The masks were the most striking feature of the costume worn by the Athenian actors. Their bodies were padded so that they did not look too slim. His main claim about the mask in Greek theatre is that it is the Greek equivalent of the iambic pentameter in the Shakespearean theatre. Masks. margin-left: 0; Cast As the use of masks in Greek theater developed, it soon became customary for all performers to be masked. © 2015. A person can use masks so others do not know who they are (as when a robber steals from a bank). Your browser version is outdated. The corpse of Alcestis is dressed as a bride, in accordance with Greek tradition and Herakles wears a bearskin and carries a club. Masks can also be used as a dramatic tool, e.g. Performances therefore had to be more physical. Nevertheless, the mask is known to have been used since the time of Aeschylus and considered to be one of the iconic conventions of classical Greek theatre. Silent masks were used to great effect, particularly on child actors, expressing powerlessness, bewilderment, vulnerability, etc. This was a building block for the features of classical drama. Their variations help the audience to distinguish sex, age, and social status, in addition to revealing a change in a particular character’s appearance, ie. The Greeks countered this through a vocabulary of gesture known as cheironomia (gesticulation). A marble or stone face was used as a mould for the mask. The mouth opening was relatively small, preventing the mouth to be seen during performances. Greek mask-maker, Thanos Vovolis, suggests that the mask serves as a resonator for the head, thus enhancing vocal acoustics and altering its quality. The members of the chorus wore masks, usually similar to each other but completely different from the leading actors. "Masks were always used by the actors of the ancient Greek theatrical plays. The members of the chorus wore masks, usually similar to each other but completely different from the leading actors. It is also thought that the “teetering gait” is a misapprehension.[7]. I think it's enough for someone to attend a modern performance of a play in the ancient theater of Epidaurus to feel the perfection of the acoustics in an ancient theater. #gallery-2-4 .gallery-item { If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. 525-ca. Still we have some information drawn from depictions on ancient pottery (see some pictures below). Why did the Actors wear masks? ( Log Out /  When playing female roles, the male actors donned a ‘ prosterneda’ which is a wooden structure infront of the chest to imitate breasts. An interesting idea (Wiles 1991) is that the mask could give to the character some sort of universality, creating an average figure, so that the audience would judge him on his actions and not his appearance. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Therefore, performance in ancient Greece did not distinguish the masked actor from the theatrical character. ancient greek theatre masks . The mask was therefore necessary to let them play the female roles. For theatrical use the clothes have been more decorated than usually. margin-top: 10px; Theater became significant to general Greek culture when it became an … These masks are said to have a dual meaning― the drunken joy that wine brings, as well as a sense o… [4] In the play, life is evoked as the act of seeing the sun. Their theatrical function indicates an integral connection between the performers, the plot and the acoustics of the open-air ancient theatres which has not been Aristotle says that in his day excessive gestures were used – leading to overacting – compared with the older tradition. Hall has quite an obsession with masks, and talked about them at some length in a lecture that he gave in Cambridge not long ago ("Exposed by the Mask", London 2000). The actors had the same “status” as the chorus. } Oedipus after blinding himself. We only know what they looked like because theatre was so popular in Greek and Roman times that models of actors and masks were made in other materials such as terracotta, stone and bronze and depicted on gems and in paintings and mosaics. Illustrations of theatrical masks from 5th century display helmet-like mask, covering the entire face and head, with holes for the eyes and a small aperture for the mouth, as well as an integrated wig. Actors were function of masks in greek theatre as silhouettes, or integral bodies, rather than faces became for. Your Twitter account sure about that, because we do not quite agree with that point of.... Masks … stock messenger has evolved into a simple jump cut ” as the chorus wore masks, is... 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