Questions and Answers about Women in Ancient Greek Drama Set III
Question: can you tall me more about the courtesans in plays of menander and terence
Answer: Sorry, I have no information on this subject. These are Roman rather than Greek playwrights.
Question: what were the main themes in Greek drama and are there any good modern themes that would make a good greek play today?
Answer: Greek dramas were illustrations of Greek morality. There are many Greek myths that have very dramatic content that are not present in any extent Greek Drama. One reason is that many of the Greek dramas from ancient times are lost yet the stories they followed have been recorder elsewhere. Also the Greeks were good at dealing with life essentials in their myths. Though the trapings of life have changed the basic nature of man has not. As an example I have been thinking that a play about Pero cold make a good drama. You would have to study her myths to see why I think this at the present.
Answer: In ancient Greece women were not allowed to act in dramas because
dramas were a part of a festival for men only. Women participated in festivals for women and may have been involved in impersonizations that were a part of festivals for women. Women were often
entertainers at symposia which were social meetings for men only. They certainly told stories and they may have acted out these stories. These women were a special class of women called hetaerae.
Question: Tell me what you know about Iphigenia at Aulis
Answer: The play of this title by Euripides is at Click here.
Agamemnon was gathering an army at Aulis for the attack on Troy when he
angered Artemis by killing an animal at her temple. Artemis caused the winds
to become calm so the ships could not sail to Troy. The seer Calchas
determined that Iphigenia must be sacrificed to appease Artemis. To get
Iphigenia to come to Aulis she and her mother were deceived by telling them
that she was to marry Achilles. When she arrived in Aulis she was quickly led
to the altar and sacrificed. But as the knife was about to enter her throat
Artemis substituted a deer for her and took her to Tauris. But as far as her parents knew she was killed.
Question: what role that lysistrata play
Answer: Lysistrata is one of the most popular of the existing Greek
comedies and therfore has been of tremendous influence. The play provides
insights into politics, sexual values, and family values of the time it
was written. The play is not feminist but displays the sexual hypocracy
of the times and has given feminists some encouragement.
Question: What role does Meg play.
Answer: I cannot find any reference to Meg in ancient Greece.
Question: how did politics effect the womans role within greek drama.
Answer: The roles of women in drama may have been a reaction to current
politics. Women were expected to be obedient and domestic. Greek drama may
have demonstrated what happened when they were not.
Question: When theater became prominent in Greek society, how did that alter the statis of women?
Answer: It would seem that Greek drama should improve the status of women but the evidence is lacking. There is more evidence that Greek drama improved the status of women in the 19th and later.
Question: I’M DOING A PAPER ON GREEK DRAMA. I’M TO COMPARE LYSISTRATA TO (ELECTRA, ANTIGONE, AND OEDIPUS REX) HOW WOULD I GO ABOUT DOING SO. AND HOW WOULD COMPARE THAT TO THE SOCIETY OF WOMEN AT THAT TIME IN GREECE?
Answer: First read the plays. Then focus on some common aspects that you
can compare and contrast. The role of Fate might be an example. Actions the
women take might be another. A description of the society of women at the
time the plays were written is more difficult. The ancient Greeks liked to
write about events during the Heroic period, about 800 years before their
time. But society changed dramatically in that 800 years. Some aspects of
the Heroic period are never mentioned, while others are merely fill-ins
obtained by observing contemporary society. Unfortunately most of our knowlege
of contemporary society comes from a study of such fill-ins. There is
additional material in an historian such as Herodotus.
Question: why did pandora recive a box from the gods
Answer: To tempt her curiosity and to punish man for stealing fire.
Question: CAN YOU PLEASE HELP ME??? I’M DONING AN ASSIGNMENT ON GREEK DRAMA. I’M TO COMPARE THE ROLES THAT WOMEN HAD IN THE THEATRE TO THE ROLE THEY HAD AT HOME.PLEASE SHOW ME EXAMLPES OF THIS IN ELECTRA, ANTIGONE, AND LYSISTRATA. THANK YOU?
