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Folk theatre and dramatics can be traced to the religious ritualism of the Vedic peoples. An epic is a lengthy Narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation As a Literary genre of High culture, romance or chivalric romance refers to a style of heroic Prose and verse Narrative A novel (from Italian novella, Spanish novela, French nouvelle for "new" "news" or "short story For the Wikipedia guideline regarding editing articles see WikipediaManual of Style. This is a list of lists of Books in Wikipedia General lists List of anonymously published works List of books The following are lists of Writers: By name A &ndash B &ndash Y &ndash Z By type of writing A list of famous Prizes Medals and Awards including cups trophies, Bowls Badges State decorations etc The following is a list of literary terms; that is those words used in discussion classification criticism and analysis of Literature. Literary criticism is the study discussion evaluation and interpretation of Literature. Literary theory in a strict sense is the systematic study of the nature of Literature and of the methods for analyzing literature The History of literature begins with the History of writing, in Bronze Age Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, although the oldest literary Sumerian literature is the oldest literature in the worldThe Sumerians invented the first writing system beginning with cuneiform Logograms Babylonian literature is one of the world's oldest Drawing on the traditions of Sumerian literature, the Babylonians compiled a vast textual tradition of mythological Ancient Egyptian literature comprises texts written in the Egyptian language during the pharaonic period of Egypt. See also Israeli literature. Hebrew literature consists of ancient medieval and modern writings in the Hebrew language. Middle Persian literature is Persian literature of the 1st millennium AD, especially of the Sassanid period Persian literature ( spans two and a half millennia though much of the pre- Islamic material has been lost Arabic literature ( Arabic: الأدب العربي Al-Adab Al-Arabi) is the writing produced both Prose and Poetry, by speakers See also Hebrew literature. Israeli literature, generally referred to as Hebrew literature is poetry and prose written in modern Hebrew as part of European literature refers to the Literature of Europe. European literature includes literature in many Languages; among the most important of the modern Greek literature refers to those writings autochthonic to the areas of Greek influence typically though not necessarily in one of the Greek dialects throughout the Latin literature, the body of written works in the Latin language remains an enduring legacy of the culture of Ancient Rome. See also Ancient literature, 10th century in literature, List of years in literature. According to the mediæval poet Jean Bodel, the Matter of Rome was the literary cycle made up of Greek and Roman mythology The Matter of France, also known as the Carolingian cycle, is a body of Legendary history that springs from the Old French Medieval literature The Matter of Britain is a name given collectively to the Legends that concern the Celtic and legendary History of Great Britain, especially those Medieval literature is a broad subject encompassing essentially all written works available in Europe beyond and during the Middle Ages (encompassing the one thousand Renaissance Literature refers to the period in European literature, which began in Italy during the 15th century and spread around Europe through The History of literature in the Modern period in Europe begins with the Age of Enlightenment and the conclusion of the Baroque period in the 18th century For the use of structuralism in biology see Structuralism (biology Structuralism is an approach to the human sciences that attempts to analyze Deconstruction is a term used in Philosophy, Literary criticism, and the Social sciences, popularised through its usage by Jacques Derrida in Post-structuralism encompasses the intellectual developments of continental philosophers and critical theorists who wrote with tendencies of twentieth-century Modernism describes an array of Cultural movements rooted in the changes in Western society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Postmodernism literally means 'after the modernist movement' While " Modern " itself refers to something "related to the present" the movement of modernism Postcolonialism ( postcolonial theory, post-colonial theory) is an intellectual discourse that holds together a set of theories found among the texts and Hypertext fiction is a genre of Electronic literature, characterized by the use of Hypertext links which provides a new context for non-linearity in "literature" Latin American literature rose to particular prominence during the second half of the 20th century largely thanks to the international success of the style known as Magical realism Argentine literature is among the most important national literatures written in the Spanish language. The Literature of Brazil refers to literature written in the Portuguese language by Brazilians or in Brazil, even if prior to Brazil's independence from Portugal Criticism of Canadian literature has focused on nationalistic and regional themes Colombian literature, as an expression of the Culture of Colombia, is heterogenous tropical and diverse due to the struggle between the Spanish, African Cuban literature began to find its voice in the early 19th century The Caribbean island of Jamaica is known for its arts including its literary inspiration The literature of Mexico has its antecedents in the literatures of the indigenous settlements of Mesoamerica. The term Peruvian literature not only refers to literature produced in the independent Republic of Peru, but also to literature produced in the Viceroyalty of Peru American literature refers to written or literary work produced in the area of the United States and Colonial America. Australian literature began soon after the settlement of the country by Europeans Common themes include indigenous and settler identity alienation exile and relationship New Zealand claims as its own many writers even those immigrants born overseas like South African-born Robin Hyde, or those emigrants who went into Exile but Asian literature is the literature produced in Asia. Examples are Arabic literature Bengali literature Chinese Chinese literature extends back thousands of years from the earliest recorded dynastic court Archives to the mature fictional Novel that arose during the Ming Dynasty