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The Structure of Theater

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What is the lecture mainly about?
  • A. The dramatic structure of an ancient Greek play

  • B. The influence of ancient Greek theater design on modern theaters

  • C. The design of ancient Greek theaters

  • D. The role of plays in ancient Greek society

显示答案 正确答案: C

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    NARRATOR:Listen to part of a lecture in an introduction to drama class.

    MALE PROFESSOR:Now, throughout the history of drama, there's been a, well, a relationship between the structure of a play and the structure of the space where the play was performed.And this goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks...

    The Greeks built the first theaters in the fifth century B.C.E.These were outdoor theaters—the architects looked for sites where you had a natural bowl-like formation on the side of a hill, and that's where they set the theater.All Greek theaters were pretty much the same...There was some natural variation to accommodate the size and shape of the site, but as far as the basic elements went, those remained constant.Have a look at this diagram...

    Let's start with the area where the actors performed... like what we call the "stage" today... The Greeks referred to this space as the "skene".Um, there's some confusion about the use of the word "skene" by different scholars.Some authors use it to refer only to a structure behind the stage, while others use it to refer to the structure and the stage together.And that's how I'll use the term...to refer to both the stage and the building.[Getting back on track] Um, so, anyway, the skene started as a simple wooden platform, but eventually it became much more elaborate.The front wall of the building was decorated like a palace or temple and served as background scenery for the play.The building was also a storage place for costumes, props, things like that....[Sees hand raised] Yes, Robert?

    MALE STUDENT:So did they decorate the skene for each play...or, uh, change the scenery during the play, like we do today?Or did the whole story take place in one setting?

    MALE PROFESSOR:Well, everything the audience saw happened in that one setting, usually in front of either a temple or a palace.But the audience didn't witness all the events in the story—some events couldn't be presented convincingly, so the playwrights had them take place somewhere offstage, where the audience couldn't see them, and then news of the event would be reported by one of the characters. Diane?

    FEMALE STUDENT:Last summer I saw Hippolytus.

    MALE PROFESSOR:[With approval] Excellent, I hope you enjoyed it.

    FEMALE STUDENT:Definitely. So, at one point, you see Hippolytus being sent off by his father.Then a little later, a messenger arrives and describes how Hippolytus was riding in his chariot when a giant bull appeared out of the ocean and caused the chariot to crash.And then, after we hear what happened to Hippolytus, he's carried back onstage, where he dies.

    MALE PROFESSOR:Exactly. [Humorously] I mean, can you imagine trying to show all that action, a giant animal rising out of the sea?[Getting back on track ]Um, OK, the next area was the space the ancient Greeks called the "orchestra."

    The orchestra was either round, as you see here... or a semicircle.Um, in ancient Greek, the word "orchestra" actually meant "the dancing place," because this is where the chorus danced and sang.But to understand Greek plays, you need to understand an additional function of the chorus.Yes, the ancient Greek chorus did most definitely sing and dance, like choruses do today.But the chorus' most important role was commenting on what the characters onstage were doing and thinking...

    In fact, Aristotle—the Greek philosopher—thought the chorus should be considered as acting out a role in the play.

    MALE STUDENT:Yeah, I read that a chorus could have a distinct personality—just like a person...

    MALE PROFESSOR:Absolutely. In fact, you'll see an excellent example of that in the first play we'll be studying.[Getting back on track] OK, the last space was the seating area for the audience.This was called the "theatron".

    In ancient Greek, "theatron" means "seeing"—that's S-E-E-I-N-G— "seeing place."The theatron was shaped in a semicircle, with rows of seating rising up the sides of the bowl.It was designed to take advantage of the natural acoustic benefits of the setting—the shape of the bowl captured sound and funneled it upwards, so that even in the top rows, spectators were able to hear the performers very clearly.Actually, that the name "theatron" means "seeing" place is kind of ironic—[with an ironic, bemused tone] some theaters had 50 or more rows of seats—accommodating up to 14,000 spectators—ascending way up the hillside.And this was long before theater binoculars were invented.

