Greek Drama Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Greek Drama.
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The City Dionysia

Drama arose out of feasts held in honor of the Greek god Dionysus. By the eighth century B.C., the Greeks had developed elaborate rituals in his honor, which included poetry recitations and a ceremony called the dithyramb. Over time, the dithyramb, which was a special form of verse about Dionysus that was accompanied by song and dance, became the highlight of the festival, and it developed to include tales of other gods and heroes. Beginning about 535 B.C., Athens began to hold annual festivals known as City Dionysia. This festival included a dramatic competition of dithyramb and rhapsodia—Homeric recitation contests. The poet Thespis was the first winner of this contest. His play included dithyramb and rhapsodia, but he expanded these traditional presentations to include a chorus as well. Thespis thus developed a new art form that later became known as theatrical plays.

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This section contains 867 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Greek Drama Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Greek Drama from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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