Japanese literature spans a period of almost two millennia Early works were heavily influenced by cultural contact with China and Chinese literature, often written Korean literature is the body of Literature produced in Korea or by Korean writers Vietnamese literature is Literature, both oral and written created largely by Vietnamese-speaking people although Francophone Vietnamese and English-speaking Vietnamese Literature in Sanskrit begins with the Vedas, and continues with the Sanskrit Epics of Iron Age India; the golden age of Classical Indian literature is generally acknowledged as one of the oldest in the world Pakistani literature, that is the Literature of Pakistan, as a distinct literature gradually came into being after Pakistan gained its nationhood as a sovereign Assamese literature is the entire corpus of poetry novels short stories documents etc written in the Assamese language. The term Bengali literature refers to literary works written in Bengali language particularly from Bangladesh and Indian province of West Bengal Gujarati is an Indian language spoken in the state of Gujarat. Hindi literature, is broadly divided into four prominent forms or styles being Bhakti (devotional - Kabir Raskhan Shringar (beauty - Keshav Kannada literature is the body of literature of Kannada, a Dravidian language spoken mainly in the Indian state of Karnataka and written in the Kashmiri literature (कॉशुर साहित्य has a history of at least 2500 years going back to its glory days of Sanskrit. The term Malayalam literature refers to Literature written in Malayalam language Marathi literature (मराठी साहित्य is the body of literature of Marathi, a Sankrit-derived language spoken mainly in the Indian state of Maharashtra Nepali Literature (नेपाली साहित्य refers to literature written in the Nepali language. Literature Rajasthani has a vast literature written in various Genres starting from 1000 AD Sindhi language ( Sindhi: سنڌي) is Ancient and rich in Literature. Tamil literature refers to the Literature in the Tamil language. Telugu literature is the Literature of the Telugu people, an ethnic group based in southern India. Urdu literature has a long and colorful history that is inextricably tied to the development of that very language Urdu, in which it is written Indian English Literature (IEL refers to the body of work by writers in India who write in the English language and whose native or co-native language could be one Moroccan literature is a Literature written in (Moroccan Arabic, Berber or French, and of course particularly by people of Morocco Elleke Boehmer (cf Cullhed 2006 79 writes “Nationalism like patriarchy favours singleness—one identity one growth pattern one birth and blood for all. Swahili literature is generally speaking Literature written in the Swahili language particularly by Swahili people of the East African The Literary genre of Science fiction is diverse and since there is little consensus of definition among scholars or devotees its origin is an open question The history of ideas is a field of Research in History that deals with the expression preservation and change of human Ideas over time Intellectual history refers to the History of the people who create discuss write about and in other ways propagate Ideas Although the field emerged from This page gives a chronological list of years in literature (descending order with notable publications listed with their respective years Literature in Sanskrit begins with the Vedas, and continues with the Sanskrit Epics of Iron Age India; the golden age of Classical The Vedic Period (or Vedic Age) is the period in the History of India during which the Vedas, the oldest sacred texts of Hinduism, were being This folk theatre of the misty past was mixed with dance, food, ritualism, plus a depiction of events from daily life. It was the last element which made it the origin of the classical theatre of later times. Many historians, notably D. D. Kosambi, Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya, Adya Rangacharaya, etc. have referred to the prevalence of ritualism amongst Indo-Aryan tribes in which some members of the tribe acted as if they were wild animals and some others were the hunters. Those who acted as mammals like goats, buffaloes, reindeer, monkeys, etc. were chased by those playing the role of hunters.
In such a simple and crude manner did the theatre originate in India during Rig Vedic times. The Rigveda ( Sanskrit sa ऋग्वेद ṛgveda, a compound of ṛc "praise verse" and veda "knowledge" There also must have existed a theatrical tradition in the Harappan cities, but of this we lack material proof. The Indus Valley Civilization (Mature period 2600&ndash1900 BCE abbreviated IVC, was an ancient Civilization that flourished in the Indus River basin
Bharata Muni (fl. The Nātya Shastra ( Sanskrit: Nātyaśāstra नाट्य शास्त्र is an ancient Indian treatise on the Performing arts The Nātya Shastra ( Sanskrit: Nātyaśāstra नाट्य शास्त्र is an ancient Indian treatise on the Performing arts Bharata was an ancient Indian Musicologist who authored the Natya Shastra, a Theoretical Treatise on ancient 5th–2nd century BC) was an ancient Indian writer best known for writing the Natya Shastra of Bharata, a theoretical treatise on Indian performing arts, including theatre, dance, acting, and music, which has been compared to Aristotle's Poetics. The Nātya Shastra ( Sanskrit: Nātyaśāstra नाट्य शास्त्र is an ancient Indian treatise on the Performing arts Theatre (or theater, see spelling differences) is the branch of the Performing arts defined by Bernard Beckerman as what "occurs when one Dance (from French danser, perhaps from Frankish) is an Art form that generally refers to movement of the body usually rhythmic Acting is the work of an Actor or Actress, which is a person in Theatre, Television, Film, or any other Storytelling Music is an Art form in which the medium is Sound organized in Time. Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. Aristotle 's Poetics ( Greek: Ποιητικός, c 335 BCE aims to give an account of what he calls 'poetry' (for him the term includes the Bharata is often known as the father of Indian theatrical arts. His Natya Shastra seems to be the first attempt to develop the technique or rather art, of drama in a systematic manner. The Natya Shastra tells us not only what is to be portrayed in a drama, but how the portrayal is to be done. Drama, as Bharata Muni says, is the imitation of men and their doings (loka-vritti). As men and their doings have to be respected on the stage, so drama in Sanskrit is also known by the term roopaka which means portrayal.
