Greek Chorus

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The chorus, in tragic plays of ancient Greece, is assumed to have developed out of Greek hymns and drama. It presented experience and also abstract information to help the audience pursue the performance, commented on main themes, and demonstrate how a model audience might respond to the tragedy as it was presented. Greek choirs also stood for the common public of any specific story. Most of the time they communicated in song form, but every now and then the messages were spoken.

The chorus also takes account for what is actually happening in the plot of the play. They were usually there to bring together compassion for the heroes of the plays, and to draw attention to the audience, even if the audience was previously aware of the outcomes of the stories. The chorus keeps the audience or even the reader intrigued with their peculiar hope.

In early on tragedy, all parts were played by an individual actor. It was because the actor left the stage regularly to transform roles, the chorus was mainly major. The chorus consisted of Athenian citizens and were not professional actors. In the second generation of Athenian tragedy, the chorus sometimes had more important character in the story. At times, the chorus became a major character contained by itself.

The choirs are thought to have fifty singing and dancing members. Tragedy came to be made up of episodes divided by choral odes. Within the odes, the chorus would vocalize rhythmically, so they would not be looked at as individuals, but as one body. They function to offer time for scene changes and give the most important actors a break. In some plays the chorus take the part of a large, well-spoken role in the play and in others, the chorus played a similar, but normal character in the story. At times, the choirs can have over half of the lines in a play of ancient Greek history. It was the playwright's job to choreograph the chorus and its role.

The father of Greek tragedy, Aeschylus, condensed the...
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