Ancient Greek Theatre Essay, Research Paper
TheaterStructure Where did we get the idea of the theatre? From the Greeks. The Greeks were one of the first civilizations to have a theatre. It was built into a steep mountainside, and the shape of it was curved like a semicircle. The stadium faced a stage that only male actors could perform on, because women were thought of as housewives, and not artistic actors. Playwrights There were two types of plays: a tragedy and a comedy. Sophicles, Euripides, and Aeschylus were three of the well-known Greek playwrights for tragedies. They were known for their seriousness, their language, and their complexity of thought. A famous Greek playwright for comedies was Aristophanes. Athens, a city-state in Greece, attracted many people because of its theatres. Aristophanes’ plays were often performed there. He kept Athenians smiling. Organization The organization of the theatre was set by stone coins. The stone coins matched the marking on the seat. Otherwise, it would be one huge argument on where to get the best seats. Historians suspect that they saved the front seats for the rich and important people. Giving less important people coins that were away from the front row would help save the seats for the more important people.
Costumes and Masks The Greeks had masks that were made out of dried mud (clay). The costumes they had to go with them were made out of linen and once in a while they used silk. They used different colors to express the feeling of the play. The masks were also brightly colored so the people in the last row could see them. The eyes had to be very big and the nose had to be large enough to be seen. The masks were tied onto their faces by linen or woolen string. This way, the masks wouldn’t fall off while they were acting. Concluding Paragraph The Greek theatre was mainly for laughs, tears, and just plain entertainment. The stadium was built out on a mountainside, so it was steep. All could seat about 14,000 people! Because of that, the costumes had to be bright and exaggerated. But, sometimes they had to be dark, to fit the mood of the play. In order to see those costumes, you had to be a little closer. To prevent arguments on where to sit, they had stone coins to tell them the seating arrangement.
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