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Terminology that may be important


birthplace of democracy

The Persians

Lost to Greece in the Persian war which started Greece's Golden Age

Classical Period/ Golden Age

5th century. Starts at the Persian war and ends at the Peloponnesain war. Many advances during this time.


Philosopher. History. Greek.


Mathematician. Pythagorus formula. greek.


Wrote the physicians oath. Greek.


A choral song sung or chanted about a god or heroic figure. Hymn. 50 men or 50 boys. beginning of theater.


Added spoken parts during a song to make it more dramatic. begin dialogue. (Like in country.) (Added to Dithyramb.) (also playwright)


First actor. First to create character. Makes Dithyramb more dramatic. 6th century. took dialogue farther.


How Greece's territory was divided. City governs rural areas.

The Bacchae

Euripides. Characters: Dionysus, chorus of Asian Bacchae, Teiresias, Camus, Pentheus, Attendant, First/ second messenger, Agave, Coryphaeus


Greek word for actor. (answerer)


Greek Philosopher. Tragic form. Wrote Poetics.

Aristotle's 6 plot elements for tragedy:

Plot, character, thought, language/ diction, Music, Spectacle


By Aristotle. About theater esp. the tragic form.


Opening scene- provides background


entrance of the chorus. Interchange with Episode.


when Plot develops. 2 or more characters interact. Interchange with choral ode.

Choral ode

chorus sings their point: commentary. Interchange with episode.


Final scene and characters leave stage.


Purging of emotions


Fatal Flaw


Pride (excessive)

Theoric Fund

created by Pericles. 450 bc. help poor with admission costs.


Demi-God of fertility, wine, and agriculture.

City Dionysus

Festival celebrating Dionysus. Start theatre. In spring (late march). In Piraeus (near athens) Dithyrambs preformed. Tragedy and comedy added later.


4 plays by one playwright. 1 comedy/ satyr 3 tragedy. All stand on own but have same theme.

Satyr play

Greek Drama. off of greek mythology and history. Chorus of saytrs


Half man half goat


Imitation (our theater)


group sharing. (no fourth wall) everyone together. social efficacious. Purpose. (frat party)


Sign with meaning. Reaction. Cultural.


symbolism. context


make as non bias as possible. (who is writing the history)


Economics and class. (who was involved in theater)


Revising history from the way it is told. Look through certain point of view. (eliete point of view)

Performance Study

what is a play vs. popular entertainment. what is performance.


Cause and effect

Archon responsibilities

chooses plays and Coregus. oversee and judge dithyramb. (11 months ahead of time) government elected.

Choregus responsibilities

Producer. Provides money for major expenses (rehearsals, costumes, musicians) (Win= great prestige) appointed by archon


historical stories passed down by oral storytelling.


added 2nd actor. chorus to 12 (used extensively). wrote about: wealthy families, lofty themes (high status. First world problems). Praised: lyrical poetry, dramatic structure, intellectual content. 7 plays (agamemnon). (founder of greek drama. master tetralogy.)


added 3rd actor. chorus to 15. Superb plot construction and character exploration. Realistic scene painting. 7 plays (oedipus).


Most modern of greek playwrights. More realism. Sympathetic portrayal of women. mixed tragedy, comedy, melodrama. diminished chorus use and chorus. (the bacchae).


old comedy. made fun of government. Inventive comic scenes. witty dialogue. Pointed Satire. Contemporary (about his time. not timeless). (Lysistrata).

Greek Chorus

Major part in their drama. gives commentary on action in the episode.

Greek tragedy

"goat song" Universal. Gods/ myths. Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides.

Complex tragedies

has reversal and recognition

Simple tragedy

no reversal or recognition.


purging of emotions

Old comedy

Political/ society. Aristophanes. 534-404 bc

Greek comedy

Pore particular. in contemporary. ("knows") society and politics.

Middle comedy

leads to new comedy. 404- 336

New comedy

Domestic. plot driven. mostly secular. Meander.


During alexander the greats reign. defeated by romans (336-146) Art, culture, intellect. changes in architecture, acting, writing


Greek. audience/ seating. "Viewing place"

Greek orchestra (structural)

playing area. has thymele in middle.


stage house. (scene building. dressing space. store props. entrance/ exit. mask mechanics)


alter in the middle of the orchestra


type of flat


triangular flat device.

Dues Ex Machina

"machine" crane used for entrance of a god from heaven.


side wings


greek. Place where important people sit.


wagon wheeled from behind stage to transport character that dies off stage.

Greek masks

huge. cover entire head. included hair and beards and distinctive features. Identifies character. in tragedies chorus all same masks. comic masks for chorus unusual.


Garment. held on my shoulder. sewn. (like toga-ish)


hellenistic period. thick soled boots.

Artists of Dionysus

like a union for actors. precursor to equality actors. named to remind them of religious background.

Greek mimes

earliest professional performers. traveled. entertainment not religion. Juggling, acrobatics, wordless dances about fables, sketches with dialogue. with women. originate in southern italy. own guilds (not recognized by artists of Dionysus)


New Comedy. 4 plays. 5 acts. Aristotle's dramatic structure. role of chorus very minimal (greatly subtracted).

Happy idea

problem to be tested in greek old comedy. usually established in prologue. (ex: lysistrata- no sex until war ends)


a satyr play. Euripides

Greek actors

All male. not always paid. never more than 3 on stage. one actor- multiple roles. vocal ability key.


choral trainer


reed instrument. most used. double flute.


scene with a debate between to opposing forces (each one side of social/ political issue.


scene which chorus speaks directly to audience. pokes fun at spectators (sometimes specific ones), or other subjects.

