The lyric was a short poem that dealt with feelings or thoughts. It was sung with the accompaniment of a lyre, a stringed instrument of the harp family. There were two types of lyric poetry: the choral lyric and the personal lyric. They were developed in ancient Greece around the 6th Century BC. Famous lyric poets of ancient Greece included Alcaeus, Sappho, and Pindar.
The lyre was made of cow entrails strung across a tortoise shell. It was said to have been invented by the god Hermes.
In 730 BC, there was a bard named Homer. A bard was a poet who
traveled from place to place singing of the gods and of great
heroic deeds. For all we know, he may have been blind, which
helped him concentrate on his poetry. Homer was the name given to
the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two great
epic poems. The Iliad and Odyssey deal with
legendary events that occurred during the Trojan War, which was
fought between the Greeks and Trojans. They were written down in
elaborate language by Homers friends, while he recited the
The Greek Theater
Going to the theater was very important to the Ancient Greeks. The theater held over 10,000 people. Many men spent the whole day there, watching plays. They all took a packed lunch and a cushion to sit on. Poor people got free tickets from the city-states. All actors were men, for the Greek women had very low standings. At first, the plays included no speech, only singing. Later, Thespis introduced speaking parts into plays. He also had plays with masks to exaggerate the expressions of the actors.
The theater first began as hymns and dances for the wine god, Dionysus, so the Greeks could have a good grape harvest. Soon plays became important because they were part of the spring festival. The plays were either tragedy or comedy. Comedies were usually written to ridicule political figures, while tragedies were for the audiences purging of emotions. Four very famous Greek playwrights include Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes.