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The History Of Entertainment Essay

1619 words - 6 pages

Since the dawn of man, entertainment has come shortly after food, water, and shelter on our list of priorities. When the first humans were hunting and gathering in the Great Rift Valley, they passed the time by communicating stories and drawing on cave walls. Not only were these the first forms of entertainment, but were also important in passing down history and cultural values. Many other forms of entertainment can be linked to other aspects of history such as sports, politics, theatre, and art. Entertainment is often the motivation behind history’s greatest spectacles. The Roman Colosseum, one of the 7 Wonders of the World, was built to host huge events that could hold thousands of spectators. Even today’s laptops, computers, and cell phones are used for amusement. But all these inventions stem from one common purpose; entertainment.
Although the Ancient Egyptians built one of the most successful empires in history, the common Egyptian enjoyed entertainment just as we do today. They celebrated with banquets, acrobats and exotic dancers. Funerals were an especially important event because of the Egyptians’ belief in the significance of death and afterlife. Huge feasts marked the passing of someone’s soul into the next world. These lavish celebrations were usually reserved for the wealthy and noble. Food was served on intricately decorated cups, bowls, and plates. Three thousand year-old wine and beer jugs have been found in Egypt by archaeologists, and are believed to have been popular drinks during celebrations. Banquets also featured music and dancing. Men and women would dance and excite the crowd while musicians played harps, lyres, and lutes. Most festivities – secular and religious – amused guests with many different types of entertainers. Even though the Egyptians did much to prepare for the afterlife, they celebrated because they believed their time on earth should be no less enjoyable then heaven. This humanistic behavior was shown by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and would eventually resurface during the Renaissance.
While the Egyptians threw lavish parties, the ancient Greeks enjoyed theater and other arts. Theater was an important part of Greek life. Elaborate amphitheaters can be found all over Greece. No-one knows exactly how Greek comedies and tragedies originated, but Aristotle and many other philosophers have given their opinion. Most cite the poet Arion as the inventor of theater. The tale goes that around 700 BC, there was an unusual festival thrown in Greek goddess Dionysus’s honor. The celebration was called City Dionysia and was led by drunken men dressed up, dancing, and singing. These shows would eventually become Greek comedies and tragedies. Although there aren’t many surviving tragedies from that era, we know the basic premise of the plays. Tragedies were dramas and comedies were satires. Comedies were usually used to mock a politician or other important person. Most tragedies were based on mythology or history and...

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