CostanziA_DramaResearch - Costanzi 1 Costanzi Alan Pearson...

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Costanzi 1 Costanzi, Alan Pearson English 1302 CLHS March 10, 2008 Sophocles’ Struggles The great Greek playwright Sophocles created over one hundred plays. Twenty four of these won him prizes at the Great Dionysia, a tremendous theatrical event in ancient Athens in which playwrights competed against each other to see who could create the best tragedy each year (Kennedy and Gioia). Crowds attending these plays would sit on cramped wooden benches on a natural slope. In the fourth century B.C. the wooden benches were replaced with 78 rows of stone slabs which could seat about 17,000 (Hearst). Unfortunately, conducting plays in 450 B.C was much more difficult than it is today. Sophocles produced his marvelous plays like Oedipus without the convenience of electric lights, microphones, well constructed theatres, and well behaved audiences like we have today. With all these hardships, plays like Oedipus may have been completely different if it were created today with all the modern marvels that are available. The most difficult aspect of ancient Greek theatre was the lack of equipment. Nowadays, all plays have microphones, lights, even special effects. Actors in the Dionysian theatre had project their voices to where 17,000 rambunctious onlookers could here them. The structure of the outdoor theatre helped the voices carry somewhat. The natural sloping of the Dionysian theatre created a sort of echo effect to where everyone could hear the actors (Wise). The actors also coped with the lack of microphones with masks. These masks were created with exaggerated mouthpieces that would greatly help project the actor’s voice across the theatre (Kennedy and Gioia).The lack of lights was also a major concern in Sophocles’ era. Many things
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2008 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Christensen during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas.

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CostanziA_DramaResearch - Costanzi 1 Costanzi Alan Pearson...

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