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THEA 2011
David Nicol

September 16, 2011 Greek Tragedy -Ancient Greek theatre had long tradition of storytelling; Iliad and Odyssey may derive from epic oral songs -Greeks themselves had different theories how theatre evolved -Modern scholars must piece together theories from fragmentary evidence -Dithyrambs were songs for 50 person choruses in circular formation -Usually told tales from mythology due to research -Legend told that Thespis invented a new kid of dithyramb: -An actor imitated a Greek hero, engaging in dialogue with the chorus -The philosopher Aristotle believed dithyrambs where the origin of tradgedy -In Athens, a competition for dithyrambs became part of the annual “Festival of Dionysus” -According to Aristotle, newer forms then emerged at the festival Aeschylus -Aeschylus created plays for 2 actors and a chorus, and made speech more important than song Sophocles -Created plays for 2 actors and a chorus -May not be true, but tidy -Greek tragedy was only preformed once a year and in a ritualistic context -The City of Dionysus was a huge festival in Athens that included competitions for best tragedy -Adult male Athenian citizens (ie not slaves, women, children) where expected to attend plays -Poorer citizens get financial assistant -Theatre held 17 000 people -The acto
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