life in the dithyrambic chorus

Upon the setting sun I, Hecubus, fondly recall the days of pride and honor I felt in my tribe, as a member of a dramatic, dithyrambic chorus.Acting was not simply my occupation, but a lifestyle highly revered and respected by my fellow Athenian citizens.We entertained, taught moral lessons of the past, illustrated human flaw, but most importantly, we gave the audience a release.During the time I preformed with my chorus, drama was closely tied to the polis, joining the people, the government, and the Gods through public festivals. I felt immense pride to have played and active role in the community bond that was created.The most important of these festivals was, and remains, the City Dionysia.
The exhausting four-day competition was held every spring, in honor of the god Dionysos (Amos and Lang 129).The festival opened with a formal and elaborate processional, where I and my chorus of fifty men would perform ceremonial dances at numerous alters, and ended with sacrifices of wine and sweet meat at the sacred precinct of Dionysus.This was a most glorious event surrounded in the beauty and rebirth of the land!A statue of Dionysos, guided by the intense glow of torchlight, was then carried into the theatre and a reenactment of
Dionysos’ initial entry into Athens was preformed.This statue was a constant presence in the theatre.City Dionysia was highly attended and drew visitors and men of political power from all of Greece.The crowd was not afraid to get into the performances…many times they would cheer and boo, and occasionally throw things at us.Three of the four days were reserved for tragedies, and the fourth day was for satyr and comedies (Cameron and Gillespie 74). Between the great plays, the dithyrambic contests would be held, where the choruses, including my dynamic troupe, would battle each other for the prize.Wine was abundant, and the all day plays and hard stone benches seemed to effect me…


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