The Natya Shastra is incredibly wide in its scope. It consists of minutely detailed precepts for both playwrights and actors. Bharata describes ten types of drama ranging from one to ten acts. In addition, he lays down principles for stage design, makeup, costume, dance (various movements and gestures), a theory of aesthetics (rasas and bhavas), acting, directing and music, each in individual chapters. The term costume can refer to Wardrobe and dress in general or to the distinctive style of dress of a particular people class or period Dance (from French danser, perhaps from Frankish) is an Art form that generally refers to movement of the body usually rhythmic Aesthetics or esthetics ( also spelled æsthetics) is commonly known as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values sometimes called In Indian performing arts a rasa is an emotion inspired in an audience by a performer Bhava is the Sanskrit and Pāli word for "becoming" in the sense of 'ongoing worldly existence' from the root bhū "to become" Acting is the work of an Actor or Actress, which is a person in Theatre, Television, Film, or any other Storytelling A theatre director or stage director is a practitioner in the Theatre field who oversees and orchestrates the mounting of a theatre production (a play, Music is an Art form in which the medium is Sound organized in Time.
Bharata sets out a detailed theory of drama comparable to the Poetics of Aristotle. Poetics refers generally to the theory of literary Discourse and specifically to the theory of Poetry, although some speakers use the term so broadly as to denote Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. He refers to bhavas, the imitations of emotions that the actors perform, and the rasas (emotional responses) that they inspire in the audience. He argues that there are eight principal rasas: love, pity, anger, disgust, heroism, awe, terror and comedy, and that plays should mix different rasas but be dominated by one. According to the Natya Shastra, all the modes of expression employed by an individual viz. speech, gestures, movements and intonation must be used. The representation of these expressions can have different modes (vritti) according to the predominance and emphasis on one mode or another. Bharatamuni recognises four main modes: speech and poetry (bharati vritti), dance and music (kaishiki vritti), action (arabhatti vritti) and emotions (sattvatti vritti).
The Ramayana and Mahabharata can be considered the first recognized plays that originated in India. Koodiyattam or Kutiyattam (kuːʈijaːʈːam is a form of Sanskrit theatre traditionally performed in the state of Kerala, India. Bhāsa is one of the earliest and most celebrated Indian playwrights in Sanskrit "Kalidasa" redirects here For the true bug Genus, see Kalidasa (insect. The Rāmāyaṇa ( Devanāgarī: sa रामायण is an ancient Sanskrit epic attributed to the Hindu sage ( Maharishi) Valmiki These epics provided the inspiration to the earliest Indian dramatists and they do it even today. Indian dramatists such as Bhasa in the second century BC wrote plays that were heavily inspired by the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Bhāsa is one of the earliest and most celebrated Indian playwrights in Sanskrit
Kālidāsain the first century BC, is arguably considered to be ancient India's greatest [[Sanskrit and dramatist. "Kalidasa" redirects here For the true bug Genus, see Kalidasa (insect. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country Three famous romantic plays written by Kālidāsa are the Mālavikāgnimitram (Mālavikā and Agnimitra), Vikramuurvashiiya (Pertaining to Vikrama and Urvashi), and Abhijñānaśākuntala (The Recognition of Shakuntala). Mālavikāgnimitram ( Devnagari:मालविकाग्निमित्रम्("Mālavikā and Agnimitra" is a Sanskrit play by Vikramōrvaśīyam ( Sanskrit: विक्रमूर्वशीय is a Sanskrit play by medieval Indian poet Kalidasa, on the Vedic love Shakuntala RRVjpg|right|thumb|200px|Shakuntala writes to Dushyanta The last was inspired by a story in the Mahabharata and is the most famous. It was the first to be translated into English and German. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States The German language (de ''Deutsch'') is a West Germanic language and one of the world's major languages. In comparison to Bhasa, who drew heavily from the epics, Kālidāsa can be considered an original playwright
The next great Indian dramatist was Bhavabhuti (c. A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or Drama. Kathakali (കഥകളി kat̪ʰəkaɭi is a form of highly stylised classical Indian Dance - Drama that is noted for its attractive make-up of characters Bhavabhuti was an 8th century scholar of India noted for his plays and poetry written in Sanskrit. Harsha or Harshavardhana (हर्षवर्धन or "Harsha vardhan" ( 590 &ndash 647) was an Indian emperor who ruled Northern India Bhavabhuti was an 8th century scholar of India noted for his plays and poetry written in Sanskrit. 7th century). He is said to have written the following three plays: Malati-Madhava, Mahaviracharita and Uttar Ramacharita. Among these three, the last two cover between them, the entire epic of Ramayana. The powerful Indian emperor Harsha (606-648) is credited with having written three plays: the comedy Ratnavali, Priyadarsika, and the Buddhist drama Nagananda. Harsha or Harshavardhana (हर्षवर्धन or "Harsha vardhan" ( 590 &ndash 647) was an Indian emperor who ruled Northern India Ratnavali is a Sanskrit drama about a beautiful princess named Ratnavali and a great king named Udayana Priyadarsika is a Sanskrit play attributed to king Harsha ( 606 C Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices Nagananda ( Joy of the Serpents) is a Sanskrit play attributed to king Harsha ( 606 C Many other dramatists followed during the Middle Ages.
