Be a member
Send article with e-mail
Your e-mail *
Friend e-mail *
CAPTCHA *
CAPTCHA Code *
Refresh CAPTCHA
Comment
* required fields
Send
More
- +
by Archaeology Newsroom

The origin of theatrical art

Having satisfied religious and practical needs such as worship of the gods, perpetuation of the memory of the dead, the struggle for survival, man felt the urgency to invest his left over energy in other joyful expressions of life.Part of this energy was channeled towards the theatre, i.e. towards the activation of the instinct of mimicry (Plato, Aristotle). This activation was nothing more than the manifestation of man’s innately playful nature. Kant and mainly Schiller considered the arts as a “serious” game, decisive for its differentiation from religion, philosophy and practical life. This sort of game, obeying the need for the reproduction of reality, adopted mimicry and its potential. With the contribution of culture, imagination and technical knowledge, play finally became theatrical art. The first developed forms of this game were dance and fairs. The appearance of purely theatrical expression coincided with the need for a tangible representation of abstract conceptions, narrations and ideas that neither rhapsodists nor epic poetry could offer. It is beyond dispute that Greek drama and more specifically theatre originate from dithyramb, the lyrical poetry in honour of Dionysus. The dithyramb, inspired by the festival character of the Dionysian feasts became an essential part of the cult of the god. To combine poetry, singing and dancing in such a form as to excite the imagination and the senses of the participants. The dithyramb, as it eventually evolved as an artistic medium, had an undeniable impact on the evolution of Greek poetry and music. During the peak period of dithyramb Attic tragedy appeared bringing aboutnan independent evolution of the dramatic elements that pre-existed in the dithyramb. We have good reasons to presume that the cyclic chorus, moving around the altar of Dionysus, sang hymns, in which the lyric elements alternated with the epic narrations of the leader of the chorus. The alternation of voices led to the dialogue between the leader and the members of the chorus so that the entire performance soon obtained a concrete dramatic character. The leader of the dithyramb became the hypocrites of the drama while epic abstraction was succeeded by scenic realism.