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as a celebration held in honor of Dionysos

Why did theater in ancient Greece begin?

the Greek god of wine and grapes, and drama

Who is Dionysos?

534 B.C. in Athens

Where and when was the first annual dramatic festival held?

3 tragedies accompanied by a satyr play

What did each competitor present for the festival?

a humorous, bawdy play that accompanied a trilogy of plays

What is a satyr play?

seats of the amphitheater rose in a semicircle from a level dancing floor of the orchestra area; no curtains; painted scenery; built into a mountainside

Describe the amphitheater in which the outdoor dramatic festivals were held.

The masks amplified the actors' voices annd helped even spectators in the back rows identify characters and their emotions.

What was the purpose of the large masks worn by the actors?


Who wrote Antigone?

a myth well known to the original audience

What are all Greek plays based on?

the king of Thebes, raised by adoptive parents

Who is Oedipus?

Oedipus's biological father

Who is Laios?

Oedipus's biological mother and later wife

Who is Iocaste?

Oedipus's son who was a traitor to Thebes and died in the Civil War while vying for the throne with Eteocles

Who is Polyneices?

Oedipus's loyal son who was killed in the Civil War and was vying for the throne with Polyneices

Who is Eteocles?

Antigone's uncle

Who is Creon?

Polyneices and Eteocles both died in the Civil War preceding Antigone.

Who are both dead at the beginning of Antigone, and how did they die?

Through some tragic flaw in his own character, he might tempt fate in such a way that he would come to lose all personal diginity; in the process, he would bring upon himself more pain and suffering than his fate had originally held in store for him.

What is a tragic hero?

the story of the downfall of a basically good and noble individual who, because of some personal flaw in character, unwittingly tempts fate and brings upon himself and those around him extraordinary amounts of sorrow and suffering

What is a Greek tragedy?

1. to interpret and recall past events. 2. to comment on the actions of the characters in the play. 3. to foretell the future 4. give voice to the emotions experienced by the audience 5. to represent the senior citizens of the community

What are the purposes of the chorus?

only 7 of his 123 plays remain

How many of Oedipus's works survive today?

perfect acoustics; could seat thousands; all over Greece; open to men and women; performed during the day; no curtains or intermission

What are some characteristics of Greek theaters?

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