Masks in Greek Theatre

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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Introductory

No Greek theatrical mask (Greek: prosōpon) survives today. Masks were made by a specialized craftsman (skeuopoios, “manufacturer of theatrical properties”) using perishable material (most likely thin stuccoed linen, cf. the ancient scholium to Aristophanes’ Frogs 406, less likely wood or leather), hence they could not stand the test of time. Our material evidence is limited to representations and generally derivative renditions of the real thing, objects of art used for a variety of non-theatrical purposes, such as dedication to shrines (by victorious actors, performance sponsors or troupes), trade (souvenirs of performances), decoration, show of culture …

3777 words

Citation: Petrides, Antonis. "Masks in Greek Theatre". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 December 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=7211, accessed 24 September 2023.]

7211 Masks in Greek Theatre 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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