Use Of Masks In Greek Theatre

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Greek theater originated around 600 B.C. to 250 B.C. This was due to the worshipping of the gods as well as religious festivals. The god that was at the center of this was Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility. Masks were frequently worn during this festivals. There are several important factors that are necessities in a Greek play. One the most important of these factors happen to be the use of masks. One of the finest contributions that Greek theater had on drama was when it was decided to incorporate masks into their performances. A Greek theater consisted of an orchestra and a theatron, which is the actual structure of the theater building. The stage was made of wood. Almost every Greek city had their own theater. This is because…show more content…
One benefit is that Masks had the ability to bring a characters face and emotions closer to the audience. This is mostly because a lot of greek masks have over exaggerated facial features. Another benefit of Masks is that it gave the audience a better idea of what type of play was being performed in front of them because, as previously stated, there are sections of the mask that can determine the type of play, comedy or tragedy. A great example of this is seen in the movie Oedipus Rex by Sir Tyrone Guthrie . In the play the actors all wear masks just as the Greeks did in the past. In this movie, The cast wear masks that expresses the theme of despair that is seen throughout the play. Oedipus wears a serious mask that has a stern expression and gold-colored to express his godly status. All the others wear monstrous and grotesque looking masks that make it quite obvious that this play is a tragedy. Another benefit that came from using masks was that it allowed the audience to understand every aspect of each character. Because of the masks, the audience members were able to tell the type of play being performed, the gender of each character, the age of character, and the social status of the character. This is very important because women were not allowed on stage at this time so the masks gave the male actors the ability to play female roles. Also Masks allowed Multiple roles to be played by one actor. It was also believed that the masks made it so that an audience could not judge an actor on his appearance but instead on his actions. Along with all these benefits, the masks were able to project the sound of the actor. This is essential because the audiences that partook in watching these greek plays were estimated up to 14000 people. So along with all the other functions, the masks acted as a

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