Choir in ancient theatre


The strange task of the choir, the hybrid “being’ that was an integral part in all ancient tragedy, and satiric dramas and comedy, is hard to grasp if we are not reminded that, the choir is “the one” that gave birth to drama. Because their sense of tradition, ancient people from Athens and it’s surrounding, have never gave it away, not even when tragedy became drama, and had no more logic need for that kind of form.

The choir was not anything like we consider choirs of melodrama of today, but It wasn’t as many consider a character it self. It was more “an ideal audience”, “the writer’s voice”; it was also called “a moral wave”. It had practical use. It was used to clarify things for the audience, and to explain what was going on between acts, and by filling the time space continuum in the drama it was referred as a substitution to curtains.


By time, and developing of form and essence in tragedy, the place of the choir was more and more put aside of the main curse. When Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were to create the basic platform of the future for the theatre, choir was more and more an unneeded part of the structure of the play.

While Aeschylus made it bigger in order to justify its existence, but later at Euripides and his work the choir is marginalized, and he gave full freedom to the director to use this form in his way of work. In tame it completely lost its spot in its original form but it still is one of the most important parts of theatre history.