There are references to theatrical entertainments in China as early as 1500 BC during the Shang Dynasty; they often involved music, clowning and acrobatic displays. Chinese theatre has a long and complex history Today it is often called Chinese opera although this normally refers specifically to the popular form known as The Shang Dynasty ( Chinese: 商[[wiktionary 朝|朝]] or Yin Dynasty ( 殷[[wiktionary 代|代]] was according to traditional sources the
The Tang Dynasty is sometimes known as 'The Age of 1000 Entertainments'. Cantonese opera is one of the major categories in Chinese opera, originating in southern China 's Cantonese culture. During this era, Emperor Xuanzong formed an acting school known as the Children of the Pear Garden to produce a form of drama that was primarily musical. Emperor Xuanzong of Tang ( ( September 8, 685 Background Li Longji was born at the Tang Dynasty eastern capital Luoyang The Pear Garden or Liyuan ( Chinese: 梨园 the first known royal acting and musical academy in China.
During the Han Dynasty, shadow puppetry first emerged as a recognized form of theatre in China. There were two distinct forms of shadow puppetry, Cantonese southern and Pekingese northern. The two styles were differentiated by the method of making the puppets and the positioning of the rods on the puppets, as opposed to the type of play performed by the puppets. Both styles generally performed plays depicting great adventure and fantasy, rarely was this very stylized form of theatre used for political propaganda. Cantonese shadow puppets were the larger of the two. They were built using thick leather which created more substantial shadows. Symbolic color was also very prevalent; a black face represented honesty, a red one bravery. The rods used to control Cantonese puppets were attached perpendicular to the puppets’ heads. Thus, they were not seen by the audience when the shadow was created. Pekingese puppets were more delicate and smaller. They were created out of thin, translucent leather usually taken from the belly of a donkey. They were painted with vibrant paints, thus they cast a very colorful shadow. The thin rods which controlled their movements were attached to a leather collar at the neck of the puppet. The rods ran parallel to the bodies of the puppet then turned at a ninety degree angle to connect to the neck. While these rods were visible when the shadow was cast, they laid outside the shadow of the puppet; thus they did not interfere with the appearance of the figure. The rods attached at the necks to facilitate the use of multiple heads with one body. When the heads were not being used, they were stored in a muslin book or fabric lined box. The heads were always removed at night. This was in keeping with the old superstition that if left intact, the puppets would come to life at night. Some puppeteers went so far as to store the heads in one book and the bodies in another, to further reduce the possibility of reanimating puppets. Shadow puppetry is said to have reached its highest point of artistic development in the eleventh century before becoming a tool of the government.
In the Sung Dynasty, there were many popular plays involving acrobatics and music. Beijing opera or Peking opera ( is a form of traditional Chinese theatre which combines music vocal performance mime dance and acrobatics The Song Dynasty ( Wade-Giles: Sung Ch'ao was a ruling dynasty in China between 960&ndash1279 CE it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Acrobatics (from Greek Akros, high and bat, walking is one of the Performing arts, and is also practiced as a Sport. Music is an Art form in which the medium is Sound organized in Time. These developed in the Yuan Dynasty into a more sophisticated form with a four or five act structure. The Yuan Dynasty ( Pinyin: Yuáncháo Dai Ön Ulus (Дай Юан Улс was a ruling Dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai
Yuan drama spread across China and diversified into numerous regional forms, the best known of which is Beijing Opera, which is still popular today.
Theatre in Southeast Asia was mostly influenced by Indian theatre.
