About This Chapter
Origins of Theatre - Chapter Summary
Learn about the historical origins of theatre with this self-paced dramatic arts chapter. As you progress through these simple lessons, you'll take a look at the history of ancient Greek and Roman theatre, as well as relevant dramatic terms, theatrical genres and important playwrights. You can solidify your comprehension of these topics by taking the accompanying lesson quizzes and chapter exam. You can also revisit the material as many times as needed, and the chapter is accessible on any device that has an Internet connection. When you're finished with the chapter, you should be able to:
- Identify theatrical elements and genres
- Summarize and analyze Aristotle's Poetics
- Compare Greek tragedies and comedies
- Define the term 'catharsis'
- Assess the lives and works of Aeschylus and Sophocles
- Recognize tools that were used in classical Greek theatre
- Interpret facts about the Theatre of Dionysis
- Discuss the history of ancient Roman theatre
- Describe the subject matter of medieval morality, mystery and miracle plays
1. Theater: Elements & Genres
Theater is one of humankind's oldest symbols of culture and civilization. While theater has accepted systems, sometimes it breaks out and attempts something new. Read about ancient Greece, the usual theatrical elements, and different types of theater.
2. Aristotle's Poetics: Summary & Analysis
You may have taken a look at Aristotle's 'Poetics' and thought to yourself, 'This sounds like Greek to me.' But, that doesn't mean you can't get a grasp on the philosopher's message. Watch this video for a synopsis and analysis of this ancient aesthetic treatise!
3. Greek Theatre: Tragedy and Comedy
This lecture examines the function of theatre in Greek culture and religion, with special focus on the Athenians. It then explores the three different sorts of Greek theatre: satyr plays, comedy and tragedy, citing specific examples. Finally, we study the impact of theatre on Western civilization.
4. What is Catharsis? - Definition, Examples & History in Literature and Drama
In this lesson, learn about catharsis, a purging of feelings that occurs when audiences have strong emotional reactions to a work of literature. Explore examples of literary works which lead to catharsis, including tragedies.
5. Aeschylus: Biography, Plays & Poems
This lesson is about the life and plays of Aeschylus, an Athenian soldier and playwright of the fifth century, and one of the first dramatists known to history.
6. Sophocles: Biography & Plays
Learn about the playwright Sophocles, one of the three great innovators of Greek tragedies. Explore his success as a playwright and general, and delve into one of his most famous plays.
7. Classical Greek Theater Tools: Skene, Ekkyklema & Mechane
Ancient Greek theater has helped shape the art form as we know it today, both in structure and methodology. In this lesson, we will take a look at three Greek theater tools and the influences they had on modern theater.
8. Theatre of Dionysus: History, Performances & Facts
Heading out to see a movie just might be your idea of a good time, but did you know the ancient Greeks enjoyed an evening at the theater, too? In this lesson, we will look at the history and design of the world's first theater.
9. Ancient Roman Theatre: History & Performance
If there's one thing ancient Romans believed in, it was entertainment. In this lesson, we'll see how theater fit into Roman life and explore some of its forms.
10. Morality, Mystery & Miracle Plays in Medieval Theatre
During medieval times the church took over the theatre almost exclusively. This lesson takes a look at the three primary genres of theatre that evolved through the church during these times.
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