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Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about the form of drama based on human suffering. The word “tragedy” appears to have been used to describe different phenomena at different times. There is some dissent to the dithyrambic origins of tragedy, mostly based on the differences between the shapes of their choruses and styles of dancing. A common descent from pre-Hellenic fertility and burial rites has been suggested.
There is abundant evidence for tragoidia understood as “song for the prize goat”. Athenian tragedy—the oldest surviving form of tragedy—is a type of dance-drama that formed an important part of the theatrical culture of the city-state. April at an annual state religious festival in honor of Dionysus. The presentations took the form of a contest between three playwrights, who presented their works on three successive days. Each playwright offered a tetralogy consisting of three tragedies and a concluding comic piece called a satyr play. The play as a whole was composed in various verse metres.