Greek And Elizabethan Theatre Essay

1062 words - 4 pages

William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, and Ben Johnson are names that have resonated through the centuries. Not since ancient Athens has there been such gluttony of talent, producing stories for the ages. Might Athens be were these Englishmen found their inspiration? Greece produced its share of legendary playwrights; Sophocles and Euripides are two of the most famous. There are far m Elizabethan England gave birth to some of the most famous names in theatre. ore similarities between Elizabethan and Greek Theatre then there are differences. The influence of both eras is felt even today, stage productions of Shakespeare and Euripides are performed from London too Broadway and everywhere in between. I believe that both eras have influenced modern theatre simply because the Greek so obviously influenced Elizabethan theatre.
The name most associated with excellence in theatre is William Shakespeare. His plays, more than any other playwright, resonate through the ages. It may be safe to say that he has influenced more actors, directors, and playwrights than any thespian in the history of the stage. But what were his influences? During the Middle Ages theatre was dominated by morality, miracle, and mystery plays that were often staged by the church as a means to teach the illiterate masses about Christianity. It wasn’t until the early sixteenth century that Greek tragedy experienced a revival, in turn, inspiring a generation of renaissance playwrights.
Greek and Elizabethan theatre, while similar in some respects, had a few large differences. The Greeks believed in a certain unity of theme, which was prevalent throughout the production. Greek plays were often drawn from myth or of historical significance, so it seems that only kings, gods and heroes graced the Greek stage. Greek plays were written and performed for religious festivals and competitions. Elizabethan theatre, on the other hand, had very few boundaries. Plays could and often would be about anything that struck the author’s fancy, brooding, irreverent and often risqué, variety was the order of the day for Elizabethan playwrights. And the audience consisted of anyone that could afford to pay the entrance fee.
Probably the most well known genre of theatre from Elizabethan times is the tragedy. Without doubt William Shakespeare is the most well known playwright of the era and his master works, Othello, Hamlet, and Macbeth tragedies all. The tradition of the tragic play begins in ancient Greece, but the unity of theme carried over into Elizabethan tragedy. In both Greek and Elizabethan tragedy the protagonist is someone that is easily understood by the audience, and is best described as an anti-hero. Character flaws are evident but it is the struggle of choosing the correct path that enthralls the audience. Everyone is capable of good and evil, and it comes down to the choices we make that set the path that we walk down. Whether Shakespeare and Sophocles realized this, or it was simply...

Find Another Essay On Greek and Elizabethan Theatre

Education in Elizabethan England Essay

1291 words - 5 pages , one could not find a job. The need for a job was great, so therefore the need for an education was great. The new idea of having to obtain a degree changed Elizabethan daily life. The arrival of plays also played a big role in Elizabethan education. Those who wished to become an actor had to be sufficiently educated in order to join the theatre. Without the need for education, plays would not have been written. Moreover, the study of Greek and

Elizabethan Architecture Essay

1131 words - 5 pages work and were still forgotten because what are they but some random members of the lower class. Elizabethan architecture has more to it than just looks, the structures were built to last luxuriously and each has a history going back before the day they laid the foundation. The architecture descends from the Tudor Style while also admiring Greek and Roman architecture and contained many influences from when England invaded India. The Elizabethans

The Three Globe Theatres: Shakespeare’s Theatre

1159 words - 5 pages special effects and the various plays produced by The Kings Men, the audiences only slowed when outbreaks of the Bubonic Plague occurred. Approximately 400 years ago William Shakespeare’s theatre troop built one of the most famous Elizabethan theatres, “The Globe Theatre.” At the beginning of the Elizabethan era, prior to 1576, plays took place in inn-yards, the houses of Noblemen, or in extreme circumstances on open ground. Then in 1576, the

The Original Globe Theatre

1849 words - 7 pages One of the most famous theatres in the Elizabethan Age was the Globe Theatre. The Elizabethan Era started in 1558 and lasted to 1603. The theatres from the era were said to be the best and most significant part of the culture at that time. With the Black Death killing people every day, people needed an escape from this death sentencing disease. It all started with inn – yard theatres. A group of people would go from village to village

Elizabethan Work

1012 words - 5 pages . During the Elizabethan Era the people would gather together to dance and dance for hours, their stamina must have been incredible. Music was use to entertain most people. Before the music became a big part in people life during the Elizabethan Era theatre played a really big part during this time. It was out of the ordinary for women to take part in or be a part of the theatre during this period of time. Do to the fact that women were not allowed

