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The Role Of The Chorus In Ancient Greek Plays

726 words - 3 pages

The Role of the Chorus in Ancient Greek Plays
*Works Cited Not Included

In ancient Greek plays, the role of the chorus was to sing lyrical passages. The lyrical passages were set up
by the writer and the chorus would then perform dance movements to compliment those lyrics. In today's day and
age, it is the cast members in many musicals who depict the role as the chorus. However, in some cases, the chorus
also helps assist the modern reader in interpreting ancient terminology used during that period.
I believe that the chorus held a very important role in the play Antigone, by Sophocles. The loyal and
religious citizens of Thebes, who are very devoted to their state, represent the chorus. These citizens also have
excellent moral values portrayed in them. The author uses the chorus as a way to illustrate the reaction that the public
has to the events that occur throughout the play. It (The chorus) can be considered the narrator of the story; it "filled in
the gaps" so to speak. They also help the readers (or viewers considering ancient Greek times) to better comprehend
the entire concept of the play, as well as allowing the readers or the viewers to foresee the imminent tale. In the usual
course of events, the chorus is used to apply a setting, or a mood in the play. For example on page 1281, the chorus
describes the entrance of Isemes as she comes in as, "weeping a sister's tears, …her face flushed, her cheeks
streaming…." The author sensibly chooses for the chorus to narrate this event because, this very minute detail
provides the audience to picture the state that the character is in. Similarly, on page 1283, the chorus describes the
power of Zeus as being the foremost, unbeatable power. This is quoted in the text as, "power that neither sleep, the
all --ensnaring no, nor the tireless months of heaven can ever overmaster- young through all time, mighty lord of
I feel that the chorus adds flavor to the play. In other words, it is used as a seasoning in the dish (play). No
matter how good the chef (writer) is, without the seasoning (chorus), he is unable to provide that special...

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