Origins Tragedy is thought to have developed from the ancient dithyramb, or choral lyric, which was sung by a male chorus in honor of the god Dionysus at his annual festivals. These performances also included group dancing and probably some brief dialogue between the leader and the chorus. At first the dithyramb was a crude improvisation based on the myths about Dionysus and may have taken the form of a rough burlesque or satire, from which the satyr-play of classical drama was derived. In time it came to have a more formal artistic structure and its content was expanded to include stories from the whole legendary tradition. At some point, a radical transformation in approach took place and a serious philosophical attitude replaced the older boisterousness. The addition of an actor to the chorus allowed more complicated and lengthy stories to be used. The father of drama
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