According to Plus-Size-Tips, the drama therefore – although it is destined to end then almost like the cyclical epic – wants to be, and is, in the period of its first splendor, a new form of epic, more current, more lively, more ardent: yes inspired by Homer’s fire; it recreates for the new people, with a new soul, the ancient mythical and legendary patrimony of the nation; it tears minds out of ordinary reality, out of the measures of normal life, and launches them with the free flight of fantasy and enthusiasm into a superhuman, wonderful, imaginative world, to which we give the name of mythology. In fact, the mythical and heroic world in no place survived as in Attica: and found reason for reviviscence in the heroic deeds that then took place; in the political grandeur that Athens was investing in. Not V’
And this character of heated ideality, of fantastic power, of aspiration to the sublime is not found only in the tragic drama, but also in comedy. It might at first be thought that in comparison with tragedy, which especially referred to the heroic side of life, comedy represented the opposite side, the ordinary reality, the humble and bourgeois aspect. It is not so. The humble and bourgeois aspect, the ordinary reality will constitute the characteristic object of the so-called new Comedy, which arises in the following century, in the century of science and prose (IV BC), when even the tragic drama has now descended from His Majesty. Ancient Comedy is, like tragedy, a highly fantastic product, a free play of the imagination that tears the minds from normality and transports them into the sphere of the transcendent: it is not the severe and solemn world of gods or heroes, but a superhuman and mythical world too, almost one would say of elf spirits, where the things and people of ordinary life, the things and people of the contemporary history of Athens are drawn into a kind of diabolical jumble and, as a result of laughter, satire, irony, they lose their natural proportions, take on extraordinary aspects ”, grotesque, fabulous. There is no doubt that inspiration is drawn from the facts, ideas and passions of the time; indeed, the content is here, more than elsewhere, historical and real, since it generally refers to the daily events of political life: but the form (understood in the not rhetorical sense, but rather aesthetic,
It seems that originally tragedy and comedy were something indistinct and that the first so-called tragic representations – of which Thespis was the introducer – treated the epic-heroic legends in a rather buffoonish and popular way (perhaps the choreutists were disguised as satyrs, that is in the form of goats, τράγοι). This is also deduced from the fact that, when the tragedies took on their truly austere character, in accordance with the gravity of the arguments, then the need was felt to add to them, in the same group of representations, a special type of drama, called satyr drama., in which the epic legends continued to mix with jokes and jokes. Thus the normal order of tragic agons came to be established, as was in use mostly during the century. V and IV. It included, for each of the holidays consecrated to this, the representation of a tetralogy, that is, three tragic dramas followed by a satyric drama: and these at the beginning, when the choirs still prevailed, were linked around a single subject; then usually, with the progress of the pragmatic, dialectical, psychological elements, they became untied, allowing a greater deepening of the subject. The tragic representations had recognition by the state, as a religious function, long before they assumed this order and this character, which refers properly to the period of the great tragedians that flourished in the century. V: that is, they officially began in 534 BC. C., when Thespi’s first victory was recorded. Instead the plays of the comedy entered the number of official ceremonies later, around 490 BC. C., when by now the tragedy had taken on that particular gravity of his physiognomy: then comic agons corresponding to the tragic ones were established; and the productions of the first playwrights, Chionide and Magnete, began to be recorded.
These very ancient ones, who appear as precursors or initiators in one or another field of dramatic poetry, are vain shadows for us. Almost nothing is known of Thespis (a native of the Athenian village of Icaria), and of those who were his contemporaries or who immediately followed him, such as Cherilo and Pratina (who, in particular, was the organizer of the satyr drama). Something more is known to us about Phrinicus: that in his tragedies, in the midst of mythical arguments, he had the audacity to also introduce facts from contemporary history: as in the Taking of Miletus, where he represented the repression of the revolt of this city for work of the Persians (in 494), and in the Phoenicians (of 476), where he staged the battle of Salamis.
But the glory of Phrinicus was clouded by that of Aeschylus (524-456 BC); who is generally regarded as the true creator of Attic tragedy, not only because he imposed the powerful footprint of genius on it, but because he made it make the technical advances that were indispensable for the development from choral singing to speech and dramatic action.