Top-Rated Free Essay

Greek Theatre

Topics: Sophocles, Tragedy, Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Aeschylus / Pages: 2 (324 words) / Published: May 30th, 2013
Explain the importance of the chorus to Greek Theatre
The structure of tragedy in Greek Theatre is determined by the chorus. The chorus is an instrumental feature which carries various important functions which engages the audience, in Greek Theatre. Some of these functions include: maintaining a grasp of ceremony and ritual, constitutes a lyric mood through rhythmic chanting and dance, strengthens the passion of the dramatic action, interact with the audience and actors by posing questions and making responses, and finally, collaborates music dance and speech, which connects dramatic happenings. This is further explored in “Oedipus at Colonus” from “Sophocles: The Three Theban Plays”
Tragedy is further emphasised by the chorus when Sophocles' uses the concept synesthesia. The chorus utilises this effect as a device to enhance the emotional appeal and to reveal the deep inner torment of Oedipus: the Chorus maintains that the wretched spirit has flown to "a terrible place whereof men's ears may not hear, nor their eyes behold it." (l. 1313). “I weep for you and cry a dirge of lamentation," (l. 1219) , once again blending the images of tears (from the eyes) and song or poetry (from the mouth) into one deeply moving picture of utter misery and sadness. This in turn, engages the audience and strengthens the passion of the dramatic action. The chorus in the play gives the audience a summary of the central theme, tragedy. “Not to be born is best / when all is reckoned in, but once a man has seen the light / the next best thing, by far, is to go back / where he came from” (1388–1391). Irony is integrated within the words of this passage as Oedipus went “back” precisely“where he came from”—Jocasta’s womb
The chorus is an imperative feature in Greek Theatre as it is a representation of the audiences thoughts. This involves them in the play and can be futher explored in the play “Oedipus at Colonus”

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