Greek Theatre

Table of Contents | Introduction | About the Author

Aeschylus created the dramatic form known as a tragedy. Most of his writings were in that form: The Suppliant Women, Persians, Seven against Thebes, Prometheus Bound, and the Orestian trilogy consisting of Agamemnon, Eumenides, and Choephori/Libation Bearers.

Aristophanes wrote comedies: The Knights, The Clouds, The Wasps, The Birds, The Frogs.

Athens was the location of the major Greek literary world.

The chorus initially was the major component of a Greek play. As time passed and speaking parts became more important, they came to be merely bystanders who contributed comments on behalf of the audience. Its location on the stage is described as epode (standing still), strophe (moving to the left), and antistrophe (moving to the right).

Deus ex machina is a term which describes the solution to a conflict which comes "from the gods" rather than being worked out through human intervention.

Dionysus was the god to whom Greek plays were dedicated.


Euripides wrote tragedies: Medea, Alcestis, Iphigenia among the Taurians, Hippolytus, and Trojan Women.

Greek drama was the beginning of drama, and many of the conventions followed today began on the Greek stage.

Masks were used to project at great distances the characters being represented.

Orchestra was the altar to Dionysus where the chorus sang. It was located at the flat end of the semi-circle.

Skene was a small building used as storage. In front of this was the orchestra. The building was used as scenery and could be opened and used as an interior room. The word "scene" and "scenery" are derivatives.

Sophocles wrote tragedies: Ajax, Electra, Women of Trachis, Philoctetes, and the Theban plays consisting of Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Cologna, and Antigone.

The theatre was a semi-circular amphitheater.

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