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Greek Tragedy by Mind Map: Greek Tragedy
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Greek Tragedy


no one knows the actual origin, but there are theories

Aristotle and a number of other writers proposed theories of how tragedy and comedy developed

Aristotle believed that it is claimed by the Megarians in Greece, who say it began among them at the time when they became a democracy [c. 580 BC] Arion was said to have invented the tragic plays and was the first to make a chorus and have it sung. he also first led the circular chorus. The first actual performance of tragedy was introduced by Arion

said to have started started with the singing of a choral lyric also called the dithyramb in honor of Dionysus.

The traditions of Greek tragedy said the playwright Aeschylus added a second actor and Sophocles added a third.


3 major poets


Some of his famous works, Agamemnon, The Suppliants, The Persians, Prometheus Bound, Seven Against Thebes, Orestia


Some of his famous works, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone, The Women of Treus


Some of his famous works, Hippolytus and The Baccahe, Madea, Iphigenia at Aulis, Hecuba, Orestes


basic information

the poets would write a trilogy of three tragedies and then an additional unrelated comic piece called a satyr play to finish with

the basic background was from the chorus

most of the peoples problems were brought on by the Gods or higher powers

showed the stress and vulnerabilities of the Greek people

when Americans read tragedies, it is a translation of the original text and we miss many aspects of the plays

they were largely sung

"tragedy" refers to "tragic drama"

Agamemnon by Aeschylus


all of the actors were male

the male actors were able to show emotion by changing their tone of voice, language or by using masks.

male actors had to play female roles

there were actors, extras and chorus members (12 for tragedies) and they all wore full head masks made from either cork or molded mache

the only people who were unmasked were the oboe players

the central character was called a tragic protagonist


rotagonist was the first actor

deuteragonist was the second actor

tritagonist `third actor'.

The protagonist had the main role while the other characters had lesser roles

along with acting, the actors sometimes had to sing songs solo, with the chorus or with other actors


gods, heroes and old men, wore a chiton

The latter, they wore an affron-colored garment which was rich with purple and gold people and stars. It was tied across the chest with a girdle made of dark purple, it had gold and jewels, and over it was a purple cloak

Goddesses and women of high rank, wore robes that were purple and gold

Matrons, wore incredibly embroidered cloth with some fastened on the head like a veil

queens and princesses, wore purple robes that hit the ground, was attached with golden stars

Warriors, wore a variety of armor, their helmets had plumes, and they wore a nicely embroidered mantle.


importance of theater

it was a social, religious and civic gathering

theater was open to all people, including women

since it had to do with religion, they often were placed near or in sanctuaries

layout of the theaer


people sat in a semicircle on wooden or stone seats engraved into a hillside called the theatron

look down on a somewhat circular flat area called the orchestra

side entrances called eisodi that led into the orchestra for different characters to enter and exit.

across from audience there was a raised platform which was backed by a building with central and side doors called the skene., most of the action of the play took place on the raised platform with the skene acting as a backdrop and a changing room for the actors.

when trilogies and satyr plays were preformed, they lasted most of the day

famous theaters

Theater of Argos, in Argolid, built in the 4th century BC, held 15,000 spectators

Theater of Corinth, in Corinth, built by Emperor Hadrian, also held 15,000 people

Theater of Sparta, in Laconia, very little has survived, the ruins are of Roman date, the skene here was mobile

Theater of Cassope, in Preveza, built at the northwest edge of the city on a rocky hillside, also a second theater to the south