Entertainment Today and in the Past and how it has changed People The online Oxford Dictionaries provides the following definition of entertainment: “…as an act of providing or being provided with pleasure or enjoyment while holding attention and interest of an audience. It may take on a number of forms such as attending an organized event or a performance, or any other activity that has been designed to amuse and provide pleasure. Entertainment also covers the action of receiving guests and providing them with food and drink” (Oxford Dictionaries online). According to the above definition, entertainment covers various areas, which include people coming together and go to live or exhibition entertainment activities, such as attending parks, art galleries, museums, circus, concerts, theatres, or sports events. Other types of entertainment that can be enjoyed by individuals include reading books, playing video games as well as other activities such as hiking or fishing. This essay will outline the history, evolution and development of entertainment and its purpose. It will then compare and contrast entertainment of today and the past. The way that we entertain ourselves has evolved with us ages and with civilizations. People developed different ways to entertain themselves in order to pass free time, pass on cultural knowledge and skills to the young, and give people a chance to practice different skills that were needed during the time. (Zillman & Vorderer 3). Some of the oldest modes of entertainment are storytelling, dance, song, and competitions of physical strength. Precision and accuracy was particularly important for young hunters. Because the hunters needed to provide for the group. Legends that retold history and carried moral meanings were passed on from one generation to the next through stories and songs, this made sure that different customs and traditions were passed down from old to young. Storytelling, dance and music were also used during meetings and gatherings that took place between early settlements. Stories were used as a way of sharing information, new developments and inventions. Early people also developed exhibition entertainment in the form of cave paintings and carvings (Marshack 88). As early societies grew, there were more people to complete the work. Societies became more organized, division of labor allowed people to have more time to spend on leisure activities. With this, the entertainment also evolved and developed into basic forms of amusement in pursuit of gaiety, merriment, enlightenment, and happiness (Zillman & Vorderer 2). The first of complex civilizations was ancient Egypt. Here the societal structure was hierarchal and the ruling class indulged in pleasure activities, such as grand banquets that included music, storytelling, acrobatics and dancing girls. Entertainment was also available for the lower classes. In each town there were communal beer houses for people to meet and theatres where acrobats, gymnasts and dancers performed (Ibrahim 56). Entertainment further evolved in ancient Greece, with the refinement of music, song, poetry, painting and sculpture (Zillman & Vorderer 6). Different sports were practiced and each community had sporting competitions. Olympic Games, were an opportunity to bring all of Greece together and were attended by both commoners and elite. Theatre progressed from acrobatic displays to theatrical productions, such as comedy and tragedy. Ancient Romans used entertainment, such as gladiator fights and theatre to control and pacify the masses of unemployed. They also used entertainment as a way to integrate the elite into the masses (Zillman & Vorderer 9). Changes in society began moving from paganism to Christianity, which had an effect on entertainment. Christianity and the church began to regulate the time spent on leisure activities. Sunday became the day of rest with a few saint days. Fairs became a major forum of...
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