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Greek Theater

background terms for theater

Dionysus Greek god of wine and revelry; his followers created drama when they acted out stories of mythology
skene a building behind the playing area which was originally a hut for actors to change masks and costumes, eventually became the background or set.
theatron the "viewing or watching" place/stone benches cut into the theater's hillside
orchestra large circular dancing area in the center of ancient Greek theaters
parodos name of the long ramps/walkways used byt he chorus to enter and exit a Greek theater
deus ex machina literally "god of the machine." this referred to special effect use of a hoist/crane to lower an actor portraying a Greek god. Device used to resolve a play's endings.
proskenion platform used to elevated the actors and to separate them from the chorus
hubris excessive pride or arrogance -- often a hero's tragic flaw
catharsis an emotional "cleansing or purging" or a play's character as well as for the audience.
tragedy literally means a "goat hymn" because the ancient Greek sacrificed a goat during their religious practices which evolved into drama.
dithyramb A large chorus of Greek men who sang or chanted hymns to the Greek gods which evolved into story-telling and drama.
Sophocles author of the Oedipus triology
Aristotle His philosophy about drama included specific guidelines for tragedy.
Thespis He was a member of the chorus and is created for creating solo acting parts.
Unity of place all the play's action takes place in ONE setting
Unity of Time all of the play's plot takes place in one 24-hour period.
Unity of Action The play's plot/action is either tragedy or comedy with just one plotline.
Characteristics of a tragic hero 1. Of noble or high status/greatness 2. has a tragic flaw 3. Hero's downfall is the result of his own choices 4. Hero gains self-knowledge, is ennobled by his suffering 5. Reversal of fortune 6. arouses catharsis for both tragic hero and audience 2.
Features of ancient greek actors 1. male 2. few parts 3. work masks 4. costumes highly symbolic 5. wore high-heeled shoes 6. masks contained a megaphone
Created by: sandersenglish10