  • 旁白:请听对戏剧课的介绍的部分内容。

    教授:纵观戏剧的历史,一台戏剧的结构和这个戏剧演出的空间的结构之间有一种关系。这种关系可以一直追溯到古希腊...

    古希腊在公元前5世纪建造了首批剧院。这些都是室外剧院—建筑师寻找了一些在山一侧有着天然的钵状构造的地点,而那就是他们建造剧院的地方。所有的希腊剧院基本上都是一个样...为了适应地点的大小和形状会做出一些自然的变动,但是在基本元素方面,这些都保持了不变。看看这个图表。

    我们从演员表演的区域,也就是我们如今称为舞台的地方开始吧,希腊人把这个地方叫做skene。不同的学者对skene这个单词的使用情况有些混乱。一些作者只用它意指舞台后面的建筑,而其他人用它来一起指代这个建筑和舞台。这也是我要使用这个术语的方式,用来指代舞台和这个建筑。所以......不管怎样,skene刚开始时是一个简单的木头平台,但是渐渐变得更精致了。这栋建筑的前墙被装饰成了一座宫殿或者一个神殿,作为戏剧的背景。这栋建筑也是存放戏服、小道具等等事物的地方。Robert,有什么问题吗?

    学生:所以他们会为每一部戏剧装饰skene,还是在戏剧进行时切换布景,就像我们现在的做法一样?还是整个故事都发生在一个场景之下?

    教授:观众看到的所有内容都发生在一个场景之下,通常要么在一个神殿前,要么在一座宫殿前。但是观众不会看到故事里的所有事件---有些事件无法令人信服地呈现出来,所以编剧把这些事件移到了台下的某个地方进行,一个观众看不到它们的地方,然后这个事件的消息会由其中一个角色口述出来。Diane,请说?

    学生:去年夏天我看了Hippolytus。

    教授:很棒!希望你喜欢那出戏。

    学生:当然了。在某个时刻,Hippolytus被他的父亲送走了。然后稍晚一点后,一个信使到了,描述了Hippolytus正驾着车,然后一个巨大的公牛从海洋中出现并导致那辆二轮战车坠毁了。然后,在我们听到Hippolytus的遭遇之后,他又被抬回了舞台上他死去的地方。

    教授:正是这样。我是说,你能想象出试着展现那全部的动作吗?一个巨大的动物从海里飞起来?好了。下一个区域是古希腊人称为orchestra的地方。

    orchestra是圆形的,就像你们在这里看到的一样,也可以是半圆的。在古希腊,orchestra这个单词实际上是跳舞的地方的意思,因为这是歌舞队跳舞和唱歌的地方。但是要弄懂希腊戏剧,你需要理解歌舞队的一个额外职能。是的,古希腊的歌舞队明确地和今天的歌舞队一样唱歌和跳舞。但是歌舞队最重要的角色是对舞台上人物在做和想的事情做出评论。

    事实上,希腊哲学家亚里士多德认为歌舞队应该被认为是在戏剧中出演了一个角色。

    学生:是的,我读到过,歌舞队可能有一个很独特的个性,就像一个人一样。

    教授:没错。事实上,在我们将要学习的第一个戏剧中你们就会看到一个很好的例子。好了,最后的区域是观众的坐席区。这里被叫做theatron。

    在古希腊, theatron指的是看,看的地方。theatron被做成了半圆形,在碗状的各个面上升起了很多排座位。它被设计是为了利用环境的自然声学优势,即碗一样的形状捕捉到了声音,并且把它向上集中,这样即使在顶排的座位上,观众也能清楚地听到演员的声音。事实上, theatron这个名字的意思是“看的地方”有点讽刺----一些剧院有50排或50排以上的座位,容纳了14000多名观众,一直延伸到了山上。而这远在剧院双筒望远镜发明之前。

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    题型分类:主旨题

    原文定位:All Greek theaters were pretty much the same... There was some natural variation to accommodate the size and shape of the site, but as far as the basic elements went, those remained constant. 

    选项分析:教授讲古希腊剧院基本上都很相似,虽然有一些形状和大小上的差异,对应选项C。

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