Greek and Roman Theater

Topics: Roman Empire, Tragedy, Ancient Greece Pages: 2 (516 words) Published: July 11, 2013
Greek and Roman Theatre
Theatre and its roots can be traced back before the Common Era to the Greeks and Romans. The two types of theatre, while quite similar, do have a number of differences. Classical Greek and Roman theatre, often combined in a sort of Ancient “Grome” fashion, are similar in the most basic but superficial of aspects. The most basic of the aspects is the fact that the height of their movements and societal impact were before the start of the Church and its influence of the downfall of the Roman Empire. The playwrights and actors of both Greek and Roman theatre lived in an area supported economically by the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, both had performance spaces better attuned to acoustical perfection than existed in later periods including many theatres that are in use today. Acoustics were much better than the Globe in London which was made famous as the home of the works of Shakespeare. As with later theatrical periods, such as the Shakespearian era, any theatre era, women were not permitted to act and all female parts were performed by men. While the two had their similarities there were differences as well.

Greek theatre was primarily developed an act of worship to Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility and son of Zeus. Theatre, as we know it today, evolved from dithyrambs, or songs of worship, performed by the chorus. The role of the chorus became smaller as time passed becoming less important to the overall plot. In Greek theatre, the standard number of actors was three along with a chorus. The style in which performances were given contained three tragic plays that form a story and a satyr play to lighten the mood or a single comedic work. The subjects of the works were usually the rich and powerful in times of great religious need. Many a time the plays were thinly veiled social and political commentaries of the world around them. Competing groups also only preformed Greek theatre during festival of Dionysus. Roman...
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