An overview of the role of chorus in ancient greek theatre

Sculpted stone theatre mask 2nd century AD shows what a chorus mask might have looked like. The Greek Theatre at Syracuse. The Greek theatre at Delphi:

An overview of the role of chorus in ancient greek theatre

Ask students if they have heard of ways in which one's destiny can be predicted astrology, Tarot cards, fortune cookies, etc. Broaden the discussion to include ways in which ancient peoples prophesied the future, such as studying animal entrails in ancient Rome and listening to oracles in ancient Greece.

Do any of the class believe in prophesies? Would they believed them if they had lived over years ago? Now, move on to discuss a seemingly unconnected issue. Ask students if they can name any political leader who has made a mistake which cost them their career or even lives.

What motivated them to make the mistake? Can they think of any examples where pride was the major factor? Think of Nixon proudly assuming he had the right to bug people's conversations because he was the president. Introduce the Greek concept of 'hubris' meaning pride likely to invoke the wrath of the gods.

Explain to the class they are now about to read a play, written 2, years ago, that deals with all of these themes and show the clip on Greek theatre listed in the Tools and Materials. Introduction to Greek Drama: Introduce the topic of Greek drama by telling the class that drama evolved From religious festivals in honor of Dionysus, the god of wine and the cha ging seasons and explaining the significance of the 'City Dionysia' and the first actor, Thespis.

Establish that tragedy was the favorite type of Greek drama and at the heart of all tragedies lay a character's hubris. For more information on tragedy and the evolution of Greek drama, see the suggested links to pages within this site below.

An overview of the role of chorus in ancient greek theatre

You might also want to discuss how three actors would rotate to play all the speaking parts and thus the importance of masks. Mention the use of the chorus and how the actors would have had to project their voice without microphones to audiences in excess of 10, people.

Tell the students that the play they are about to read was written nearly 2, years ago and is considered one of the greatest Greek tragedies ever written. Regardless of which version of the play you decide to use, select students to read the speaking parts including Oedipus, Queen Jocasta, Creon, Teiresias, a Priest, First Messenger, Second Messenger, and the Herdsmanwhile the rest of the class will play the Chorus.

Originally three actors would have played all the speaking parts accompanied by the Chorus, a group of people who spoke in unison and who helped explain the story to the audience.

In ancient Athens they would also have sung and danced in procession. While students read what you might need to know: Oedipus calls the citizens of Thebes 'the children of Cadmus' because he was the mythical character who founded the city, after slaying a dragon and sowing its teeth to make the first inhabitants.

Apollo is invoked because he was the god of healing and a plague has blighted the city. Is Oedipus' pride evident from the very first lines? Note any references to sight; it is used throughout the play as a metaphor for insight.

At this point the Chorus would usually make their entrance. First Scene lines - This scene is filled with many instances of dramatic irony.

For example, when Oedipus condemns the murder which has brought about the plague he is in fact condemning himself the man who unknowingly killed his own father and took his mother as his wife.

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Note particularly the character Tiresias who clearly knows more than he's letting on. Is he trying to protect Oedipus? First Stasimon - or closing of the scene: The Chorus seems completely confused - are they following Tiresias or Oedipus?Almost every Greek city had a theatre because plays were part of many religious festivals.

The Greeks enjoyed singing and dancing. At first, theatres were only used for festivals. The theatres were built on hillsides in the open air and could often hold more than 18, spectators.

The theatres were. Essay on The Role of the Chorus in Ancient Greek Tragedies - The chorus’s perspective of justice works differently in Euripides’ Medea and Aeschylus’ The Libation Bearers. In both The Libation Bearers and Medea, the driving force of vengeance links the chorus to each of the play’s protagonists.

actors performed in the "skene" What is the purpose of the chorus in drama? What is the origin of the chorus of Ancient Greek drama? How is the chorus composed? headed up by a leader, known as a “coryphaeus”. "The Dramatic Role of the Chorus in Sophocles," by G. . History >> Ancient Greece.

One of the favorite forms of entertainment for the Ancient Greeks was the theater. It began as part of a festival to the Greek god Dionysus, but eventually became a major part of the Greek culture.

Find greek theatre lesson plans and teaching resources. From ancient greek theatre worksheets to greek theatre history videos, quickly find teacher-reviewed educational resources. The Book of the Ancient Greeks, Chapter XIV: The Greek Theatre Selections from: Mills, Dorothy.

The Book of the Ancient Greeks: An Introduction to the History and Civilization of Greece from the Coming of the Greeks to the Conquest of Corinth by Rome in B.C.

Ancient Greek Costumes, Masks And Theater In Focus | Ancient Pages