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Ancient Greek Theatre Combo

May 12, 2015



spliced ppts for the ancient theatre unit, grrek theatre

  • 1.Ms. Aixa B. Rodriguez World Cultures Theme Mythology Unit ESL L5 and Art in Literature Class High School for World Cultures Bronx, NY

2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

  • Theatron : literally, the watching place
  • Orchestra : literally, the dancing place
  • Skene : scene, or backdrop

7. 8.

  • Daylight
  • Class issues
  • Women
  • Comfort
  • Sound effects

9. 10.

  • The modern wordtheater comes from the Greek word theatron meaning "seeing place"


  • Challenges:
    • Size
    • Distance from audience
    • Holding interest

12. 13.

  • Behindorchestra
  • Served as backdrop, house
  • Decorative in later years
  • Holdsmechane


  • Parodos:passageways (pl.paradoi)
  • Ekkykleme:the thing that rolls
    • the small wagon platform, was wheeled in to show a corpse to the audience.
    • All killing had to occur off stage and be reported to the audience by the chorus or a messenger.
  • Mechane : crane used for special effect

15. 16.

  • Staging was accomplished simply with the use ofpinakes , orscenery painted on boards and placed against the skene.
  • Alsoperiaktois ,triangular prisms, that could be revolved for scenery changes .
  • Propertieswere also used.
  • Drums were sounded for thunder.

17. In an amphitheatre With achoruswho described most of the action. With masks 18.

  • The theater of ancient Greece, flourished between c. 550 and c. 220 BCE.
  • The city-state of Athens, was its centre.
  • It was part of a festival called the Dionysia, which honored the god Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and revelry with altars generally on stage.
  • Banks would shut down for days, people would travel from all around to see the drama competitionseven prisoners were temporarily released to see the plays
  • Tragedymeans goat song (relates to Dionysian sacrificial rituals)

19. 20. 21.

  • Thechoruswastrained and costumed at state expense through achoregos (a wealthy citizen) who chose this job as his way of paying taxes and raising his standing in the community .


  • Members of the chorus were chosen from the general population.
  • Chorus members were unpaid volunteers doing their civic duty.
  • The rehearsal period for a chorus was likely four months or more.


  • DRAMA: a literary composition written to be performed by actors
  • central character called a tragic protagonist or hero suffers some serious misfortune
  • the misfortune is logically connected with the hero's actions.


  • The modern word drama comes from the Greek worddranmeaning "to do
  • The Greeks understood the role of action in plays.


  • Comedy
  • Tragedy
  • Satyr
    • Comedy and tragedy were the most popular types of plays in ancient Greece. Hence, the modern popularity of the comedy and tragedy masks to symbolize theatre.


  • The word comedy comes from the Greek word komos which means band of revelers.


  • These wereshort plays performed between the acts of tragedies.Theymade fun ofthe plight ofthe tragedy's characters .
  • Thesatyrswere mythicalhalf-human, half-goat servants of Dionysus .
  • They served the function of comic relief.


  • The Satyr and the Satyr plays spawned the modern word satire.

29. 30.

  • used a chorus
  • The choricdithyrambs(choral songs) were originally about the death and resurrection of Dionysus (the god of wine and revelry).
  • Chorus reflects what the audience is thinking
      • color commentary
      • Provides background and spectacle


  • Thefirst function of the choruswas
  • asnarrator(telling stories, providinginformation).
    • to bridge the gap between the audience and the playersby making responses and asking questions
    • to intensify the emotion and e stablish a lyric mood through rhythmic chanting and dance
    • to maintain a sense of ceremony and ritual


  • The chorus could punctuate the action of a play with bursts of song and dance, which enlarged the dramatic action and relieved tension.
  • Instruments used to accompany choric songs and dances included flutes, lyres, horns, drums, and bells.
  • The Parados (chorus entrance) marks the beginning of the play, and theexodus (its exit) the ending.
  • Singing
  • Dancing
  • Strophe
  • Antistrophe


  • As the number of actors increasedfrom one to three,the size of the chorus,which originally numbered 50 , was reduced.
  • 12-15 men


  • The Chorus could play the worshipers of a God,or as in Oedipus, the villagers and Theban elders (town leaders).


  • The modern word thespian comes from the name Thespis, the first actor credited with separating from the chorus to hold a call and response with them.


  • Choruses did not rehearse in the theatres, they probably rehearsed in a closed room so that the spectatorswould not see the drama before the performance.
  • Early dramatists (Aeschylus and probably Sophocles and Euripides) taught their own choruses.


  • Consisted of standard Greek attire
  • Chiton:a sleeveless tunic belted below the breast
  • thehimation : draped around the right shoulder
  • thechlamys,or short cloak, worn over the left shoulder
  • elaborately embroidered patterns
  • Masks were used.
  • If playing a female role, the male actor in want of a female appearance wore the prosternidabefore the chest and theprogastrida before the belly


  • 3 Actors, all men
  • Elaborate gestures,over-acting
  • Womenwerenot allowed to participate.

39. 40.

  • to masks bring the characters' face closer to the audience.
  • to enable an actor to play in several different roles,
  • to help the audience to distinguish sex, age, and social status, in addition to revealing a change in a particular characters emotions and appearance.
  • a maskcalled a persona
  • Masks contained megaphone to amplify their voices


  • Another adaptation that the Greeks' developed for their theatre masks were special mouths that acted like megaphones to amplify their voice for everyone in the huge theatre to hear.


  • Actors wore masks with exaggerated facial features
  • and expressions to make it easy for all viewers to identify a particular characterbecause theatres were very large.


  • Greek actors originally started wearing masks that were very human like that just covered part of the face
  • Eventually with the increase in theatre size the mask changed as well
  • The mask then began to cover the whole head and resembled legends from Greek mythology not humans


  • usually made by the people that who wore them in the play
  • from consisted of cloth, leather, and wood with animal hair andpainted or died different colors with flowers and other plants attached to them.
  • Famous actors in bigger plays may have had jewels and other ornate items placed on their masks


  • Aeschylus
  • Sophocles
  • Euripides
  • Aristophanes
  • Menander


  • Medea is a princess from Colchis.She marries Jason, who ison a quest for the Golden Fleece. Medea betrays her father and murders her brother for her love of Jason. Medea has magical powers. Jason takes Medea back to his homeland Iolcus. They are rejected for fear of Medeas power and move toCorinth, where they have children.
  • Jason takes another wife, the king of Corinths daughter Glauce. Medea, betrayed, sends a bewitched gown to Princess Glauce, Jasons new bride, it kills her and her father. Jason returns to find Medea has killed their sons. Medea leaves with the bodies of her children in a dragon led chariot. Jason, a shadow of a man, no longer protected by Hera, dies when a timber from the Argo crushes him in his sleep.


  • Son of wealthy Athenian merchant
  • Lived during golden age of Athens
    • Center of democracy
  • Important figure in society
    • Becomes cultural spokesperson
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