Wednesday, 27 March 2013

It's All Greek to Me

For this month's meme for Let's Read Plays, I'd like to share some things that I learned from mythology class on Coursera last year. That is, the special things about Greek plays, and the way they are, or rather, were, performed.

In Greek plays, the time they are performed on stage represents the real time in the story as well. So in Greek plays, only critical short time of the story is chosen to be acted on stage. The background story is told in short time either by the chorus or the players, but not acted.

In Greek theatre, the performers use masks to emphasize the facial expression and the gravity and density of the play itself. All the actors are male, including the players for ladies. Aha. The theatres, as we can still see today, at least the remaining of them, are located in the open air, but in semi-circular shape that gives great acoustic and good sound quality – which is important, since there was no microphone back then.

On the stage, there is a backdrop, or a wall, creating a backstage where players can change costumes. In the middle of it, there's a door. This door is like a window to the dramatic things that are not to be performed on stage, for example killing. Those parts are done behind the door.

And there's the chorus. Chorus is a bunch of people somewhere between the players and the audience whose role is to connect the audience with the players. So sometimes the chorus addresses the players, and sometimes the audience. I think it's very interesting to have something like that. It's perhaps like a commentator in football match.

That's all I would like to share with you. I got all this material when I took the Mythology class in So if you're interested in Greek and Roman myth, just enroll to that class. See you next month.


  1. thank you for the post Listra! you inspired me to enroll as well. i signed up for two courses and i'm catching up with the first one as it started already.