finaldionysus - Kazaks 1 Maia Kazaks Rg St 80A Andrea...

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Kazaks 1 Maia Kazaks November 19, 2004 Rg St 80A Andrea Fishman TA Ullrey Friday 1pm Religious Theatre Became Secular Although originally used for god worship, theatre and theatrical productions were influenced by political and social upheaval, and began to secularize and cater to the audience as opposed to the gods. Judging from the literary transition from orally performed myths to politically focused comedies and the physical changes of the theatre space, the lessening of religious meaning in theatre is proven. The original performing arts were the Greek myths and poems, specifically Homer’s verses, as oral memorizations, requiring “traveling bards or minstrels whose special craft was the recitation of these myth-laden stories of prehistory” (King 67). Rhabdos, the Greek word for “staff”, developed into rhapsodes , the name for those who had the recitation skills, because the first rhapsodes leaned on staffs as they told the stories. Evolving from these rhapsodes reciting myths and legends, composition in writing had become the rule and made developments into choral song, a performance of twelve or more children dancing 1 , as a chorus, and reciting poetry. Dionysus, the son of Semele and Zeus, was introduced to Greece sometime in the eighth century B.C.E. Dionysus came to represent inhibition and sexual license. “Excess was actively encouraged in the worship of Dionysus, a fertility god associated with wine. 1 Greek word choros means dance. One of the great choral poets was Pindar from the late sixth century; most of his remaining poems are praising athletes.
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Kazaks 2 Having partaken liberally of this liquid, his adherents (generally women) danced and ran in the open air, on hilltops, possessed, they believed, by the spirit of the god” (King 66). Dionysus was a democratic god in the sense of rejecting hierarchies based on gender, class and race, and he is anti-theoretical in his mistrust of intellectual ordering and chains of reason. (Euben 31). The Dionysiac cult had popular appeal but was also a leveler: his forms of worship overrode class distinctions, while his worshippers were ideally projected in myth as a harmonious undifferentiated collective (Csapo 103). Dionysus’ cult was one of ritual madness that often included costuming or masks. These disguises were the first step toward becoming actors; dressing as a different person or being is like acting. Aristotle came up with a theory of the commencement of tragedy, which was originating from “’those who led off the dithyramb’. The dithyramb was at first a hymn to Dionysus, and later any hymn with a heroic subject” (Powell 282). The most fitting way to describe tragedies may be the desire to see something sacred to the god Dionysus, coming from and belonging to a religious realm. Tragedy has word origins in the Greek
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finaldionysus - Kazaks 1 Maia Kazaks Rg St 80A Andrea...

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