The Ancient Greek Theater

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Theater has always been part of historical analyses because it gives insight into the lives and interactions of members of a society. Whether the purpose of a theatrical event is to communicate ideas or purely for entertainment, the development of theater has existed since ancient times. Most historians believe that the Greeks were the first to utilize theater socially and culturally. The Romans were greatly influenced by Greek tradition and culture, and especially theater, but nevertheless, their use of theater subsequently developed and transformed uniquely. The development and growth of Roman theater and architecture from the time that theater was limited to the use of festivals and its subsequent popularity, significantly influenced the …show more content…
It can be said that the Greeks created the foundation, or skeleton, of a theatrical story. It was a very original idea to take a religiously festive tradition and stand it on its own. The basis of theater in ancient Greece is traceable through the work of Aeschylus. Aeschylus applied a common activity and created a new cultural element of daily life. The first type of theatrical activity was found in celebration of the spring festival of the god Dionysus. Included in the celebration were processions, sacrifices, parades, and "competition between tragedians" (Hemingway). Just like in the modern world, popular ideas gain traction and evolve. The popularity for theatrical scenes led to the construction of theaters and many playscripts and works of theater, some of which do not exist, but insight to these pieces are given to us through the information of historians from subsequent centuries, such as Plato and Aristotle. The structural development of theater into cohesive storylines, either comedic or tragic, inspired the construction of theaters and greatly affected society and …show more content…
Many aspects of theater were borrowed and built upon since the Romans were able to see the affect that entertainment had in Greek life. Around 240 BC, Livius Andronicus, one of Greece's well-reputed playwrights of the time, shared his full-length playscripts with Rome (Laura S. Klar). However, it was not until 55 BC with the construction of Pompey's Theater that the concept of permanent and regularized theater events became solidified. Theatrical events were common during festivals and celebrations of gods, but it was not originally meant to be long-lasting. In fact, theaters were built of wood specifically so that they could be used for one purpose and then torn down

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