Dr. Faustus
Constantin Stanislavski (Modern/no formal era) Naturalism The Magic IF Wanted to portray characters in a believable manner. Desired for actors to take their own personality onstage when they performed. Rejected over-the-top and exaggerated acting.
Euripides (Greece) Added the prologue. Created the “deus ex machina” device. Wrote the only complete extent satyr play, The Cyclops. Reclusive and misunderstood. Emphasized human relationships - pathos (pity and compassion).
Ikhernofret (Egypt) _______ Stone is the earliest written account of a dramatic production. Describes the three day production that he arranged (which had people actually being injured) and roles he performed
Jerzy Grotowski (Modern/no formal era) Avant-garde theatre Simplicity, “poor theater” Heavy actor conditioning Opposed using extravagant costumes and extremely detailed sets. Performed his plays in non-traditional buildings, as opposed to theatre houses. Used very few props
Menander (Greece) Wrote New Comedies. Wrote comedies about ordinary people and made his plays seem more like sitcoms. Menander wrote over 100 comedies, but only Dyskolos (The Grouch) has survived in its entirety
Peter Brook (Modern/no formal era) Theater of Cruelty. Unconventional visual stunts and sets. Personal human and emotional engagement. Generally produced other dramatists’ work (notably Shakespeare) as opposed to his own. Often used acrobatics and movement in his plays, as opposed to words
Plautus (Rome) Only 21 of 130+ plays, which include Pot of Gold and Braggart Warrior, still exist. All plays based on Greek New Comedy plays like stichomythia: dialogue with short lines, like a tennis match. Had slapstick and songs.
Seneca (Rome) Wrote tragedies based on Greek originals, as well as closet dramas (performances not intended to be produced). Had violence onstage. Influenced renaissance playwrights and introduced five act form
Sophocles (Greece) Added a third actor. Credited with the invention of scene painting and periaktoi or painted prisms. Eliminated the trilogic form and created strong characters including many female characters. Wrote over 120 plays, but only 7 survive.
Terence (Rome) Wrote comedies and was influenced by Menander. Had more complex plots, and ½ of dialogue was sung
William Shakespeare (Elizabethan) Influenced by Terence. Wrote tragedies, histories, and comedies
Created by: AlanMGM



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