Bertolt Brecht and Epic Theatre

691 words - 3 pages theatre.Brecht uncovered "Epic Theatre", a didactic type of theatre that confronts the audience using different entertaining techniques. Brecht was influenced by many different sources (Oriental, Indian, Greek and Elizabethan theatre), he gathered many elements and combined them to make his own. Epic theatre was influenced by the horrors of world political tragedies (such as World War 1 and the great depression) that occurred during the early 1900

Costumings Effect in Theatre Production

1846 words - 7 pages the rest of Greece to promote a cultural identity. During it’s first run as a national festival a playwright named Thespis took the prize, writing the first Greek tragedy. Because of that, “to this day, all theater-performers are referred to as ‘Thespians’.” (Theatre History Resources, N.D.). After Thespis’s great success tragedies became very common in Greek theatre, and with these tragedies dramatical masks were created. “These masks large

Ancient Greek Theatre

1972 words - 8 pages structure of story devised by Athenian poets.There are four periods of development in Greek theatre, over lapping and merging but distinct enough to be separated and labelled. These include:-The Dionysiac, or ritual period, beginning with the cult of Dionyssus in antique times and ending about 550 BC with the first official dramatic competition, by which time the professional actor has emerged,and theatres have been built, generally of wood and

Fashion During the Elizabethan Era

1551 words - 6 pages part in theatre. The meaning of colors and materials were the main rules set by the Sumptuary laws. Elizabethan England was divided into three social classes. The upper class included the monarch, nobility, and gentry. The middle class included the merchants and yeomanry. The lower class included the laborers and beggars. Materials and colors of clothing allowed were varied by class. The upper class wore a variety of expensive materials that

Willaim Shakespeare's life.

515 words - 2 pages happy, as his dad was appointed mayor of the town.In those days, there were no theatres. Actors went from town to town and performed for several days in each one. As Queen Elizabeth enjoyed the theatre, she supported a group of actors called 'The Queen Players'. William was 5 when they came to his village and performed for the townspeople. He was totally fascinated.At the age of six, William went to Grammar school and studied Latin, Greek

Discuss the aspects of good and evil in shakespear's work

513 words - 2 pages point, but the attempts have often been illuminating as well as valiant. They will not be rivaled here; however a brief note on Elizabethan conceptions of tragedy may be helpful to the reader.Most discussions begin or end with quotations from Aristotle's Poetics, but the Aristotelian definition of tragedy had little currency in Elizabethan England, and no influence whatever upon the popular playwrights. Aristotle had analyzed Greek tragedy with

Similar Essays

Greek And Elizabethan Teather: Kabuki Theatre

1447 words - 6 pages In the history of civilization, there have been many different types of theatre. There is Greek theatre and Elizabethan theater. Some are musicals, some are comedies and some are tragedies. Some types employ realistic techniques while others are more avant-gardes. But one type stands out among the rest, and that is Kabuki theatre. This classical Japanese style of dance and drama is not just theatre. It is a beautiful form of art, which has

The Globe Theatre And The Elizabethan Audience

1017 words - 4 pages class backgrounds. The audience was divided into three major categories: the Royalty, the Nobles, and the Commoners, also known as the Groundlings. Elizabeth I herself attended the theatre on several occasions. The Commoners, the Elizabethan general public would pay 1 penny to stand in the 'Theatre Pit'. Rich nobles could watch the play from a chair set on the side of the Globe stage itself. Some of the audience went to the theatre to be seen

To Know Our Foundations: The Greek And Elizabethan Eras

828 words - 4 pages these origins would lie in the the Greek and Renaissance periods. I had little experience in studying classic texts, leaving me trepid and uncertain of myself. However, the ways in which we approached both periods guided my studies, allowing me to overcome my anxiety and embrace the content. From my experiences in this course, I’ve come to understand how theatre conventions from the Greek and Elizabethan eras serve as foundations for contemporary

Essay About Shakespeare's Life. Explaination Of General Life Durring Shakespeares Time (Elizabethan Period) And Breif Notes On The Globe Theatre Includes A Catagorized List Of Shakespeares Plays.

2705 words - 11 pages CleopatraCoriolanusHamletJulius CaesarKing LearMacbethOthelloRomeo and JulietTimon of AthensTitus AndronicusShakespeare's chief source of inspiration would have come from his muse. His muse would have most likely been his lover, children or a good friend. Shakespeare's sonnet #38 is written about/to/for his muse.In 1599, William Shakespeare and six associates became owners of the Globe, a new outdoor theatre in the London suburb of Southwark. The