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Word Count: 356
Aeschylus was born in 525 BC in the city of Eleusis He has been referred to as the Father of Tragedy Early on in his life he was immersed in the rites of the city and in the worship of the mother and earth goddess Demeter He was once sent to watch grapes ripen in the countryside It was here that Aeschylus says Dionysus appeared to him in a dream and ordered him to write tragedies He fought on behalf of Athens in the Persian wars including the battle of Marathon and Salamis His parents belonged to the old Attic nobility so that he was brought up as a broadminded conservative He spent a large part of his mature life at the court of Hieron tyrant of Syracuse returning to Athens to supervise the production of his plays He began to present plays in 490 BC in Sicily When he started to write Greek plays were nothing more than a single actor portraying many characters usually with masks It was a huge step for drama when Aeschylus introduced the second actor This diminished the role of chorus and put more of an emphasis on dialogue Aeschylus was an innovator in other ways as well He made good use of stage settings and stage machinery and some of his works were known for their spectacular scenic effects He also designed costumes trained his choruses in their songs and dances and probably acted in most of his own plays this being the usual practice of most Greek dramatists Aeschylus wrote approximately 90 plays only about 80 of these titles are known Only seven tragedies have survived in their entirety It is said that thirteen of his plays achieved first prize at the Greater Dionysia which was the annual dramatic festival held in Athens His first success was in 484 BC and he almost
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