Theatre through history

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Theatre through history

Theatre has become part of our society, it has developed with it, and we can see all our history through theatre. All over the world theatre has had a great importance on how each country has developed culturally, it has been used not only for entertainment but also as a tool for teaching. When we think of the beginning of theatre we tend to imagine it started with the ancient Greeks, but this is not really like that, it is true that the word theatre does come from the greek word theatron it is now considered that the start of this art is found in the evolution of magic tribe rituals. All civilisations seem to have their start with theatre in the same way: with magic or holy rituals.

It is now said that theatre started in Ancient Egypt as there were some representations of OsirisÕs death and resurrection. This is a perfect example of how theatre started as a tool of communication, in order for everyone to be aware of OsirisÕ power in this case. After this it came to the Greek and Roman theatres where it continued to be part of rituals, but it started to be included in other celebrations. At that time theatre, music and dance were really close to each other as in the theatre representations music and dance had a great importance, like in nearly all rituals.

The next step for theatre was in America, with the Aztecs and the Mayas, who had rituals for nearly everything. Then it is known that in Asia there were antique representations and poems written like theatre plays, but the date is not known; from China to India the type of theatre didnÕt change much, as the first ones used it to represent their stories and the second ones their myths. But when it comes to Japan theatre becomes more complex and is divided into 3 different types of performance.

Then weÕve got a great evolution of theatre in: the Middle Age, the Renaissance, the Baroque and the Neoclassicism until it develops to modern theatre. Through this part of history theatre evolved until it got to what we know as theatre today. It went from telling the legends and myths to be a way of entertainment, it started to change, to show the way the society was like, to criticise it.

For all this theatre is much more than just a way of entertainment as people tend to see it nowadays, it reveals the way people felt, what they believed in, how they were supposed to behave, the way the society was divided, and much more. This is why we need to cultivate the art of theatre because it is a way of learning history and literature. Theatre is part of us in the same way we are part of theatre.

Daniela Torrealba Garc’a (17)

Student at CET Services