Greek Theater : The Festival Of Vintage Essay

1173 Words Feb 19th, 2015 5 Pages
Greek Theater Greek drama is said to have its roots from Athenian seasonal festivals honoring Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility. These festivals occurred around 700 B.C.; they were filled with drunkenness and sexuality. Scholars believe there were four festivals during each of the seasonal change periods. The festival related to the Greek people planting, tending the vine, harvesting, and wine-making was in early December. This was called the Festival of Vintage. There was a Festival of the Winepress in early February, a Festival of Tasting in early March, and the Great Festival of Celebration in early April. These festivals were a time for the people to sing, pray for good crops, give thanks, and make sacrifices for bountiful harvests. In these celebrations, drunken men used to dress up in rough goat skins to symbolize sexual potency and donned fake phalluses to symbolize fertility. They sang and cavorted in choruses to imitate a goat’s prancing. A group of people dressed up as Dionysus’ companions give him a grand welcome (Snodgrass 81). The festivals were the foundation of the Greek theater and plays. Around 534 B.C., Thespis, an Athenian, is credited for introducing the first actor, although some scholars believe that Phyrnichus should receive this credit. It was not till the fifth century B.C. that tragedy was improved. The improvements included the addition of more actors; there was a more complex plot and theme which will later become a…

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