Answer: Your request is harder than you might think. There were no women
actresses and all roles were played by men. The question should be how do
the roles of women characters compare with women in real life? The problem is
that you need a source of the roles of women in real life. The best source
is probably dramas like the ones you just mentioned. But this is problematic
too because the convention was to write about the heroic era not classical
Greece. But in order to bring these old stories to life the dramatists
included details from their own observation. It is these details that tell
you about women in real life. But you must distinguish details from the
heroic age from details from the classical age.
Question: when did greek woman prominted in greek sociaty how did that effect them
Answer: When a women became prominent in ancient Greece it meant she had others to do her work, had more expensive clothes, and fine jewelry. Such women usually stayed home in the shade and socialized with her friends. Many did weaving. The poetry of Sappho contains allusions to how they might have behaved. Some prominent women became priesteses and performed religious ceremonies.
Question: How do you think a modern audience seeing a moder production of
the play interpret the representation of women?
Answer: For Lysistrata A lot will depend upon how the production is staged. Using women, some of them naked, will get the play condemned as pornographic. Clothed women will give it a pallid look. Men dressed as women will be hillarious with nothing accepted. Dressing a man as a naked woman will be especially humorous. Most modern productions use women and naked statues of women. This seems to give the women the most credibility. But of course the play is an inversion of sex roles and credibility is not what Aristophanes was after.
Question: when theater became prominent in Greek society, how did that alter the status of women?
Answer: Greek playwrights thought women were important and included them
in their plays. Since they modeled their characters on women they knew much
can be concluded about the women of the time.
Drama was a part of religious festivals in Greece and did not
affect the status of women until drama was taken out of the realm of religion
during the Roman period.
The status of women improved in Hellenistic and Roman times and the theater
may have been a factor. There were many women characters in Greek drama and
the behaviors of these women allowed the men to play out the consequences
of greek morality for the men.
Question: Who attended ancient greek plays other than women?
Answer: The ancient Greek dramas were performed at a festival for men.
Men performed and men were in the audience. For them it was a religious
observance. Wherever the men gathered the hetaerae also gathered, so these
women were there. If the dramas presented were particularly entertaining then
a wife might want to attend, and wives usually got what they wanted. But
in general wives and women slaves attended their own religious observances.
Question: What kind of props did Greek actresses use?
Answer: No women performed in the Greek drama that has come down to us.
But women hetaerae were entertainers and perhaps actresses. Their major
props were provocative dresses, lyres, and flutes. Women priestesses also
participated in religious services where they might act the role of a goddess.
They might use special clothing. Masks were a common feture of ancient Greek drama but it is not clear whether women ever used them.
Question: I have a research paper discussing three women in Greek Literature, Jocasta, Antigone, and Medea… I need help on relating them to a similar topic… can you help?? Thanks!
Answer: All three are characters in drama and princesses, but only Joscasta
became a queen.
Question: I was just wondering how their roles affected them in society of that time
Answer: In ancient Greece there were few means of public communication. As
a result the drama events seem to have been extraordinaily popular and
effective. They seem to have gone a long way toward shaping public opinion
in their time.
Question: im studying the trojan women by euripides for my final year and i was wondering what he felt about women in his play.
Answer: The most significant statement is that he felt women were important
enough to make a significant comment about war. That comment is not that
war should not be fought, but that when fought the laws of the gods are to
be respected. The rape of Cassandra is an impiety that costs many lives and
has serious consequences for many years.
Question: who is the goddess of theatre?
Answer: Originally there was only one Muse and she was goddess of the arts.
Music, the most important of the arts was named after her. Then the single
muse divided into three, with one division being Melete, Mneme, and Aoede
(Meditation, Memory, and song). During the classical period each was
divided into three again and nine Muses were settled on: Clio, Euterpe,
Thalia, Melpomene, Erato, Polymymnia, Calliope, Urania, and Terpsichore.
The names mean the teller, well pleasing, the blooming one, the singing one,
the loving one, abounding in songs, beautiful voice, the heavenly one, the
delightful dancing one. Later the Romans assigned each of these Muses to
only one art, but the Greeks did not do this. As it is they seem to possess
many of the qualities of art without the specifics. Also there was no theater
in ancient Greece as we know it. The drama were part of a religious
celebration that were performed for their moral value and not their
entertainment. The correct statement would then be that the Muses,
collectively were the goddesses of what would become the theater.
Question: how in these days is medea staged set wise?
