Why was the theater invented
| Occidental theater originated in Greece and became popular in Athens in the 5th century BC. Reached its first great heyday. It is based on the Greek cult of Dionysus. Choir songs, ecstatic dances and masked parades have been part of this cult since the early centuries. The theatrical performances developed from religious ceremonies and were an integral, important part of the Greek existence.|
The Greeks distinguished three forms of drama: tragedy, satyr play and comedy. The tragedy dealt with the serious things (life, death, the gods), the satyr play poked fun at the gods in a cheerful and sometimes very grotesque way, while the comedies made fun of everyday things.
Originally the theater was nothing more than a simple open space that was sometimes paved, but mostly consisted of tamped clay; on the occasion of the celebrations in honor of Dionysus the choirs and dancers produced themselves. In the middle rose an altar dedicated to Dionysus. The spectators sat either on nearby slopes or on wooden platforms.
The Greeks were keen theater-goers. In Athens, for example, all poor citizens received theater money from the state. The tragedy and comedy competitions lasted for days and were followed by a passionately interested, often noisy crowd. In every major Greek city you can find a temple as well as a theater.
The actors wore a mask made of a light, painted fabric that was firmly attached to the face. The mask covered the individual facial features and typified the role in question. Over time, a typology of mask, costume and manner of acting has developed. The actors, all men, took on several roles and held a respected position.
The classical Greek theater is represented by the three great tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides as well as by the comedies of Aristophanes.
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