The Greeks were deeply religious people. The Ancient Greek Plays and Dramas that they performed were in honor of their gods and their goddesses. A Greek God, Dionysus was honored with the festival named after him, City Dionysia. This festival was performed in Athens.
Ancient Greek Plays and Dramas
The people performed music and plays during this festival. Athens was the center where the Dramas were mainly performed. The city had some allies. The festivals got spread from Athens to its numerous allies. This promoted a common identity between the different states of Greece.
The ancient Greek plays were scripted, enacted and directed by the same person. As time passed, 3 actors were allowed to act in a play. Some of the people acted without uttering any dialogues as such. As the number of actors performing the plays was very few, the chorus had a very significant role in ancient Greek drams. As the chorus delivered its lines, music was played in the background.
Some genre of plays that were performed in the ancient Greek theatres:
- And satirical plays were performed at the ancient Greek theatres.
The tragedy was absolutely different from the comic plays that were staged in the theatres. Satire dealt in mythological subjects with comic overtones. Aristotle in his Poetics laid out some principles that were important for the construction of tragedy.
About tragedy of the ancient Greek drama
Thespis was the forerunner of Greek tragedy. Aristotle in his poetics describes the principles on which tragedy must be constructed. He defines the tragic hero as someone who is much superior to the ordinary folks or by his strength of character. He must be a good man so that his fall arouses sympathy from the audience. Three people who constructed Greek tragedies were Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus.
Several comic Drama used to be staged in the ancient Greek Theatres. However, researchers have not been able to trace the origin of comedy in the Greek theatres. Aristophanes is a famous dramatist who wrote several comic plays. He wrote eleven comedies altogether.
About the actors
They were amateur people acting on the stages. Few of them were professional actors. The men performed in all the roles. Women were not allowed to act in theatres. The theatres were constructed in such a way that even little sounds got registered.In order to make the actors stand out, they put on jeweled costumes and masks.