Theater History(Athene)


A theater is a place in which a play is performed, if you trace the word back to its greek origins it literally means “The Seeing Place”.

Theater is a deliberate performance created by live actors and intended for a live audience, typically making use of scripted language.

confront the perennial controversy 面对长期存在的争议

Origin: religious ritual, pretty theatrical.

Rituals are often ways of mediating between the human and the supernatural.

secular 世俗

Ritual is sacred(神圣的), and theater is usually secular(世俗). In ritual the audience often participates; in theatre, they usually sit politely.

get distilled into 被提炼成

mimetic 模仿的

pounding 重击;重击声;(非正式)大败;有节奏的跳动;遭重创的情景

Why doese theater matter? 为什么戏剧重要?

The highest moral purpose aimed at in the highest species of the drama, is the teaching the human heart, through its sympathies and antipathies, the knowledge of itself. 在最高级别的戏剧中,最高的道德目的在于教导人心,通过它的同情和反感来认识它自己。

Thespis, Athens, and The Origins of Greek Drama: Crash Course Theater #2

lewd 猥亵的

bankroll the production 为生产提供资金

incarnation 化身;道成肉身;典型

tetralogy 四部曲;四联剧

  • ivy wreath 常青藤花环
  • sacrificial animals
  • big banquet 宴会
  • retrospectively 回顾地
  • jury trial 陪审团审判
  • dowries 嫁妆
  • shrine 圣地;神殿;神龛;圣祠
  • courtyard 庭院,院子
  • domestic skills 家务技能:指在家庭生活中所需的各种技能,如烹饪、清洁、洗衣等。
  • bent on vengeance 一心复仇
  • advising mercy 建议怜悯


  • theater 戏剧,剧院
  • masks and wigs 面具和假发
  • costumes 服装
  • chorus 合唱
  • protagonist 主角
  • entertainment 娱乐
  • orchestra 管弦乐队
  • tragedies and comedies 悲剧和喜剧
  • satire 讽刺(悲剧和喜剧结合)
  • playwrights 剧作家
  • audience 观众,听众
  • characters 演员角色
  • plot 情节
  • key moments 关键时刻

Necessary Elements for Well-Made Play

  1. logical exposition. Exposition is whatever background information you have to review to the audience.

  2. inciting incidents. A key moment to get things moving. It sets off, the plot of the play. the plot of well-made plays is usually driven by secrets.

  3. An obligatory scene. It’s a scene, a moment in which all the secrets are reviewed. In generally, things turn out well for the hero and others we are care about, a happy ending of some sorts.

This became so popular that the playwright almost had to include it in every play which is why is called: the obligatory scene. obligatory scene gives the audience emotional pleasure. 4. denouement or the resolution 结局或决议 But the denouement offers the audience a logical conclusion.

Ancient Theater(origins of western drama)

Theater is a place where the stories told on stage serve as entertainment and important social commentary. But the stories of theater really begins 2,000 years ago in ancient Athens. The first Greek theaters were semicircular offer built into the base of mountains.

They consisted of an orchestra(合唱), the main stage where action takes place, a skene(backstage 舞台), the backstage area, and the theatron(观众席), where the audience would sit.

It thought that women sometimes attended the theater, but they were never allowed to perform. Even in a place like Antigone, which has a female protagonist(主角), men played all the roles.

The Dionysus Eleuthereus is the oldest theater in Greece (6th century BC). It was named after Dionysus, the Greek god of the arts. Every year it held a festival, where plays would be judged in a panel of spectators.

Two popular types of plays were tragedies and comedies. Famous playwrights(剧作家) who wrote tragedies, like Sophocles, use Greek mythology to explore their characters’ flaws and inspire their audience to think about their own behavior.

Famous commedias like Aristophanes, used satire and weight to poke fun with the city’s political leaders.

The chorus is an important part of ancient Greek plays, up to 50 performers spoke, sung, or dance in unicen and commented on the action, to help the audience to understand what was going on and how to feel about it.

In a democracy like Athens, theater provided a safe space where artists and audiences could come together and talk about their society. The state even paid citizens to attend plays, so they can learn more about the important issues they are explored.

Greek tragedies and comedies continue to inspire theater and other forms of entertainment today.

Have you seen a play whose message staged with you?

There were three main types of play. Comedies, made fun of famous people, such as celebrities and polititians, tragedies were serious, they were usually about heros, whose pride got the better of them, satire plays were a combination of comedy and tragedy.