Greek Cultural Contributions

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The culture of Greeks has evolved over thousands of years and made many major cultural contributions. It is believed that democracy was created in Ancient Athens about the year 508 BC. Ancient Greeks also made contributions to literature in the form of the tragedy genre. Tragedy is a form of art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure. Tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of Western civilization. (Banham) Only a fraction of the work of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides remain from its obscure origins in the theatres of Athens many years ago. Tragedy has remained an important site of cultural experimentation, negotiation, struggle and change. (Williams) In the wake of Aristotle's Poetics (335 BCE), tragedy has been used to make genre distinctions, whether at the scale of poetry in general, where the tragic divides against epic and lyric, or at the scale of the drama, where tragedy is opposed to comedy. The emergence of this art form certainly developed out of the poetry of ancient Greece. The focal point which honored the Greek god Dionysus. Tragedy was not ritual drama but it retained the closet ties with religion, in the first instance by its integral association with festivals. Greek tragedies were performed in early spring at an annual festival in honor of Dionysus. The presentation took the form of a contest among three playwrights, who presented their works on three successive days. The first day was given over to a colorful ceremonial procession, climaxed by the sacrifice of a bull and the formal deposition of the status of the god in the theatre and then to a contest in dithyrambic odes involving ten choruses, five of men and five of boys, each with fifty members accompanied by flutes. This was followed on the second day by five comedies being

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