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Roman Theater:

The theater of ancient Rome was heavily influenced by the Greek tradition, and Roman dramatists tended to adapt and translate from the Greek. For example, Seneca's Phaedra was based on that of Euripides, and many of the comedies of Plautus were translations of works by Menander. However, compared to Greek theater, Roman theater was less influenced by religion. War was a common theme, reflecting Roman culture and habits.

The ancient audience was often loud and rude, shouting insults and booing. Many of the plays were pantomimed and repetitive. The actors developed a kind of code that would tell the audience about the characters just by looking at them:

* A black wig meant the character was a young man.
* A gray wig meant the character was an old man.
* A red wig meant the character was a slave.
* A white robe meant the character was an old man.
* A purple robe meant the character was a young man.
* A yellow robe meant the character was a woman. (Needed in Early Roman Theater, as originally female characters were played by men, however as the Roman Theater progressed, women slaves took the roles of women in plays)
* A yellow tassel meant the character was a god.

Plays often lasted for two hours, and were usually comedies. Most comedies involved mistaken identity (such as gods disguised as humans).

References

* Wilson, Edwin. Goldfarb, Alvin. Theater: The Lively Art. Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 4 edition (June 21, 2001). ISBN 0072462817

 

 

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