Theater prohibition

christianity (early). jewish. islam.

Abydos Passion Play

in Egypt. (2500-500) precursor to Dithyramb. About Osiris.


Symbolic. For a purpose (ethicatious). Slowly develop into patterns. Magical effect.


formal. led by designated authority figure.

Functions of masks

To identify character. (not about actor)


can't be replicated. Fleeting.


public preformers/ storytellers

Origins of theater

Imitation, roleplaying, story telling, Rituals, ceremonies. (start with Abydos ritual into dithyrambs)


intended to achieve results.

"Twice-behaved Behavior"

behavior from past. replicating. consciously.


opera book


Proper action

Descriptive Criticism

Describes dramatic structure. (Aristotle poetics)

Prescriptive Criticism

What it should be. (Hource)


writing about writing.


With government official in charge of production details.


exaggerated headdress for tragic characters


Mime troupes from southern italy

Roman values and focuses

Duty,Honor, loyalty, discipline, economy, endurance "A system is important and individuals part are part of the whole.". forces on practical, military, strategy, pop entertainment.

Roman Republic

democracy. 508-27 be

Fall of rome

Too much to monitor.

Roman Empire

one person rules


Civilization nw of rome. Influential on roman theater.

Atellan Farce

stock characters satirized from roman countryside. own mask and costume. short improvised based on domestic situations or mythological burlesque. motivated by base instinct (lust and greed). Country bumpkins.

Lundi Romani

Roman festival. Displayed athletic contests pop. entertainment. Tarquin established. held in september. dedicated to jupiter (roman zeus). no errors allowed.

Theater of Pompii

first built (outside of roman law).


roman actors (latin word)

Mondey romony

like festival of dionysus

Fabula palliata

comedy based on greek subjects

fabula togata

comedy based on roman materials


Roman. front curtain on telescope poles. hides actors.


Roman. painted backdrop.


Roman aristotle. wrote art of poetry. moralist.

Horace's rules

genres not mixed. plays in 5 acts. only 3 on stage at once. God wrote in only when unavoidable. Chorus advances action is moral with high moral tone and good advice. teach and please. preach decorum. no extremes of emotion or offensive material.

Medieval Period

476 ad. western roman empire falls. Punic wars and barbarians. Roman catholic church provided order.

Byzantine Empire

Official language greek. Saves roman and greek manuscripts. falls due to split in Christianity with western and muslim.

Byzantine influences

Ancient Greece, rome, christianity


where roman and greek stuff saved.

Early Medieval

Dark ages. 500-1000. rural.

High Medieval

100-1400. start into renaissance. rebirth into towns. self governed towns- end of feudalism. guilds for professions. spread of knowledge. theology. Monasteries for learning.


Organization of politics. Born into position.
Lords, vassals, serfs.


rich, ruled country in senate


ordinary middle class. people's assembly.

Punic Wars

Between rome and Carthage.

Roman Theater

down to earth. comedy and popular entertainment. Domestic farce. Take from Greek theater and Etruscans. latin.

Livius Andronicus

first to write in latin in roman.

Gnaeus Naevius

first playwright born in rome.

Roman comedy

New comedy. own version. Eliminated chorus. addition of music to dialogue. emphasis on eavesdropping. setting of action on street.


roman comic writer. farcical situations and mastery of colloquial latin. popular. combined: song, dance, native italian farce, new comedy. trials and tribulation of romance. modern comedic musicals. 20 plays (the merchant)


First african play wright. New comedy. Characterization, subtly of expression. elegant language. prologue for background info or summarize plot. high society. double plots. more literary over exaggerated. stock characters. less music.


first female playwright. nun. convent in germany: Gandersheim. 12th century. Canoness(not confined to abby). read/ wrote in latin. wrote so students would not be corrupted. wrote like Terence with christian stories. 6 plays. recurring dramatic action: conversions of nonbelievers, renunciation of past sin. closet- dramas.

Liturgcal Drama

religious drama. usually sung or chanted. relates to bible. in latin. performed in churches. wrote and presented by clergy and choir boys.


musical passages sung or chanted.

Quem Quaeritis

whom do you speak

Hildegard Von Bingen

woman. short music plays. nun. latin.


medieval playing space.


setting. all seen at once. out side.


Roman seating

Roman Orchestra

Playing space. semi circle


Roman Skene


Roman raised stage in front of scaena.

Scena Frons

front facade of sceana. ornate. 3-5 doors.

Vernacular Drama

move to outside. serious christian subject mixed with comedy. in everyday language not latin. 2 kinds: cycle plays, and morality plays

Cycle/ Mystery Plays

Dramatize bible. staged indecently as drama. show dramas presented in sequence. vernacular. dramatized as medical types (make more identifiable). has anachronism. spectacular. comedy added. unfold begging to end.

Feast of Corus Christi

Fest in late spring.


displacement in time.

Morality Plays

everyman. sermon in theatrical form. bigger theme. allegorical. persuade to repent. temptation back to virtue.


medieval. 2nd dramatic form. abrupt seeing changes. comedy and serious mixed. not single plot (2 separate but related plots) 2 stories 2 plots 2 sets of characters (repeat to reinforce) whole is greater than parts. Cycle plays.

Closet Dramas

plays written to be recited in small groups. not preformed.


roman playwright. cynical Seneca, violent. closet tragedy. adapted greek. wrote in latin. not chorus needed. emphasize dramatic violent spectacle on stage. villainous characters, supernatural characters. obsessed by overwhelming emotion.


an indifference to pleasure or pain

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