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Roman Theatre

             , Rome conquered Greece and adapted much of their culture as their own. They took back to Rome literature and traditions of the Greeks that inspired them. As a result, Roman Theatre was very similar to that of the Greeks. However, the Romans did make a few small changes.
             The tones of the Roman plays were very different from the Greeks. Although there were Greek comedies written and even performed, most of the focus of Greek theatre was put on the Greek tragedies. Rome, however, was completely opposite. All of the plays performed in Roman theatre were comedies. There was only one playwright at the time who even wrote tragedies and much of his work was borrowed from the Greek playwrights.
             The Romans also changed the theatres some. In Greek theatres the orchestra, or acting space, was a full circle. The Romans kept much of the same feel as the Greek theatres but only used half of a circle for their orchestra and had a small stage area. Both theatres were generally cut out of the side of a hill to provide elevated seating for the audience.
             Another minor difference between the two was the techniques they used to convey messages to the audience. In Greek theatre, they used a chorus to chant and sing any information that could not be conveyed through the actors" direct dialogue to each other. In Roman theatre, they used a confidante or an aside. A confidant is someone close to the main character who is often told what is going on to keep the audience updated. An aside is when the character breaks the front wall and talks directly to the audience without the other character's knowledge.
             The last Roman performance was given in 533 A.D., 1066 years after Thespis won the first Greek Tragedy Contest. The downfall of Roman theatre came about mostly because of the downfall of Rome itself. However, the fact that many of the plays were considered either uncouth or the worshipping pagan gods, did not sit well with the new Christian movement.

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