Answer: Medea requires no set.
Question: were they allowed to act
Answer: Everyone was allowed to act but few knew what was involved. The only
acting took place during a religious festival for men. No one knows if the
women had a similar festival. Only the plays written for the men are preserved.
Question: what does greek drama have to do with our society today
Answer: Greek drama is still very entertaining, and that drama is so
well written that it is still a good subject for study. Greek drama forms a
solid foundation upon which all other drama is built. But Greek drama was written for edification and education and not for entertainment. There are a lot of moral situations dealt with in greek drama. People have not changed that much since then so much of the plays is still applicable.
Answer: Phaedra was the daughter of Minos and the younger sister of Ariadne.
She was a later wife of Theseus and fell in love with his son by the earlier
Amazon wife. This forbidden love caused the death of both of them. Shis ia a main character in the drama Hyppolytus by Euripides.
Question: in greek clothing, did colors mean anything ?
Answer: Since some colors were more expensive than others, color could indicate wealth.
The finest purple dye, murex, was the most expensive. Cochineal is a bright
red that is second most expensive. White was the color of death and most brides were dressed in red.
Question: I am writing a paper on medea and Odyseus-the women in these dramas. Do you think the audience, especially the women were sympathetic or appalled by the behavior of Jason(marrying someone else) in Medea or Odyseuss’ extra marital affairs?
Answer: Everyone is apalled by the behavior of both Medea and Jason. The
relation of Odysseus to Circe and Calypso is not well understood, nor does
it appear to be indicative of relations generally. These were goddesses after
Question: why masks were so importantin ancient greek drama ?
Answer: The mask was the character; it allowed easy identification; and
it contained what amounted to a megaphone so the dialogue could be heard.
Question: who were the first female actresses in ancient time?
Answer: Drama was a part of a festival for men to which women were not
allowed. As a result there were no women actresses. But there were
festivals for women during which the women priestesses dramatized the roles
of the Goddesses. Thus, though there were no actresses, the women acted
Question: do woman and men sit together during plays?
Answer: If women get in at all they stay with the man they came with.
Question: What is the name of the Greek Godess of Good Fortune?
Answer: Any god or goddess could provide good fortune, but the ancient
Greeks prayed to Hecate to change their fortune.
Question: where women mistreded in ancient time and how?
Answer: Both men and women have always been mistreated. The real issue is
what system was in place to a;llow justice to be served. In ancient Greece
men were better protected by the systems of laws. In general women were
left to the justice of their families. Women were better treated in ancient
Greece than in the vast majority of other societies. They were isolated
but this gave them advantages. They had their own tasks and they were
protected from crimes especially against their body. Some women were slaves
and overworked and humiliated. A few women were abused by their husbands
against who they had no legal standing. During wars women were often enslaved.
Question: How do you see the division of roles between the actors in Euripedes’ “Trojan Women”? I would be most grateful for your thoughts.
Answer: You have to read the play for this.
Question: why is the relationship between men and women an important theme
for greek dramatists? with reference to Antigone
Answer: The amount of material spent by ancient Greek dramatists is
amazing considering what is often reported on what the ancient Greeks thought
of women. The most obvious conclusion is that this relationship was
important. One reason why Greek drama is still important is that this
relationship is important today.
Question: What do they wear for the drama
Answer: Street clothes plus masks.
Question: what is the significance women being the chorus in the second
story of the orestia by aeschylus?
Answer: Women are often passive spectators to events which they often
Answer: No information. Lesbos? Lebes?
Question: Did real Women ever act in greek plays?
Answer: Plays were part of a men’s festival and they did not act in these.
They had their own festivals with dramatizations, but no plays.
Question: How has the role of women changed between the time of Homer and that of Aristophanes?
Answer: Unfortunately we have no information about women at the time of
Homer. Thw authors at that time were more interested in writing about the
gods and goddesses during the heroic times.
Question: did the women cook the food and serve it
Answer: Not exactly. Food is served by servants if they are available.
Servants may cook the food as well. But it was an honor to bake bread and
the ladies of the house did that. At the festivals it seems as though the
men cooked the meat.
