The chorus offers a commentary on the action that has happened, and looks forward to the action to come, and it does so precisely from the perspective of its collective identity. History of the Theatre 8th ed. However, some lyrics in Greek odes have long syllables that are equal to 3, 4 and 5 shorter syllables. The crafted the first operas out of the that acted as comic or musical relief during the dramas of the time. They would also wear white body stockings under their costumes to make their skin appear fairer. Editorial Review This Article has been reviewed for accuracy, reliability and adherence to academic standards prior to publication.
Their works frequently poked fun at politicians, philosophers, and fellow artists, some of whom were sometimes even in the audience. The hypocrites were always men, even if they were playing female roles. A third component of the ode, the epode, is sometimes delivered after the strophe and antistrophe. Consider any tragedies you've read following the classical Greek period. How does the role of the chorus change across those plays? Once the inciting action of the play is underway, the chorus then also comments on the events taking place, in some cases even speaking directly to the characters. Its purpose is to eliminate the illusion of an actor and ensure that the character and the play appear as real as possible. Indeed, Dionysos became known as the god of theatre and perhaps there is another connection - the drinking rites which resulted in the worshippers losing full control of their emotions and in effect becoming another person, much as actors hupokritai hope to do when performing.
Some theatres also had a raised speaking place on the orchestra called the logeion. The performance space was a simple circular space, the orchestra, where the chorus danced and sang. In 406—405 bc, when the increased financial burdens, the duties of the choragus for tragedy and comedy were divided between two choragi. Effectively, the mask transformed the actor as much as memorization of the text. At the beginning the actors have been chosen by the poets they -sometimes- played the roles themselves. Instead of Old Comedy's focus on social, political, and cultural satire, Greek New Comedy dealt with romantic and domestic problems. His chorus passages were more relevant to the plot and more integrated in tragedies, whereas the Euripidean choruses seemingly had little to do with the plot and were often bystanders.
And through it all, the actors interacted with the Chorus. They enabled an actor to appear and reappear in several different roles, thus preventing the audience from identifying the actor to one specific character. These, in turn, inspired the genre of plays. Have the groups present their performances in front of the rest of the class. . It's hard to believe that this easy to understand and familiar format comes from the ancient Greeks whose drama originally had no individual speaking parts.
Moreover, and perhaps partly for practical reasons for it may have been difficult to see the characters from afar because of the relatively large size of the theatre the chorus would emphasize certain elements of the story through the use of attributes such as masks and weapons. Antistrophe The antistrophe is the other half of the debate or further exploration of the argument initially presented in the strophe. The plays were judged on the day by a panel, and the prize for the winner of such competitions, besides honour and prestige, was often a tripod cauldron. As the were so large, the chorus' actions had to be exaggerated and their voices clear so that everyone could see and hear them. The chorus will recite the piece they created, working on speaking clearly and with great diction, to illustrate what the protagonist is doing. Wikimedia Commons has media related to. There is no need for a messenger to summarize an event that happened offstage.
It could be argued that the thing that unified the chorus was their mode of communication — more often than not the chorus would elevate its meaning in song. Shakespeare used some of their plots in his comedies. However, the primary Hellenistic theatrical form was not tragedy but '', comic episodes about the lives of ordinary citizens. ! In order to understand the function of the chorus one must remember that at the origins of Greek drama there was only one actor; and even at later dates no more than three actors occupied the stage, each of whom may have played several roles. A third origin, and cited as such by , lies in the phallic songs which were sung during Dionysiac festivals.
This information gives the audience the background they need to understand Antigone and Creon's conflict and also shows how the people of Thebes are now relieved from pain, as this war caused terror in their homeland. Instead, it is acted out multiple times and edited before it is presented to the public. A vocal acting - declamatory - to project appropriate emotional tone, mood, and character. Can you identify any dramatic elements that might have taken on one or more of the functions of the Greek chorus? Julia Hurley has a B. The chorus stayed in the orchestra for the duration of the performance from which vantage point they observed and commented on the action of the actors.
Trace the role of the chorus across the Greek tragedies you've read. Athens exported the festival to its numerous colonies. Masks were also made for members of the chorus, who play some part in the action and provide a commentary on the events in which they are caught up. Nietzsche suggests that it was the rhythmic dance and chants of the chorus, positioned always to mediate the physical space separating audience and actor, that evoked the visionary experience that was the very essence of tragedy. Masks were a vital part of theatre in ancient Greece. Later, these would develop into musical interludes.