The theater is an art form prevalent in the world for ages. This one art form is a combination of multiple art forms which together make theater. But do you know this art form required a separate space with many parts? Each part serves a significant purpose. The Greeks are known to have performed the first plays and set up a proper theater space. So, this article is going to discuss the parts of Greek theater and what purposes they served. You will also get to know about the layout of the stage in the Greek theater. Read this article till the end to know more about this.
1. What are the Parts of the Ancient Theater?
The ancient theater consisted of 3 parts which are discussed below:
- First, the circular space was present which was the stage where the actors performed.
- Second, the orchestra was present which was placed in the flattened space.
- Third was the space where the audience sat.
2. What are Parts of a Greek Theater?
The major parts of a Greek theater were the orchestra, the scene, the koilon, and the theatron. The parts of a Greek theater are discussed below.
- Orchestra: The orchestra in a Greek theater was a circular area that was situated in front of the stage facing the audience. Some orchestras were rectangular too, but the circular ones were prominent. The center of the orchestra consisted of Thymeli, which was in the early years an altar and later on became a place where the leader of the chorus used to stand.
- Skene: Skene was the stage where the actors performed. It consisted of entrances for the actors. The entrances were one or three. The background side of the Skene faced the audience.
- Koilon: The Koilon was the auditorium of the Greek theater which was the area between the seats and the stage. The seating area was called theatron. The Koilon got its name due to its semi-circular shape, which was built around the orchestra.
- Theatron: The theatron, also called cavea, was the seating area in a Greek theatre for the spectators.
3. How are the Theaters in Greece Structured?
Since we have already read about the parts of a Greek theater, let’s discuss how the theaters in Greece were structured. The Greek theaters were recognized for their simple designs and the best use of space, both for the performers and the spectators.
- The theaters in Greece were open-air and took advantage of the natural sloping terrain and hillsides to utilize the best panoramic view. It gave a good backdrop to the stage.
- The Greek theater consisted of three major parts. The theatron or the seating area in a Greek theater, the circular area for the chorus performance called the orchestra, and the stage, which was called the skene. There were two side aisles called paradoi, which provided access to the orchestra.
- The seats in the theatron were divided into wedge-shaped sections and had concentric passageways. There was a proscenium which consisted of a small row of pillars, columns, or semi-columns.
4. What is the Seating Area in a Greek Theatre called?
The seating area in a Greek theatre was one of the major parts of a Greek theater. It was called the theatron. Theatron literally meant the viewing-place.
5. How was the Greek Auditorium Divided?
Hust like the parts of a Greek theater, the Greek auditorium was called the theatron or cavea. It was the seating area in a Greek theatre. The theatron had seats made up of stones which were divided into wedge-shaped sections called cunei. There were staircases that were also made up of the same material. The theatron was divided into horizontal concentric passageways called the diazoma.
There was an upper part of the theatron called the epitheater. The epitheater along with the front-row seats of the theatron was reserved for privileged and upper-class people. These seats were constructed with precious stones and even had the name of the dignitaries for whom they were intended. Read the next pointer to know the layout of the stage in the Greek theater. (See What is a Matinee Age?)
6. What is the Layout of the Stage in the Greek Theater?
After discussing the parts of a Greek theater, let’s get to know about the layout of the stage in the Greek theater. The stage in the Greek theater was U-shaped. These had a polygonal house of wooden benches around. The empty space was present below the top of the U which served as the entrance of the passageways. There was a straight-line scene building closing off the southern end. The stage had two parts, the main stage, and the raised stage. Read the next pointer to know about the parts of a Greek Amphitheatre.
7. What are the Three Parts of a Greek Amphitheatre?
The three parts of a Greek Amphitheatre are:
- Theatron or cavea
8. What is the Structure of Greek Plays?
The Greek plays were structured into 3 major parts, the prologue, the entrance of the chorus, and the episode. The prologue was a dialogue that introduced the topic of the play. The entrance was the beginning of the chorus. Then there were episodes that were the major part of the play and consisted of all the roles and dialogues of the actors. (See What is the Principle of Realism?)
9. What are the 5 Elements of Greek Tragedy?
The Greek tragedy had five major elements, which were the prologue, parados, episode, stasimon, and exodos. They are talked about here.
- Prologue was the monologue or dialogue which presented the topic of the play.
- Parados was the entry of the chorus. It made use of unison chant and dance. This explained the circumstances that led up to this point.
- The episode is the major part of the play which consists of most of the plot. This included the dialogue by the actor. The action was the major part here while the commenting occurred backstage. During episodes, the chorus also interacted with the actors.
- Stasimon is when the chorus comments upon the episode to the audience.
- Exodos consisted of the final chorus chant. It discussed the moral of the tragedy.
10. What is the Structure of a Greek Tragedy?
The structure of a Greek tragedy was simple and consisted of a few parts. The first was the prologue, which was spoken by one or more characters. After the prologue, the chorus entered with singing and dancing. Then the episode began. Here, the scenes alternated between spoken parts done by the actors and the singing part done by the chorus. (See Can Othello be Considered a Tragic Hero?)
11. What are the Main Features of Greek Drama?
There are four main features of Greek drama. They are discussed below:
- Greek drama was closely associated with religion. The stories were based on myths and history.
- Chorus was a very important part of Greek drama. It established the whole theme of the play, gave meaning to it, and provided focus to the scenes.
- Greek drama was mainly performed during special occasions and festivals.
- These plays or dramas were competitive and the actors were offered prizes.
12. How many Acts are in a Greek Play?
The ancient Greek plays had 3 acts, the beginning, the middle, and an end. This was a three-act structure that was presented by Aristotle. He believed that every piece of drama should have these three. However, modern playwrights divide their plays into 5 acts. The division is marked by a distinct difference in the plot from one time, scene, and location, and the next. (See Why The Godfather is a cinema classic?)