Theater

1. Brainstorming: What does theater mean to you?

2. The origins: Where does the word “theater” come from?

The word “theater” comes from the Greek “theatron”, which means place where one attends a performance. But the word also designates a literary genre, made up of all the plays. In reality, we should speak more of an art than of a literary genre, because the plays are not made to be read, but to be ... ............... ............................ Theater is therefore the art of representing a series of events in front of an audience.

3. The history of the theater

Greek theater

In ancient Greece, theatrical performances were part of religious festivals. They were performed in open-air theaters. We used costumes and ... ........................................... ., different depending on whether we were playing comedies or ... .................................... ................ All roles were held by men! The main authors of Antiquity are Aristophanes for comedy and Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus for tragedy.

Then, the Latin theater turns to farce and mime. In Roman times, performances were performed in a theater, which was architecturally different from the
theater of the Greeks. Roman actors wore makeup instead of wearing a
mask.
Then follows the period of the beginnings of Christianity when the theater is violently criticized by theologians. The actors are excommunicated.


Question: What is the Greek theater and what is the Roman theater? What do you call the latter too?

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Note: The Theater of Epidaurus is an exceptional monument. It is the best preserved theater of ancient theaters. It was built at the beginning of the 3rd century BC. It could contain 6200, then - after the construction of additional stands - 12000 spectators. The exceptional acoustics of the Theater of Epidaurus make it a place of performance to this day.

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Exercise: Translate the words written on the map of the theater of Epidaurus.

1.the steps =
2.the seats =
3.the altar =
4.the orchestra =
5.entry =
6.the scene =
7.the proscenium =


Medieval theater

The first theatrical work of the Middle Ages that we know of is a visit to the sepulcher. This is the first written record of a genre that will be called liturgical drama. He was represented inside churches, in front of the altar.

Another form of theater is that of jugglers. The theater in French - which was then called "Game" - really took off: Rutebeuf, Adam de la Halle and Jean Bodel. All three are jugglers. Rutebeuf and Jean Bodel mainly write “Miracles”, Adam de la Halle profane texts.

The 15th century saw the emergence of new theatrical genres: farces and mysteries. Mysteries are often played out to thank heaven for putting an end to a plague, epidemic or war. They showcase the passion and resurrection of Christ, characters from the Old Testament, the Apostles, and the lives of saints.


The Elizabethan theater (late 16th century and 17th century)

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In England, at the end of the Middle Ages (end of the 16th century), the theater knew
a huge popular success. William Shakespeare writes for the people as well as for the courtiers. The building is a kind of wooden egg where there are no curtains. We mix the tragic and the grotesque: the costumes are sumptuous. Such a theater is called "Elizabethan theater", because England is reigned by the queen ... .............................. ........
"The Globe" is the Elizabethan theater in ... .....................................


The Spanish “golden century” (17th century)

In Spain, Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina and Pedro Calderón develop a dramaturgy that no longer respects the distinction between the comic and the tragic genres. The satirical short story Don ... ............................................. .................. by Miguel de Cervantes remains a masterpiece.

Question: What is the name of the valet who forms a duet with his master D.Q. from the Channel?

 

 

 

 

 

Classical French theater (17th century)

Classical theater is essential in France, with the main representatives Pierre Corneille, Jean Racine and Molière (Jean-Baptiste ... ......................... ........        from his real name).

The 17th century is called the "classical age" because it establishes an aesthetic that goes back to the laws of ancient art. The theater will once again be tightly locked into the shackles of the oneness of time, place, action and tone. Racine and Corneille make the ............................................ triumph ................., Molière the .............................. ...........................................

 


The 18th century in France

At the beginning of the 18th century, deeper renewals appeared with the tragedies of Voltaire, who introduced modern subjects while keeping the classical structure and the alexandrine (a line of ... ......... syllables).

Italian Comedians are very successful in France with their theatrical show: the ... .................................. .................................................. ................... Everyone knows the stereotypical characters (Harlequin, Colombine, Polichinelle, Doctor Pantalon, Scaramouche, Pierrot, ...). It is an improvisation theater based on a fixed canvas.


Exercise: Who is who?

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It is in this line that Marivaux finds its place and his comedies which combine the finesse of the feeling of love and the subtlety of marivauding with social problems: the master-valet couple. The False Confidences, The Game of Love and Chance and Slave Island are some of his major works.

The other great author of comedies is Beaumarchais who shows himself skilled in the art of dialogue and intrigue, but also in social and political satire through the character of Figaro, a valet who challenges the power of his master and found in two major works: The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro.

Question: Choose the correct answer.

“Marivauder” means:

at. take an oath

b. give sermons

vs. exchange compliments to seduce a man or a woman

 

The romantic theater (19th century)

Romantic theater is a theatrical movement born at the beginning of the 19th century, in
opposition to the principles of classical tragedy. It was Victor Hugo who codified the aesthetic in Cromwell's Preface (1827). The performances of romantic plays have given rise to confrontations between the “old” or “classic” and the “modern”. Authors like Théophile Gautier, Alfred de Musset and Alfred de Vigny will support this modern vision of the theater.

Post-war expressionist theater (20th century)

In the 20th century, we see the appearance of a return to ancient myths in engaged theater (Giraudoux, Anouilh, Cocteau, but also Sartre, Camus), in which the authors convey their philosophical ideas.

Certain authors like Ionesco and Genet react strongly to this engaged theater with absurd plays. Samuel Beckett will introduce the absurd into the theater. Thus was born the new theater or theater of the absurd. This form of theater - which appeared in the 1940s - is characterized by a total departure from classic genres, such as drama or comedy. It is a genre dealing with the absurdity of man and life in general. The origin of this thought is undoubtedly the trauma after the Second World War.


Survey:

What absurd piece tries to show the difficulty of communicating? And what is the name of the author for whom language is no longer a means of communication, but a means that simply expresses emptiness?

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What is the name of the author of "La Cantatrice chauve" and "La Leçon"?

 

Who is who?

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