- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

To What Extent Has the Theater of Ancient Greece Changed the Acts of Modern Day Theater?

Essay by   •  June 6, 2011  •  Essay  •  889 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,943 Views

Essay Preview: To What Extent Has the Theater of Ancient Greece Changed the Acts of Modern Day Theater?

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

To what extent has the theater of ancient Greece (ancient Greek drama) changed the acts of modern day theater?

Tragedy can be defined as terrible, dreadful, or horrific. It is all of these awful terms and more. Drama is most collaborated with tragedy because they both deliver a rollercoaster of emotions; from hope for the next day to fear of the next move. The most famous signs of drama and tragedy are the traditional Comedy tragedy masks. They are seen everywhere but what do they symbolize? Who created them? It actually breaks down to the origins of Ancient Greece or ancient Greek drama which is a theatrical culture. The masks were used to honor the god Dionysus and were featured as part of a festival called the Dionysia. The development of Greek tragedy was made in Athens. Athenian drama consisted of tragedy, comedy and satyr plays. Athenians took pride in theater and dramatic performances were important to them. Apparently, they orchestrated tragedy competitions and festivals to foster loyalty amongst the tribes of Attica. They created the mask in order to show dramatic expressions from afar since most of the theatrical performances were done in a big theater.

These iconic conventions of Ancient Greek theatre have also been created to depict the two foundational elements of Greek theatre (tragedy and comedy). The masks then were made of organic materials like stiffened linen, leather, wood, or cork. They were not only used for the actors but for the chorus as well. They all whore the same mask due to the fact that they were to be representing one character. The chorus was used in order to help the audience understand what the characters were thinking. The masks created a since of unity while representing different roles.

During the time of Ancient Greek theatre, the mask detail was much more detailed than those of today. The masks were helmet like, covering the actor's entire face and head. They also had big holes for the eyes and a small aperture for the mouth space. The masks also included integrated wigs either made of human hair or animal hair. Today mask are created out of plastic and can be made with a variety of features. The advantages of using masks were that an actor could portray more than one character without the audience being able to identify the actor to one specific character.

The credit for the establishment of tragedy, comedy and satyr plays is owed to Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. Aeschylus was known as the Father of Tragedy. Only seven of ninety plays have survived into modern times. Sophocles has written about 123 plays but only seven of them have survived modern times as well. He was most famous for his tragedies Oedipus and Antigone which are known as Theban plays. Euripides was the last of the three great tragedians (the first two being Aeschylus and Sophocles). About eighteen of his plays have survived modern times. Aristophanes,



Download as:   txt (5.2 Kb)   pdf (75.5 Kb)   docx (9.8 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on