In Thailand, it has been a tradition from the Middle Ages to stage plays based on plots drawn from Indian epics. Ramakien (รามเกียรติ์ is Thailand 's National epic, derived from the Indian Ramayana epic. The Kingdom of Thailand (ˈtaɪlænd ราชอาณาจักรไทย, râːtɕʰa-ʔaːnaːtɕɑ̀k-tʰɑj In particular, the theatrical version of Thailand's national epic Ramakien, a version of the Indian Ramayana, remains popular in Thailand even today. Ramakien (รามเกียรติ์ is Thailand 's National epic, derived from the Indian Ramayana epic. The Rāmāyaṇa ( Devanāgarī: sa रामायण is an ancient Sanskrit epic attributed to the Hindu sage ( Maharishi) Valmiki
In Cambodia, at the ancient capital Angkor Wat, stories from the Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata have been carved on the walls of temples and palaces. The Kingdom of Cambodia ( formerly known as Kampuchea (, transliterated: Preăh Réachéanachâkr Kâmpŭchea) is a country in South East Angkor Wat (or Angkor Vat) (អង្គរវត្ត is a Temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for King Suryavarman II Similar reliefs are found at Borobudur in Indonesia. Borobudur is a ninth-century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The Republic of Indonesia ( (Republik Indonesia is a Country in Southeast Asia.
During the 14th century, there were small companies of actors in Japan who performed short, sometimes vulgar comedies. or is a major form of classic Japanese musical Drama that has been performed since the 14th century A director of one of these companies, Kan'ami (1333-1384), had a son, Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443) who was considered one of the finest child actors in Japan. Zeami Motokiyo (世阿弥 元清 c 1363 &ndash c 1443 also called Kanze Motokiyo (観世 When Kan'ami's company performed for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408), the Shogun of Japan, he implored Zeami to have a court education for his arts. was the 3rd Shogun of the Ashikaga shogunate who reigned from 1368 to 1394 during the Muromachi period of Japan. After Zeami succeeded his father, he continued to perform and adapt his style into what is today Noh. or is a major form of classic Japanese musical Drama that has been performed since the 14th century A mixture of pantomime and vocal acrobatics, this style has fascinated the Japanese for hundreds of years. Pantomime (informally panto) (not to be confused with a Mime artist, referring to a theatrical performer of mime is a performance genre traditionally found
Japan, after a long period of civil wars and political disarray, was unified and at peace primarily due to shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1600-1668). also known as Ningyō jōruri (ja 人形浄瑠璃 is a form of traditional Japanese Puppet theater founded in Osaka in 1684 However, alarmed at increasing Christian growth, he cut off contact from Japan to Europe and China and outlawed Christianity. When peace did come, a flourish of cultural influence and growing merchant class demanded its own entertainment. The first form of theatre to flourish was known as Bunraku. also known as Ningyō jōruri (ja 人形浄瑠璃 is a form of traditional Japanese Puppet theater founded in Osaka in 1684 The founder of and main contributor to Bunraku, Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1725), turned his form of theatre into a true art form. Chikamatsu Monzaemon ( Japanese: 近松門左衛門 real name Sugimori Nobumori, 杉森信盛 1653 – 6 January 1725) was a Japanese Year 1725 ( MDCCXXV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Bunraku is a highly stylized form of theatre using puppets, today about 1/3d the size of a human. The men who control the puppets train their entire lives to become master puppeteers, when they can then operate the puppet's head and right arm and choose to show their faces during the performance. The other puppeteers, controlling the less important limbs of the puppet, cover themselves and their faces in a black suit, to imply their invisibility. The dialogue is handled by a single person, who uses varied tones of voice and speaking manners to simulate different characters. Chikamatsu wrote thousands of plays during his lifetime, most of which are still used today.
Kabuki began shortly after Bunraku, legend has it by an actress named Okuni, who lived around the end of the sixteenth century. is a form of traditional Japanese theatre. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate Make-up worn by some of its performers Most of Kabuki's material came from Nõ and Bunraku, and its erratic dance-type movements are also an effect of Bunraku. However, Kabuki is less formal and more distant than Nõ, yet very popular among the Japanese public. Actors are trained in many varied things including dancing, singing, pantomime, and even acrobatics. Kabuki was first performed by young girls, then by young boys, and by the end of the sixteenth century, Kabuki companies consisted of all men. The men who portrayed women on stage were specifically trained to elicit the essence of a woman in their subtle movements and gestures.
The earliest days of western theatre remain obscure, but the oldest surviving plays come from ancient Greece. is the collective name for a diverse range of activites techniques and motivations for Dance, performance or movement inspired by the Ankoku-Butoh movement The theatre of ancient Greece, or ancient Greek drama, is a theatrical Culture that flourished in ancient Greece between c Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία Most philologists agree that Greek theatre evolved from staged religious choral performances, during celebrations to Dionysus the Greek God of wine and ecstasy (Dithyrambos). There are, however, findings suggesting the possible existence of theatre-like performances much earlier, such as the famous "Blind Steps" of the Minoan Palace at Knossos: a broad stone stairway descending to a flat stone courtyard that leads nowhere - an arrangement strongly suggesting that the courtyard was used for a staged spectacle and the stairway was in fact used as seating. Knossos (alternative spellings Knossus, Cnossus, Greek Κνωσός kno̞ˈso̞s also known as the Knossos Palace is the largest
The vast majority of Ancient Greek theatrical texts have not survived intact. The works of only four Greek playwrights writing during the fifth century B. C. E. remain fully intact.
The above-mentioned playwrights are regarded as the most influential by critics of subsequent eras including (Aristotle). Aeschylus (ˈɛskɨləs or /ˈiːskɨləs/ Greek: Ασχύλος, Aischylos, 525 BC/524 BC 456 BC/455 BC was an ancient Greek Playwright Sophocles (ˈsɒfəkliːz Ancient Greek, sopʰoklɛ̂ːs circa Euripides ( Ancient Greek:) (ca 480 BC–406 BC was the last of the three great tragedians of classical Athens (the other two being Aeschylus Aristophanes (Ἀριστοφάνης ˌærɪˈstɒfəniːz in English ca The tragic and sartyr plays were always performed at the festival (City Dionysia) where they were part of a series of four performances (a "tetralogy"): the first, second and third plays were a dramatic trilogy based on related or unrelated mythological events, and the culminating fourth performance was a satyr play, a play on a lighter note, with enhanced celebratory and dance elements. Satyr plays were an ancient Greek form of tragicomedy similar to the modern-day Burlesque style Performances lasted several hours and were held during daytime.
The dramas rarely had more than three actors (all male), who played the different roles using masks. There was a chorus on the stage most of the the time which sang songs and sometimes spoke in unison. As far as we know, most dramas were staged just a single time, at the traditional drama contest. Such contests were always held in the context of major religious festivals, most notably those in honor of the god Dionysos, and competed for an honorific prize (such as a tripod and a sum of money) awarded by a panel of judges - usually these were the sacerdotal and civil officers presiding over the particular religious festival. In Classical mythology, Dionysus or Dionysos (in Greek, Διόνυσος or Διώνυσος; associated with Roman The prize was awarded jointly to the producer, who had financed the staging, and the poet, who was at the same time the author, composer, choreographer and director of the plays.
The actors wore large masks, which were very colourful. These masks depicted two things: the age of the character, and their mood. They also amplified sound in the same way that cupping your hands over your mouth does. Actors also wore thick, padded clothing, and shoes with thick soles. This made them seem larger, so the audience could see them better when seated in the uppermost rows of the ampitheatre.
The theatre of ancient Rome was heavily influenced by the Greek tradition, and as with many other literary genres Roman dramatists tended to adapt and translate from the Greek. Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2 For example, Seneca's Phaedra was based on that of Euripides, and many of the comedies of Plautus and Terence, the most famous latins workers, were direct re-elaborations of works by Menander. Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as Seneca, or Seneca the Younger; Σένεκας in Ancient Greek literature (c Titus Maccius Plautus (c 254–184 BCE commonly known as Plautus, was a Roman Playwright. Publius Terentius Afer (195/185&ndash159 BC better known as Terence, was a Playwright of the Roman Republic. Menander ( Greek:, Menandros; ca 342&ndash291 BC Greek Dramatist, the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy, was the son
When comparing and contrasting ancient Roman theatre to that of Greece it can easily be said that Roman theatre was less influenced by religion. Also, Roman theatre was more for aesthetic appeal. In Roman theatre war was a more common thing to appear on stage as opposed to the Greek theatre where wars were more commonly spoken about. This was no doubt a reflection of Roman culture and habits.
The audience was often loud and rude, rarely applauding the actors, but always shouting insults and booing. Because the audience was so loud, much of the plays were mimed and repetitive. The actors developed a kind of code that would tell the audience about the characters just by looking at them.
Plays lasted for two hours, and were usually comedies. Most comedies involved mistaken identity (such as gods disguised as humans).
In the Middle Ages, after the fall of Roman civilization, cities were abandoned, southern and western Europe became increasingly more agricultural. Medieval theatre refers to the theatre of Europe between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the beginning of the Renaissance. After several hundred years, towns re-emerged. The Roman Catholic church dominated religion, education and often politics. What remained of the theatre was based on the Greek and Roman performing arts: mimes, minstrels and traveling jugglers.
Theatre was reborn as liturgical dramas, written in Latin and dealing with Bible stories and performed by priests or church members. Liturgical drama or religious drama, in its various Christian contexts originates from the mass itself and usually presents a relatively complex ritual that includes Then came vernacular drama spoken in the vulgate (i. e the language of the people as opposed to Church Latin); this was a more elaborate series of one-act dramas enacted in town squares or other parts of the city. There were three types of vernacular dramas. Mystery or cycle plays, like the York Mystery Plays or Wakefield Cycle were series of short dramas based on the Old and New Testaments organized into historical cycles. Mystery plays and Miracle plays are among the earliest formally developed plays in Medieval Europe. The York Mystery Plays are an English cycle of forty-eight Mystery plays or Pageants, which cover sacred history from the Creation Miracle plays dealt with the lives of saints. Morality plays taught a lesson through allegorical characters representing virtues or faults. Morality Play is a detective story by Barry Unsworth, a Man Booker Prize -winning author for his book Sacred Hunger Published in 1996 by Secular plays in this period existed, but medieval religious drama is most remembered today.
Plays were set up in individual scenic units called mansions or in wagon stages which were platforms mounted on wheels used to move scenery. Often providing their own costumes, amateur performers in England were only men, but other countries had female performers. The platform stage allowed for abrupt changes in location which was an unidentified space and not a specific locale.
Among the more notable religious plays were "The Summoning of Everyman" (an allegory designed to teach the faithful that acts of Christian charity are necessary for entry into heaven), passion plays (such as the later Oberammergau Passion Play, which is still performed every ten years), and the great cycle plays (massive, festive wagon-mounted processions involving hundreds of actors, and drawing pilgrims, tourists, and entrepreneurs) York Corpus Christi Play Simulator. In literature and drama the term everyman has come to mean an ordinary individual with whom the audience or reader is supposed to be able to identify easily and who is often placed A Passion play is a Dramatic presentation depicting the Passion of Christ: the trial, suffering and Death Oberammergau Passion Play is a Passion play performed since 1634 as a tradition by the inhabitants of the village of Oberammergau in Bavaria Germany The morality play and mystery play (as they are known in English) were two distinct genres.
Since many of the more theatrically successful medieval religious plays were designed to teach Catholic doctrine, the Protestant Reformation targeted the theatre, especially in England, in an effort to stamp out allegiance to Rome. The Protestant Reformation was a reform movement in Europe that began in 1517 though its roots lie further back in time 
Whereas most churches carefully watched over the scripts of their dogmatic plays, in order to ensure that the faithful were being taught the accepted doctrine, by the end of the 1500s Queen Elizabeth was controlling the stage just as effectively through a system of patronage, licensing, and censorship. Hamlet's reference to a frenetic performance that "out-Herods Herod" refers to the tradition of presenting King Herod as a bombastic figure, suggesting that Shakespeare expected his audience to be familiar with this particular medieval tradition, long after the religious landscape in England had changed. Hamlet is a Tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601 William Shakespeare ( baptised
Puritan opposition to the stage -- informed by the arguments of the early Church Fathers who had written screeds against the decadent and violent entertainments of the Romans -- argued not only that the stage in general was pagan, but that any play that represented a religious figure was inherently idolatrous. A Puritan of 16th and 17th century England was an associate of any number of religious groups advocating for more "purity" of Worship and Doctrine, In 1642, the Protestant authorities banned the performance of all plays within the city limits of London. A sweeping assault against the alleged immoralities of the theatre crushed whatever remained in England of the Medieval dramatic tradition.
Commedia dell'Arte troupes performed lively improvisational playlets across Europe for centuries. Commedia dell'Arte ( Italian: "the comedy of artists" is a form of Improvisational theatre that began in Italy in the 16th century It originated in Italy in the 1560s, and differed from conventional theatre in that it was neither professional nor open to the public. Commedia dell'Arte required only actors at its heart, no scene and very few props were considered absolutely essential. Plays did not originate from scripts but scenarios, which were loose frameworks of productions providing only the situations, complications, and outcome of the work. The actors improvised most dialogue and comedic interludes(called lazzi). The plays were based around a few stock characters, which could be divided into three groups: the lovers, masters, and servants. The lovers had different names and characteristics in most plays and often were the children of the master's character. The role of master was normally based on one of three stereotypes: Pantalone, an eldery Venetian merchant who wore his pajamas most often; Dottore, Pantalone's friend or rival, a doctor or lawyer who acted far more intelligent than he really was; and Capitano, who was once a lover's character, but evolved into a man who bragged about his exploits in love and war, but was often terrifically unskilled in both. He normally carried a sword and wore a cape and feathered headdress. The servant character type (called zanni) had only one recurring role: Arlecchino (also called Harlequin). He was both cunning and ignorant, but an accomplished dancer. He typically carried a wooden stick with a split in the middle so it made a loud noise when striking something. This "weapon" gave us the term "slapstick. " A troupe typically consisted of 13 to 14 members. No women were allowed to act in theater at this time. So there were absolutely no female performers. Most actors were paid by taking a share of the play's profits roughly equivalent to the size of their role was in its peak from 1575-1650, but even after that time new scenarios were written and performed. Carlo Goldoni wrote a few scenarios starting in 1734, but since he considered the genre too vulgar, he refined the topics of his own to be more sophisticated. Carlo Osvaldo Goldoni (25 February 1707 – 6 February 1793 was a celebrated Venetian Playwright and Librettist, whom critics today rank among the European He also wrote several true plays starring Commedia characters. By 1775, however, the genre of Commedia dell'Arte had lost public interest and died out. Improvisation today is very close to the Commedia.
