Origin of the Greek Theater | History of the Theater and its Evolution

One of the oldest recreational activities that has reached our days is the Theater. Women and men of the 21st century went to theaters with the same expectation as our Greek ancestors. Who does not enjoy a good play? Join us to discover the Origin of the Greek Theater, the History of Theater and its Evolution .

In Supercurious we once approached the Theater to discover some curiosities about him. Did you know that among the superstitions related to the theater is that on a stage you never whistle? If you want to know more, you can find them in our article about Curious superstitions of the Theater .

Origin of the Greek Theater: History of Theater and its Evolution

Origin of the Greek Theater

The word "theater" comes from the ancient Greek "θέατρον" (theátron) which means "place to contemplate" or "place to look". Is a "Branch of scenic art, related to acting , which represents stories in front of an audience using a combination of speech, gestures, set design, music, sound and spectacle. "

To know where the theater was born, we must go back to the magical rituals performed by our ancestors related to hunting or gathering. When they were added the music and dance became dramatic ceremonies in honor of the gods and they were the expression of the spirituality of those communities.

1. What is the origin of the Greek Theater?

Origin of the Greek Theater 1

Thespis, a Greek dramatist of the 6th century BC C. , is considered the first author of tragedy and the first actor of the Greek theater. The origin of the Greek theater are choral representations and Thespis added a character who dialogued with the choirmaster or corypheus.

It is also thought that he was the introducer of the masks that characterized the characters and that today are a symbol of the theater or the inventor of the prologue. The legend about this character says that he was expelled from Athens and forced to travel the roads with a car, so it is supposed the first itinerant dramatist or the first one who was "on tour" .

Where was the theater born?

It is known as Theater of Ancient Greece to the "theatrical culture" that developed between 550 a.C. and the year 220 a.C. So it can be said that the theater that was born in Greece during those centuries and that is based on the great value that the Greeks conferred on the spoken word, It is the root of Western theater . It began with a religious festival in which they honored the god Dionysus with tragedies. From the tragedy the genre of comedy and the "satirical comedy" that is actually a tragicomedy were separated.

Classical plays

Origin of the Greek Theater 2


Main authors of classical plays were:

  • Aeschylus : only the "Trilogy of Orestes" has come to us, which consists of three works: "Agamemnon", "Coeforas" and Euménides. "
  • Sophocles : his main works are "Electra", "Oedipus Rex" and "Antigone." Here you can discover the best Phrases of Sophocles , the father of Greek tragedy.
  • Euripides : we will quote "Medea" and "Las Troyanas." To get to know this great tragic poet better, do not miss these Euripides phrases .
  • Aristophanes : author of "Las Nubes" or "Las Ranas."

2. Brief history of theater since its birth

Origin of the Greek Theater 3

As we have said, the theater was born as a religious festival and in China, India and Egypt have found evidence that there were already similar manifestations to what we know as theater centuries before the Greek. Historians consider that the origin of the Greek Theater is in the religious festival dedicated to Dionysus and in the author and actor Thespis.

The Romans followed the wake of the Greeks and in America, both the Mayan culture and the Inca or Aztec, also had theatrical representations linked to agricultural cycles, accounts of historical and warrior episodes or of a religious nature.

In the middle Ages, in Europe, after centuries of oblivion, the theater was resurrected by the clergy generally for religious purposes. However, it was not until the 16th century that it had a relaunch, with the modern theater with stage, proscenium and curtain being born in Italy as well as the "comedy of art".

In England the Elizabethan theater that had its maximum exponent in Shakespeare and "The Globe", where his works were represented, and in Spain the "comedy corrals" had a special boom.

During the In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the theater continued to progress, taking the scenography with great importance. During the nineteenth century began to glimpse changes that pointed to what would be the modern theater, characterized by the freedom of approaches in conjunction with traditional forms.

But it was the new technical possibilities that would really change theatrical art. The lighting and the mobile or transformable stages have moved away from the classic appearance.

3. Evolution of theater: how it is today

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The theater evolves at the same time as society . At present, despite the rise of cinema and television, the theater maintains its popularity. The cinema and the theater are fed back and the spectator now enjoys comforts that were unthinkable in past times. One of the greatest successes of the theater at present is the musical theater and in the main cities of the world works of this genre are represented.

Theater remains important in the 21st century for its educational purpose, its creativity and innovation, as an engine of social change and for the enrichment and satisfaction it provides to those who come to it . Are you a fan of the theater? Did you know the origin of Greek theater? Share with us your opinions on this art that fascinates many people! If you want to know more about the theater, we invite you to read the post: Do you know Japanese theater? Impatient!

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