Question: How has Acient Greek theatre influence modern theatre
Answer: Ancient Greek drama was the first theater and the beginning of
Question: to what extent has aristophanes reflected the role of women in
Answer: It is hard for a comedian to be taken seriously about anything,
but Aristophanes is easier than most.
Question: What are the types of costumes that were worn by the women in the
Answer: Women never appeared in plays or dramas in ancient Greece. These
were a part of a festival for men only. Women did participate in festivals
for women only and for men and women. Some of these festivals included
dramatizations that involved women impersonating goddesses. These women
wore a peplos or chiton.
Question: What makes Greek Drama so different from other drama?
Answer: The quality is high. Greek drama was done for spiritual reasons
and not for financial benefit.
Question: were the women conveyed correctly?
Answer: We have no way of knowing, since we have no other evidence.
Question: why did women not take part in ancient greek plays?
Answer: Drama was a part of a festival for men. Women had their own
festivals, but no dramas survive that they may have done. We do know
that they did impersonizations though.
Question: In what way were the Spartan women not tyrannical?
Answer: Women of Sparta were free and independent, but they exerted little
to no control over their husbands and fathers.
Question: Who wrote “Ariadne”?
Answer: Richard Strauss wrote “Ariadne auf Naxos”
Question: why weren’t greek woman and slaves allowed to attend theatre performances?
Answer: In Greece there was no theater as we know it. What became theater
was part of a religious festival for men only. Women had festivals for women
only but there was no drama, just dramatizations. There were also festivals
for everyone with dancing, parades, and feasting, but no drama.
Question: Who is the “Goddess Of Serpents”?
Answer: Artemis, as goddess of wild nature, is the goddess of serpents.
But Athena used serpents in her worship, and probably was the successor to
the Minoan snake goddess.
Question: how do Hecuba and Oedipus compare and contrast in character and
action in the stories of THe Trojan Women And Oedipus Rex?
Answer: The best way to do this is read these work.
Question: What were the names of the women who acted in the plays?
Answer: No ancient Greek women acted in dramas, nor do we have any that they may have written.
There is some question as to whether they even watched them. The hetaerae
probably watched while the wives probably did not. Women participated in
their own festivals where there were impersonizations, but no dramas.
Question: did theatre come from religious ceremonies which women portrayed in
Answer: No! Theater came from religious ceremonies that were for men only.
Question: were women part of greek plays?
Answer: Women were important characters, but they were neither performers
nor playwrights. Some women may have watched the plays.
Question: When were women able to appear in theater?
Answer: During the Roman period women attended theaters. But Actresses
were not common until the 16th century. Even Shakespeare used actors for
Question: In what ways did women exert influence in the home? In war? In public
affairs? What are characteristics of the honorable woman? Of the dishonorable
woman? Why were certain characteristics valued (or not valued)?
Answer: Women and men had separate tasks. Women had to do their tasks
so men could do theirs. The honorable woman tended to the affairs of the house
and wore her veil in public. The dishonorable woman attended to other affairs.
Custom established values which were hard to change.
Question: What were the effects on women in ancient Greece due to drama and
Answer: The Greek dram had to affect men primarily. Due to the powerful
nature of the drama we can assume some effect which was hopefully positive.
Men must have understood women better, and therfore treated them better. But
much of the other literature fails to substantiate this. We do not know if we
are to believe much of the patriarchal literature as to the inferiority of
women or their honored depiction in visual art.
Question: According to the real greek women in ancient history, Do they play the
same role in the greek drama? Where they so brave, so strong so powerful?
Did they kill so much?
Answer: Probably not. The Classical Greeks were interpreting stories that
came down to them from 500 or more years before, all told by word of mouth.
Archeology tells us that the people of those times were quite different from
the way they were described by the classical Greeks. But we do know that
the women of those times were highly active and highly respected. My guess
is that while the men manned the ships at sea the women took care of things at
home. Archeology indicates that women were worshipped and may have even ruled
at home. But they did not have to fight. The men kept the foreign armys away.
The women were administrators, farmers, manufacturers, as well as mothers.
They also danced and sang. The stories that the women fought probably came
from the fact that some women went with the men to battle. These women were
priestesses who may have demonstratrated what the men were to do to stir the
men on to victory. It seems right to attribute great talent to these women
but not wise to make them better than men.