Comparison between Indian and Greek drama essay

Although Greek and Indian dramas are similar in that they use symbols, signs and other objects to convey something, both forms have a lot of concepts that differ in a lot of ways. The Greeks primarily staged plays during celebrations and feasts to please their Gods, in particular Dionysus, the God of wine. Greek drama usually has four parts: the first three parts are tragedies and culminates with fourth part as a tragedy-comedy or tragicomedy, which is called a satyr play.

The satyr play, which usually involves dancing and usually features a group of singing satyrs, is done to lighten the atmosphere through comical acts but without compromising the tragic theme established by the first three. The main story usually revolves around a tragic hero who experiences sorrow and misfortune. Moreover, the usual stories and themes of the plays in Greece were based on mythology and history and done as a form of tribute to their Gods (Gil, 2007). On the other hand, Indian plays were done to patronize their Kings and were basically traced to religious rituals, traditions, and beliefs.

The plays usually begin and end with an Indian prayer and are divided into acts and scenes. Generally the story usually revolves around the one of the nine Rasas or the nine moods in India, namely: Love, Joy, Wonder, Peace, Anger, Courage, Sadness, Fear and Disgust (Manohar, 2004). In Greek drama, the actors wore masks which depicted their mood or their age. These masks were large for the audience sitting in the back to see. The masks could be either a smiling face or a sad face. Indian drama, on the other hand, usually has actors and musicians, accompanied mostly by dancers.

I personally like Greek drama better since it’s easier to understand and associate with. The Greek characters and themes are more prominent and have more symbolism in the real world. I believe that drama is more appreciable if it can easily be interpreted.


Manohar, L. M. (2004). History of Indian Theatre. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications. Gil, N. S. (2007). Greek Theater Study Guide. Retrieved October 17, 2007 from http://ancienthistory. about. com/od/greekliterature/a/GreekTheater. htm