The Development Of Theater Essay

1720 words - 7 pages

Throughout history, civilizations have evolved in many different facets. One of these components would be communication and in a narrower aspect, entertainment. We will delve in how entertainment has evolved, enlightened, and transformed throughout time. Each era beginning with Thespis in 6th century BC to present will be discussed and detailed to show the impact that entertainment has made upon generations and how it continues to advance: from men being the only performers allowed on stage to women’s entrance into entertainment; performances once held in amphitheaters to now transmitted via satellites and broadcasted live in our homes are only a few of the many topics that will be examined in what you are about to read.
Thespis was a Greek poet who is given credit for being the inventor of tragedy plays. He introduced an “actor” into choral performances, which had been exclusively for the chorus before Thespis. This had many effects such as: the singers were given breaks, and with actors the presentation became more heightened and dramatic. Thespis has written plays such as Contest of Pelias, Phorbas, Hiereis, Hitheoi, and Pentheus. The word Thespians, who are English speaking actors, comes from Thespis.
Around 700 BC the Greeks had festivals that honored the gods; one of these festivals was called City Dionysian. People would sing and dance while tribes would compete against eachother to see who was the greatest of them all. In the early Greek festivals, the actors, directors, and dramatists were all the same person. Only three actors were allowed to be in a play and all had to be male. Later on, non-speaking roles as well as the chorus evolved in theatre to keep citizens more entertained. Well-known play wrights of the fifth century include Euripedes, Sophocles, and Aeschylus who all entered their plays into competitions. Aeschylus competed at the City Dionysia and he wrote some of the oldest tragedies in the world and some of his work such as Medea, Hercules and The Trojan Women, has survived to this day. People were always concerned with angering the gods so comedy was invented to lighten the mood. All comedies, at the time, were written by a man named Aristophanes who wrote forty plays and competed in the Athenian festivals. Athens was the strongest polis for art and literature therefore was the main center for these theatrical traditions. In total, thirty three tragedies and eleven comedies survive today from ancient Greece. From there theatrical entertainment spread into different parts of the world. Differing from ancient Greece, the Romans enjoyed comedy more than tragedies. Titus Maccius Plautus was an extremely popular Roman comedy writer. He was responsible for writing 13 plays which include The Braggart Warrior, The Casket and Pot of Gold. Roman Theatre grew from the religious festivals that were celebrated. People would sing, dance, act, and compete against others; it was very similar to ancient Greek’s...

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