Ancient Greek Drama Influenced Modern Dramatist
In ancient time the Greek Dramas were written in three categories like Tragedy, Comedy, and Satyr. Tragedy and Comedy were viewed as completely in separate manners.
Tragedy, derived from the Greek words tragus (goat) and Ode (song), told a story that was intended to teach religious lesson. Tragedy was viewed as a form of ritual purification, which gives rise to pathos, another Greek word, meaning ‘instructive suffering’.
Comedy was also an important part of ancient Greek Theatre. Comedy plays were derived from imitation; there are no traces of its origin. Aristophanes the renowned Greek dramatist wrote most of the comedy plays. Out of these 11 plays survived Lysistrata, a humorous tale about a strong woman who leads a female coalition to end war in Greece.
Satyr plays dealt with the mythological subject in comic manner.
Three well-known Greek Tragedy play writers of the fifth century are Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus.
Aristotle, a philosopher and teacher born in the first quarter of the fourth century was the most important mouthpiece of ancient Greek Drama. According to him Sophocles and Euripides are the two relevant models in tragedy writer. The greatest tragedy, in the opinion of Aristotle was Oedipus the King by Sophocles and the other versatile tragedy is the Helena of Euripides because both the plays were united ideal beauty, clearness of construction and religious inspiration- the three qualities which always make tragedy great.
A complete Greek Theatre is a combination of an Orchestra, the Dais, Costume and mask, and the Audience.
Orchestra: A large circular or rectangular area at the centre part of the theatre where the play, dance, religious rites, acting to take place.
Dais: A large rectangular space situated behind the orchestra used as a back stage. Actor could change their costume and masks. Earlier the dais was a tent or hut; later it becomes permanent stone structure. These structures were sometime painted to serve as backdrops.
Audience: Rising from the circle of the orchestra was the audience. The theatres were originally built on a very large scale to accommodate large number of people on stage, as well as the large number of people in the audience, up to fourteen thousand.
Costume and Mask: The masks were made of liner or cork, so none have survived. Tragic masks carried mournful or pained expressions, while comic masks were smiling or leering.
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