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Greek Masks
Greek Mask History
• Greek actors originally started wearing
masks that were very human-like that just
covered part of the face
• Eventually, with the increase in theatre
size, the mask changed as well
• The mask then began to cover the whole
head and resembled legends from Greek
mythology not humans
Masks were so important to the Greeks
that they represented their two major
styles of plays with them
• Comedy
• Tragedy
Why Greeks’ Used Masks in Theatre
• Visibility + Characterization
• Sound Assistance
• Lack of Actors with Many Roles
Visibility + Characterization
Greek theatres were so big
it was hard to identify a certain
actor and see his facial
expressions during the play
So actors wore masks with
exaggerated facial features
and expressions to make
it easy for all viewers to see
and identify a particular character
Sound Assistance
• Another adaptation that the Greeks'
developed for their theatre masks were
special mouths that acted like
megaphones to
amplify their
voice for
everyone in the
huge theatre to
Lack of Actors
There were few actors loud and
talented enough to perform all the
roles in play.
Due to this shortage of actors the
Greeks’ used multiple masks on
a couple of actors to represent all
of the characters in a given play
Mask Making
• Greek masks were usually made by the people
that who wore them in the play and consisted of
cloth, leather, and wood
• The masks were adorned with animal hair and
were frequently painted or dyed different colors.
• Some mask also had flowers and other plants
attached to them
• More famous actors in bigger plays even had
jewels and other ornate items placed on their