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The History of Greek Theater- Theater and drama in Ancient Greece took form in about 5th century BCE with the Sopocles the great writer of tragedy In his plays and those of the same genre heroes and the ideals of life were depicted and glorified It was believed that man should live for honor and fame his action was courageous and glorious and his life would climax in a great and noble death Originally the heros recognition was created by selfish behaviors and little thought of service to others As the Greeks grew toward city-states and colonization it became the destiny and ambition of the hero to gain honor by serving his city The second major characteristic of the early Greek world was the supernatural The two worlds were not separate as the gods lived in the same world as the men and they interfered in the mens lives as they chose to It was the gods who sent suffering and evil to men In the plays of Sophocles the gods brought about the heros downfall because of a tragic flaw in the character of the hero In Greek tragedy suffering brought knowledge of worldly matters and of the individual Aristotle attempted to explain how an audience could observe tragic events and still have a pleasurable experience Aristotle by searching the works of writers of Greek tragedy Aeschulus Euripides and Sophocles whose Oedipus Rex he considered the finest of all Greek tragedies arrived at his definition of tragedy This explanation has a profound influence for more than twenty centuries on those writing tragedies most significantly Shakespeare Aristotles analysis of tragedy began with a description of the effect such a work had on the audience as a catharsis or
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