The Roots Of Ancient Greek Theater
The roots of ancient Greek theater lie in the cult of Dionysis, the god of wine and fertility. In myth, Dionysis? followers were satyrs, drunken half-animal, half human creatures and maenads, or mad women. In ancient Greek times, Dionysis? followers would sometimes assume these roles in their religious rituals resulting in much singing, drinking and dancing in honor of their god. Members of the dionysiac cult would always tell myths centered on their god by singing and dancing out their stories together as a chorus. They always did this until about sixth century BC, when a man named Thespis stepped out of the chorus and took the role of an actor. He acted out a Dionysiac myth through spoken dialogue rather than song creating Greek tragedy. He was considered to be the first actor and the first playwright.
Tragedies were based largely on the myths or stories of the old narrative epic poems. A chorus of twelve members and a maximum of three male actors performed these plays. In order to help the audience figure out who the performers were supposed to be, costumes and masks were used. Costumes generally were designed to show the characters social status or
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