October 28, 2021
In Ancient Greek plays, the chorus (χορός, khoros; choros) probably comes from dithyrambs and satirical dramas. It presents the context and summarizes the situations to help the audience follow the events, with comments on the main themes of the play and shows how an ideal audience is supposed to react to the performance. He often represents the people in the play. The chorus is generally expressed by song, but also occasionally by spoken language. It is the author who is in charge of the choreography of the choir. In older tragedies, all the roles were played by a single actor; as the actor frequently had to leave the scene to change characters, the chorus had a dominant role. It is thought that about 508 BC. C., had around 50 dancers and singers (choreutai). The tragedy becomes a series of episodes separated by the choral odes. In these odes, the choristers sang in unison to give the impression of being a single entity rather than a group of individuals. In the second generation of Athenian tragedies, the choir often played a central role in the play. In Euripides' Bacchantes, for example, the chorus, representing Dionysus's fanatical servants, becomes one of the main characters. Although Aeschylus had reduced the number of choreographers to 12, the chorus is of great importance in his works. He has the key role of the protagonist in The Supplicants, and the antagonist in The Eumenides. Sophocles sometimes increases the number of choristers to 15, although the choral odes are little linked to the intrigue. He divides the choir into two sub-choirs (hemichoria) and the conductor, corifeo, (koryphaios); he likewise increases the number of actors from two to three. The chorus is also used in works after the Greek tragedies, as in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Troilus and Cressida, Henry V and Henry VIII. And later it is seen in the versed dramas of T. S. Eliot, like Murder in the cathedral.