The Beginning of Drama
There are many theories about the beginning of drama in ancient Greece. The one most widely accepted today is based on the assumption that drama evolved from ritual. The argument for this view goes as follows. In the beginning， human beings viewed the natural forces of the world - even the seasonal changes - as unpredictable， and they sought through various means to control these unknown and feared powers. Those measures which appeared to bring the desired results were then retained and repeated until they hardened into fixed rituals. Eventually stories arose which explained or veiled the mysteries of the rites. As time passed some rituals were abandoned， but the stories， later called myths， persisted and provided material for art and drama.Those who believe that drama evolved out of ritual also argue that those rites contained the seed of theater because music， dance， masks， and costumes were almost always used. Furthermore， a suitable site had to be provided for performances and when the entire community did not participate， a clear division was usually made between the "acting area" and the "auditorium." In addition， there were performers， and， since considerable importance was attached to avoiding mistakes in the enactment of rites， religious leaders usually assumed that task. Wearing masks and costumes， they often impersonated other people， animals， or supernatural beings， and mimed the desired effect —— success in hunt or battle， the coming rain， the revival of the Sun —— as an actor might. Eventually such dramatic representations were separated from religious activities. Another theory traces the theater's origin from the human interest in storytelling. According to this view tales （about the hunt， war， or other feats） are gradually elaborated， at first through the use of impersonation， action， and dialogue by a narrator and then through the assumption of each of the roles by a different person. A closely related theory traces theater to those dances that are primarily rhythmical and gymnastic or that are imitations of animal movements and sounds.
戏剧的起源 关于古希腊戏剧的起源存在着多种理论，其中一个最普遍为人接受的理论 假设认为戏剧从仪式演化而来。
这个观点是这样进行论证的：一开始，人类把世界上的自 然力量，甚至季节的变化都看成是不可预料的。 他们试图通过各种方式去控制这些未知的、 令人恐惧的力量。 那些似乎带来了满意结果的手段就被保留下来并且重复直到这些手段固 化为不变的仪式，最后产生了能够解释或者掩盖这些仪式神秘性的故事。
认为戏剧从仪式演化而来的人们还认为那些仪式包含了戏剧的基本因素，因为音乐、舞蹈、 面具和服装几乎经常被使用，而且，必须为演出提供一个合适的地点；如果不是整个社区共 同参加演出，经常在"演出区"和"观众席"之间划分出明显的分界。
另外，仪式中还有演员， 而且宗教领袖通常承担演出任务，因为在仪式的执行中避免错误的发生被认为有相当大的重 要性；他们经常带着面具，穿着服装象演员那样扮演其它人、动物或超自然的生灵，用动作 来表演以达到所需要的效果，比如打猎的成功或战斗的胜利、将至的雨、太阳的复活。 最 后这些戏剧性的表演从宗教活动中分离了出来。
另一个追溯戏剧起源的理论认为它来自人 们对叙述故事的兴趣。 根据这个观点，故事（关于狩猎、战争或者其它伟绩）是逐渐丰富起 来的。
首先通过一个讲解人来运用模仿、表演和对话，然后再由不同的人扮演各自的角色； 另一个与之紧密相关的理论将戏剧的起源追溯至舞蹈，这些舞蹈大体上是有节奏感的和体操 式的那一类，或者是对动物动作和声音的模仿。