Drama was a critical part of ancient Greek life. Drama was used by ancient Greeks to investigating the world they lived in, and explore what it meant to be human. Ancient Greek drama had 3 genres: comedy, satyr or satirical plays, and most important of all, tragedy.
Comedy: Initially comedies mostly mocked men in power for their vanity and foolishness, but as time went by they became more complex in themes and included plays about ordinary people which read more like modern-day sitcoms. Aristophanes and Menander were the most famous writers of ancient Greek comedies.
Tragedy: The word “tragedy” (or tragodia in Greek) literally means a “goat song”. Scholars assume that this name came about because a goat was either the prize in a competition or that there was some kind of a ritual sacrifice of the animal during these plays. The Athenian tragedy is the oldest surviving form of tragedy. Tragedy usually dealt with stories of love, loss, pride, the abuse of power and the relationships between people and the gods. In most tragedies, the main protagonist commits some terrible crime without realizing how foolish and arrogant they have been. Then, as they slowly realize their error, the world crumbles around them. Aristotle suggested that tragedy cleansed the heart by purging us of our petty concerns and worries and making us aware that there can be nobility in suffering. He called this experience “catharsis”.
The three most famous playwrights of ancient Greek tragedy were Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.
Satyr Plays: We only have very few examples of this type of plays survive from ancient Greek times. From waht we know, the Satyr or satirical plays were short plays which were performed between the acts of tragedies and made fun of the plight of the tragedy’s main characters. It’s assumed that the actors in the satyr plays were dressed like a satyr. The satyrs were mythical half-human, half-goat figures and actors in these plays were dressed like them and also wore large phalluses for comic effect and relief.