The Ancient Greek Theater

Improved Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Throughout the world, Rome has aided the growth of the western civilization. Although the Roman Empire flourished a long time ago, people still look to the Romans as one of the greatest empires in history. Regarding their religion, it played a huge role throughout their culture. The Romans first received their ideas of religion and mythology through the Greeks, who came before them. Much like the Greeks, the Romans worshiped in many different ways, and celebrated their gods and goddesses with elaborate festivals.…

    • 1520 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Persian War Essay

    • 1039 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Warren Hollister in chapter 8, In the Culture of The Golden Age, Hollister interprets and explains that Greece’s Golden Age culture was “Superb taste and unsurpassed excellence” (Page 95). He believes that Greece was at its peak between the Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian Wars. During the Golden Age, Hollister argues that the Greeks represented themselves by citizens, not individuals, they demonstrated their greatness through drama, sculpture, and architecture. Drama, not only brought the Athenians together for entertainment, but for acting too. Many Athenians were in the plays, that taught the people “Human experience” (Page 120).…

    • 1039 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Myths have been replicated in various sources of entertainment and intricate sources for their rich source of storytelling (Greek-gods.org, 2017). However, the stories and recounts have been altered to the extent where the original meaning is lost where it is more romanticised with a distorted betrayal of legends in order to satisfy consumer desires. This is seen in the films Stargate, The Mummy and Aladdin which are based on Myths however their true meaning is lost and so is the connection to the origin of the stories. Through the creation of new technologies, Greek Mythology continues to further promote this set of stories and beliefs to the extent that globally, they are well known (YouTube, 2017). The inclusion of the past being incorporated into the present is broadening people’s perspectives and providing a variety of information, knowledge and way of living to people living across the globe.…

    • 994 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They steadily migrated around the coast and also occupied two-thirds of eastern Sicily. At first, the Greeks only had indirect influence on Rome through the Etruscans, but it was the Roman conquest of southern Italy and Sicily that led them into direct contact with the Romans. Nearly every aspect of Roman life was impacted by the Greeks; from religion and education to literature and philosophy. They provided artistic and cultural ideas and practices through their architecture, literature, and sculpture, Greek tutors were hired by rich Romans, and Greek slaves taken in wars were used in Roman households. Greek religion had the most impact on Rome; the Romans essentially adopted their gods and goddesses from the Greeks, meaning they shared similar roles and responsibilities.…

    • 996 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They wore elaborate masks and detailed costumes to help to display their character’s personalities and to aid the audience in who they were depicting. “By the end of the sixteenth century, popular commedia companies were traveling throughout Europe, performing in Spain, France, England and Germany, as well as Eastern Europe…influencing writers and performers including William Shakespeare” (Human Race Theatre). Although the acting of Commedia dell’Arte was mainly improvisation, things like the plot, props, costumes and stage design, were all decided prior to a show. Drama historian M.F. Bellinger wrote that Commedia dell’Arte “implies rather to the manner of performance than to the subject matter of the play.…

    • 877 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In early Greek theater they were mainly done for honoring their gods of the city it was conducted. Athens was the centerpiece for theatrical drama. When Greek theater first started the actor, director, and the dramatists were the…

    • 560 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Religion In Greek Theatre

    • 952 Words
    • 4 Pages

    I want to show how significant it is in theatre today and its culture. I want to first research what were the earlier shows in Greek theatre and who told them (pastors, high priestess). I’ve discovered through research that Greek tragedy, was an component of the ancient rites carried out in honor of Dionysus (Greek God of the harvest), and it heavily influenced the theatre of Ancient Rome. Drama was religion in ancient Greece. Ancient Greeks used drama to advance their culture, and in doing so, they promoted the morals of their gods/goddesses…

    • 952 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Throughout the years, Greeks and Romans kept influencing the world with their culture, even after the power of both places declined. Greek and Roman philosophies or ideals of the world have been the foundation of Art for Artist due to their techniques, views of the world, and the symbolic meaning of the Greeks for…

    • 659 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Up until the recent discovery of the Abydos Passion Play, it was always taught that Greece was the epicenter of drama, as is stated by one of the acting teachers at Florida School of the Arts, Ms. Patricia Crotty. Part of the reasoning, if not the main reasoning, behind this is because there is better documentation of Greek Drama than there is Egyptian Drama. We have thirty-two extent tragedies and 11 comedies from Ancient Greece compared to the one tablet Ikhernofret recorded the Passion Play on. That amount seems abundant when you compare the two, but the extent Greek dramas are a small percentage of what was written during the Golden Age of Greek theatre. The classic age of Greek Drama began around the 5th century BCE with the birth of Aescylus in 525 BCE and continued through the death of Aristophanes death in 385 BCE according to Bedford.…

    • 1000 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Theatre, a dramatic art, was founded in modern-day Europe’s own Ancient Greece. Ancient Greece was an extremely influential civilization that lasted from 750 – 146 B.C.E. (“Time Periods”). Settled on the mountainous Balkan Peninsula, this civilization was the birthplace of large advancements in governmental, healthcare, philosophical, and especially artistic ideas that have lasted through generations, affecting us to this very day. Theatre is one of the many Greek creations that is still revered in our society today.…

    • 815 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays