When did drama begin?

When did drama begin?
Highlights

The word ‘drama’ comes from a Greek term meaning a thing done. A drama tells a story by means of action and speech. Drama grew out of religious ceremonies in which the life of a god was portrayed by a man or a group of men. The drama that we know today goes back to the time of ancient Greece.

The word ‘drama’ comes from a Greek term meaning a thing done. A drama tells a story by means of action and speech. Drama grew out of religious ceremonies in which the life of a god was portrayed by a man or a group of men. The drama that we know today goes back to the time of ancient Greece.

In Greece, the art of drama reached great heights. The two great classes of drama, tragedy and comedy, were invented by the Greeks. The tragedy deals with suffering and death and has an unhappy ending.

Comedy treats the brighter side of life with humour and sentiment, and ends happily. The plays of Greeks, called classical drama, were written in verse. This was also true of the plays of the most important dramatists until about a hundred years ago.

Today, almost all plays are written in prose.The beginning of drama in Greece is associated with the worship of Dionysus, the god of wine. The plays were performed on holy occasions. The theater was considered as sacred as a temple. It was the early custom at the rites of Dionysus for a chorus of men to chant hymns in praise of the god.

There is an ancient tradition that one of the leaders of the chorus, Thespis, was the first one to impersonate Dionysus. He thus became the first actor. To this day, actors are sometimes called thespians.

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