The most inspiring playwright’s works survived into modern theatre. Menander, Sophocles and Aeschylus challenged traditional rules and laws set for theatre. In Ancient theatre, only two actors acted out spoken scenes, on plain stages. Theatre forever changed after Aristophanes death, when Menander introduced New Comedy. Sophocles Greek Playwright Sophocles living in 400 B. C century, made theatre visually theatrical adding colors, chorus, scene paintings and additional actors. Actors accented high and low vocal accents, much like following the musical staff, in Sophocles directed plays.
Scripts were read with the purpose of getting emotions across to the audience, using voices concealed behind the actor’s masks. Word choices written into scripts encouraged audience’s use of their imaginations understanding details or messages portrayed from the play. “A definitive innovator in the drama, he added a third actor—thereby tremendously increasing the dramatic possibilities of the medium—increased the size of the chorus, abandoned the trilogy of plays for the self-contained tragedy, and introduced scene painting. ” (“Sophocles,” 2007) Sophocles is noted for arranging colorful, celebrated festival, Dionysia.
Dionysus is a highly honored Greek, mythical God symbolizing honor of increased population and wine. Aeschylus Aeschylus living in the 400-500 BC centuries was Sophocles successor. Enhancing Sophocles ideas, he expanded the theatrical versions and drama of the theatre. “Prior to Aeschylus, tragedy had been a dramatically limited dialogue between a chorus and one actor. Aeschylus added an actor, who often took more than one part, thus allowing for dramatic conflict. He also introduced costumes, stage decoration, and supernumeraries. In addition, Aeschylus also appeared in his own plays.
” (“Aeschylus,” 2007) Aeschylus theatre stages were made only for singing and dancing acting parts. Actors and poets interacted with chorus versions from the beginning to ending of the play. Musical wind instruments played along at the same time of speaking parts. Words in speaking parts were connected together, following a beat or rhythm instead of the normal speaking voice. Aeschylus, founder of tragedy, used more actors on stage during a single play scene. Actors played out aggressive emotions, arguments and conflicts during the plays. His objective was to elevate and change the feelings and emotions of his audiences.
Aeschylus’s written tragedy’s taught the audience members lessons dealing with their own personal life’s conflicts. Menander One of the earliest Greek playwrights, 200-300 BC century, wrote very funny political plays. He is known for the invention of New Comedy. “Old Comedy in ancient Greece was a series of loosely connected scenes (using a chorus and individual characters) in which a particular situation was thoroughly exploited “(“Comedy,” 2007) Unlike Aristophanes’ plays, Menander’s jokes were not degrading. Menander’s plays were much more sophisticated, entertaining, written to be positive and uplifting.
His plays did not become known until early 1900’s. Aeschylus inspired people to resolve their personal conflicts by exaggerated stage plays. Menander encouraged laughter to resolving conflicts. Conclusion Menander contributed permanent changes to the way theatre is perceived. When people had no electronic options for entertainment, they had to see outdoor plays. These plays were not for entertainment. Weather conditions did not influence people staying at outdoor theaters for three days. Menander made theatre more entertaining when he introduced New Comedy.
Sophocles and Aeschylus were the original creators of today’s musical theater and Broadway musicals. People went to theaters for religious reasons. These three ancient Greek Playwrights changed theater from religious meetings into recreational events.
Sophocles. (2007). In The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed. ). New York: Columbia University Press. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=112886851 Menander. (2007).
In The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed. ). New York: Columbia University Press. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from Questia database: http://www.questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=112873168 Comedy. (2007). In The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed. ). New York: Columbia University Press. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=112852703 Aeschylus. (2007). In The Columbia Encyclopedia (6th ed. ). New York: Columbia University Press. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=112842365 Sheppard, J. T. (1927). Aeschylus & Sophocles: Their Work and Influence. New York: Longmans, Green. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from Questia database: http://www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&d=8870982