Theatre Essay: Why Theatre Is Important
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The Importance of Theatre
Theatre Essay Introduction
Theatre is one of the oldest traditional activities in the world, and it is as old as human civilization. It is a form of expressing emotions on stage. Also, it is the best way to understand empathy better. It has been considered as the best way to teach themes like morality and religion. Over the centuries, it had spread to various different counties and cultures. Some of them brought their interpretation into it, and others embraced the ancient characteristics. Today, it became a wealthy marketplace despite cinema's popularity because it is an indispensable tradition for us. In this sense, cinema is a developed version of the theatre, and they both help us empathize with other people emotions and thoughts on common themes or problems which we have been facing for centuries. Therefore, modern societies are still showing so much attention to it. After all, this paper focuses on the significance of theatre and its evolution in different cultures over the centuries. Many cultures embraced and valued theatre in the past because it carried a critical role in society in terms of moral education, historical and religious narratives.
Ancient Greece was the first culture that showed so much value to the theatre. For example, they valued arts, architecture, literature, and philosophy along with theatre. They were one of the most developed cultures of their times. Originally, the theatre was a type of structure that was considered a place for religious rituals and social gatherings. One can highlight that ancient Greece played a critical role in the development of theatre. Thus, they invented tragedy when the poet and the first actor Thespis came to Athens in 534 BCE with his troupe on wagons, and performances were given in the Agora (Bay para. 4). Also, they used chorus in the plays, and it became the most important characteristic of Hellenistic era tragedies. Tragedies were essential to them because they honoured their Gods, Goddesses and mortal heroes like kings and warriors. Tragedies included death, war, religion and moral lectures, and historical themes. Therefore, Ancient Greece was the first society which developed theatre and created a tradition in history.
In its later development, they built theatres in several cities, which were inspired by the Theatre of Dionysus. Also, in the beginning times, admission was free, then they have put an entrance price for theatre, and poor citizens were given entrance money (Bay para. 6). Thus, their community sought the poor citizens, and they provided the money because theatres were essential places to teach religious lectures and historical narratives to their citizens. In other words, they sought the development of poor citizens with it.
Ancient Greece was the heart of civilization and arts. Many cultures which came after them copied their arts and architecture. In this sense, the Roman empire followed Greek theatre, and they only changed few aspects of it. For instance, in their culture, theatre mostly was a center of entertainment, and it did not express any deep religious convictions (Bay para. 12). Also, they built much bigger theatres in every city.
The ancient Roman empire was not the only society that copied Greeks. In later centuries, theatres in Europe were influenced by Greeks in terms of tragedy plays and stage design. For instance, in Ancient Greece, the first theatre plays were performed in the streets of Agora, which were the marketplace, and in the middle ages, Pageant Plays were performed on special movable stages or carts in European countries (“History of Theatre” n.p). Until the 17th century, European theatres mostly was in control of the church, and they used theatre's influence to teach religious narratives and moral lessons and during the II. Charles reign, theatres became more independent so that they could focus on different topics. Also, in that era, Shakespeare was one of the most important playwriters who led theatre to innovation. For example, he invented tragicomedy plays that combined tragedy, and comedy. His plays included various themes such as history, folklore, morality conflict, passion, love, and death.
Theatre Essay Conclusion
Consequently, theatre is the oldest entertainment tradition in the world, and it is old as civilization. Over the centuries, ruler classes used it for teaching religious and historical narratives and morality lessons while entertaining their society. In the modern world, theatre is still valued by the masses because there is a magical environment in live performances. The reason for theatre popularity is that many cultures embraced and valued theatre in the past because it carried a critical role in society in terms of moral education, historical and religious narratives. Eventually, it became a significant tradition for us.
Bay, Howard. “Theatre.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., www.britannica.com/art/theater-building
Gianni, Dottore. Theatre in Asia I: Background, India and China, 1 Jan. 1970
“History of Theatre | Ancient Greece to Modern Day.” YouTube, YouTube, 24 Sept. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NmD2TGKnY8 t=800s.
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