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English Greek Theater Vocabulary

theatron (or koilon)

the setting, "seeing place", the entire area


circular space at the foot of a hill which was a level structure where the ceremony took place


two broad isles that extended from the orchestra on each side of the theatron


a building where the actors could change costume and often provided the backdrop of the play


between the skene and the orchestra, from which developed what we now call the stage


a lyric poem usually marked by serious, respectful, and exalted feelings toward the subject


a brief section of a literary or dramatic work that forms part of a connected series


when the tragic hero recognizes his or her tragic fall


purging of the emotions

Deus ex Machina

any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve and insoluble difficulty


a turn of fate that leaves the hero destitute


quick alternating lines back and forth to make play move along quicker

Dramatic Irony

(theater) irony that occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play


emotional appeal

Greek Tragedy

Characters of high birth or status, experience a series of events that threaten position, suffer a tragic fall of own actions


A serious form of drama dealing with the downfall of a heroic or noble character

Tragic hero

a privileged, exalted character of high repute, who, by virtue of a tragic flaw and fate, suffers a fall from glory into suffering


tragic, fatal flaw


excessive pride or self-confidence


introduction (to a poem or play)


a departure


one section of a lyric poem or choral ode in classical Greek drama


the section of a choral ode answering a previous strophe in classical Greek drama

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