Greek Theatre Influence On Western Theatre

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Sophocles, the renowned ancient Greek playwright, wrote three plays about the house of Thebes: King Oedipus (also called Oedipus Rex and Oedipus Tyrannus), Antigone, and Oedipus at Colonus. The three plays, while commonly considered a trilogy, are in fact three separate plays, written at almost twenty to thirty year intervals, which concern themselves with the same theme and lineage. With Aeschylus and Euripides, his older and younger contemporaries, Sophocles formed a triad of the greatest dramatists of ancient Greece.
The western civilisation has often been described as “the heir of the Greeks and the Romans.” The works of Sophocles have had a profound influence on the development of literature in the western world. King Oedipus holds a particularly high place of honour in the dramatic history of the western world – it was proposed as the perfect tragedy by Aristotle in his Poetics. This genre of Greek tragedy developed and went on to become the basis of Western theatre.
Greek theatre was closely connected to Greek religion. Dionysus, the god of
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The Greek theatre chorus functioned as narrator of the myth, as a moral guide of the actions, and as the alter ego of a specific character. In this role it was a physical extension of the audience and a link between the drama and the audience. When the actors talked to the chorus, they were also asking the audience for moral approval of their actions. It built a link between the public and the heroes in the drama. The song is a prayer that calls upon the gods: Zeus, healer-god of Delos, the immortal child of golden Hope, deathless Athena, Artemis, Phoebus himself. Primarily, the Chorus asks for a defence against two other gods: Hades and Ares. The choral ode clearly makes a distinction between the benevolent and malevolent gods – the ‘beloved’ and the
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