Spanish Golden Age Laws on Female Actors In Spain theatre thrived during its Golden Age, a period from about 1550 to 1700. English Renaissance theatre is English drama written between the Reformation and the closure of the theatres in 1642. Three types of drama were popular: the religious one acts called autos sacramentales, the secular full- length comedias nuevas, and also the musical zarzuelas (Wilson 211-21). The writers of the comedias nuevas frequently called for female characters to cross-dress as men. In Spain women were first allowed to act in religious plays and later became present in secular performances (Wilson 221). Prior to this men and boys played women onstage. The Catholic Church at the time was against theatre and especially the presence of female performers (Wilson 221). They believed female actors were prostitutes (Shergold 523). The Spanish government passed many laws concerning gender and theatrical performance. In 1587 a law was enacted that made it legal for women to act while simultaneously making it illegal for boys to play women, many attempts to legislate the stage followed this (Heise 385). In 1596 female actors were banned again and shortly after in 1598 the theatres were shut down only to be brought back in 1599, along with women being allowed back onstage (Heise 358). In 1600 the Council of Castile created a document of recommendations to the King that stated women could be onstage, but again boys could not play women, nor could they wear make-up. It was also stipulated that all female actors must be married and have their husband or father with them at the theatre (Heise 359). In the years following 1600 ordinances were put forth which regulated the types of dancing women were allowed to do onstage as well as how they were to dress (Shergold 519). In 1653 a law said that when the script required women to cross-dress, they could only do it on the upper half of their body (Shergold 520).
References: Heise K, Ursula. “Transvestism and the Stage Controversy in Spain and England, 1580- 1680. ” Theatre Journal 44. 3 (1992): 357-74. Shergold, N. D. A History of the Spanish Stage: From Medieval Times Until the End of the Seventeenth Century. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1967. Wilson, Edwin, and Alvin Goldfarb. Living Theatre: A History. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2000.
Neoclassicism was the dominant form of theatre in the eighteenth century. Restoration comedy is the name given to English comedies written and performed in the Restoration period from 1660 to 1710 The Restoration spectacular, or elaborately staged "machine play" hit the London public stage in the late 17th-century Restoration period enthralling audiences Neoclassicism (sometimes rendered as Neo-Classicism or Neo-classicism) is the name given to quite distinct movements in the decorative and Neoclassicism (sometimes rendered as Neo-Classicism or Neo-classicism) is the name given to quite distinct movements in the decorative and The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar, in accordance with the Anno Domini / Common Era numbering system It demanded decorum and rigorous adherence to the classical unities. Decorum (from the Latin: "proper fit becoming" was a principle of classical Rhetoric, poetry and theatrical theory The classical unities or three unities are rules for Drama derived from a passage in Aristotle 's Poetics. Neoclassical theatre as well as the time period is characterized by its grandiosity. The costumes and scenery were intricate and elaborate. The acting is characterized by large gestures and melodrama. Theatres of the early 18th century – sexual farces of the Restoration were superseded by politically satirical comedies, 1737 Parliament passed the Stage Licensing Act which introduced state censorship of public performances and limited the number of theatres in London to just two.
Late Modern, and especially twentieth century theatre, often continues the project of realism. Realism was a general movement in the late nineteenth century that steered theatrical texts and performances toward greater fidelity to real life However, there has also been a great deal of experimental theatre that rejects the conventions of realism and earlier forms. Experimental theatre is a general term for various movements in Western Theatre that began in the 20th century as a reaction against the then-dominant conventions governing the Examples include: Epic theatre, absurdist theatre, and postmodern theatre. Absurdism is a Philosophy stating that the efforts of humanity to find meaning in the Universe ultimately fail (and hence are absurd because no such Postmodernism literally means 'after the modernist movement' While " Modern " itself refers to something "related to the present" the movement of modernism Key figures of the century include: Bertolt Brecht, Antonin Artaud, Konstantin Stanislavski, Harold Pinter, Steven Berkoff, Eugene O'Neill, Samuel Beckett, and Tony Kushner. (born; 10 February 1898&ndash14 August 1956 was a German Poet, Playwright, and Theatre director. Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud, better known as Antonin Artaud ( September 4, 1896, in Marseille – March 4, 1948 in Constantin Sergeyevich Stanislavski (Константин Steven Berkoff (born 3 August 1937 is an English Actor, Writer and director. Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (October 16 1888–November 27 1953 was a Nobel -prize winning American playwright Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989 was an Irish Writer, Dramatist and poet Tony Kushner (born July 16, 1956) is an award-winning American playwright most famous for his play Angels in America, for which
A number of aesthetic movements emerged in the 20th century, including: