Performed for special occasions festivals Athens had four festivals worshipping Dionysus -- Bacchus in Latin, Roman god of wine, fertility, rebirth The son of Zeus [a god] and Semele [a mortal], reared by satyrs, killed, dismembered, and resurrected was actually reborn -- Competitive -- prizes awarded Actors and playwrights competed -- Oedipus apparently didn't win was 2nd -- B. Choral -- singing seems to have been an important part a chorus of men varied in size form 3 to 50 -- many think the choral song -- dithyramb -- was the beginnings of Greek drama but origins are unclear 4.
The Three Greek Tragedians: 1. Aeschylus - his are the oldest surviving plays - began competing B. Most of his plays were part of trilogies; the only extant Greek trilogy is The Orestia. He is Believed to have introduced the 2 nd actor Thespis was one, the 2 nd added; after B. Sophocles is believed to have introduced the 3 rd actor, which Aeschylus then used. Sophocles: B. Euripides B.
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Theme emphasized: sometimes chance rules world, people are more concerned with morals than gods are. Examples: The Cyclops - Euripides - from The Odyssey - where Odysseus meets the Cyclops and a captive band of satyrs The Trackers - Sophocles - much is extant - about Apollo's attempt to find a herd of cattle stolen by Hermes, god of thieves. Based on a "happy idea" - a private peace with a warring power or a sex strike to stop war exaggerated, farcical, sensual pleasures.
Structure of the Comedy: Part One: prolog - chorus gives debate or " agon " over merits of the ides.
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Part Two: scenes show the result of the happy idea final scene: komos - all reconcile and exit to feast or revelry in B. The State responsible for theatre buildings, prizes, payments to actors and perhaps to playwrights. Prizes were awarded jointly to playwrights and choregus. Dramatists themselves probably "directed" the tragic plays, but probably not the comedies. Aeschylus and others in his time acted, trained chorus, wrote music, choreographed, etc.
Actors were semi-professional, at best.
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Three-actor rule that only three actors were in productions - seems supported by evidence, but questioned by some. Oedipus at Colonus - could have only three actors, but only if a different actor played the same character in different scenes. Comedy: Fewer restrictions Playwrights cast till B. Actors were paid by the State. Only the leading actors were eligible for competition. A vocal acting - declamatory - to project appropriate emotional tone, mood, and character. Three kinds of delivery: speech, recitative, and song. No facial importance - masks used.
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Gesture and movement were broadened and simplified. Tragedy leaned toward idealization; comedy toward burlesque. Other elements affecting 5 th century Greek productions: The chorus - tragedies dominant in early tragedies so main actors could change roles? Generally believed to be 15 by the time of Sophocles and Euripides. Later diminished in time. Entered with stately march, sometimes singing or in small groups. Choral passages sung and danced in unison, sometimes divided into two groups. The type of groupings are unknown.
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The similarities between Rhesus and Euripidean target-passages in terms of dramatic situation are shown to be sometimes superficial. The author also assumes a Macedonian audience for this play. Zachary Biles and Jed Thorn, in Chapter 11, focus on the cross-cultural reinterpretation of Athenian theatre via a thorough exploration of choregic iconography in the non-Greek communities of Southern Italy. They conclude that the role of this iconographic tradition was dictated by factors of marketing and the beliefs of its end-users.
In this direction Edward G. Robinson, in Chapter 12, investigates expansion of theatres in non-Greek Apulia, aptly pointing out that theatrical subjects were mainly confined to volute-kraters, amphorae and loutrophoroi found in the chamber tombs of the elite. Perspectives on Macedonian theatre, such as production mainly for elite audiences and the potential for theatre to enter the public sphere, help to explain theatrical developments in South Italy. Due to a social and linguistic gap, performances in Greek seem not to have been easily accessible to a wider audience. Richard Green, in Chapter 13, fully explores for the first time the iconographic evidence for Greek regional theatre, especially in Boeotia, Corinth, and Cyprus, defining the style of comic performers in terracotta figurines and assessing their similarities as well as possible degrees of their independence from the Athenian model.
Cypriot theatrical figurines, like those in Corinth and Boeotia, had their own character and were not imitations of Athenian products. Similarly, in Chapter 14, David Braund and Edith Hall survey the diverse available evidence and scholarship on the almost neglected fourth-century theatre culture of the non-Greek- speaking Black Sea. Local performances, possibly by troops of Greek actors on the Macedonian model, or mimicry are likely to be the aspects of theatre reception in this area.
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Eric Csapo and Peter Wilson, in Chapter 15, discuss organization of the theatre in the time of Eubulus and Lycurgus, highlighting their financial innovations, as well as the potential value of culture and cultural industry, which became the mainstay of the Athenian economy. In Chapter 16 Benjamin W. Millis examines inscribed public records for Athenian dramatic contests IG II 2 a and IG II 2 , such as the Fasti, the Didascaliae and the Victors Lists, which represent monuments concerning related material, though, as the author remarks, erected on separate occasions and with remarkable divergences.
The antiquarianism is evident in these inscriptions, their content seems to derive from state archives, and the message provided is that only Athens had a long and prestigious dramatic history.
In this significant volume fourth-century theatre is presented by contemporary scholars in its own light. The fourth century was not a period of decay and decline of dramatic production, but the age of expansion, diversity and vitality of the theatre. Please contact us via eBay messages if you have any questions and our Customer Service team will be happy to assist you with any queries.
Thank you. Past scholarship described the fourth century BC as an age of theatrical decline. This book, the first to explore all aspects of fourth-century theatre, reveals it to be an epoch of unparalleled expansion and innovation. Shipping Shipping is free for all customers in Australia. Returns and refunds We operate a 30 day money back guarantee.
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