The comedy and tragedy masks depict the theater and the usual generic split of comedy and tragedy. They represent the ancient Greek Muses Thalia (the Muse of Comedy) and Melpomene (the Muse of tragedy). These were the daughters of Zeus and Titaness Calliope; they were also known as Terpsichore and Erato.
They are mentioned in the Iliad as patrons of poetry. It is believed that they helped inspire some of Homer's greatest works. In addition to being the goddesses of music, dance, and literature, they were also prophetic deities who received gifts from Zeus (such as eagle eyes). It is because of this reason that poets have often made comparisons between them and other female deities with similar roles. For example, Apollo and Dionysus are both associated with music and drama; it is believed that their similarities arose because of the connections between the two goddesses mentioned above.
In modern culture, these characters are still used by theater artists around the world. They are usually included in every good theatrical mask collection.
We are talking about those two faces that have together become the symbol of theatre--the comedy and tragedy theatre masks. Derived from Greek mythology, the theatrical masks are symbols of the ancient Greek Muses, Thalia and Melpomene. They were usually made of wood or metal and often had expressive features like eyebrows, eyes, and mouths that could be moved by hand or with strings. The masks were used in ritual ceremonies and also at dramatic performances.
There are many theories about the origin of theater. Some say it began as a religious ceremony where people danced to the music of flutes and drums to pray to the gods for good harvests and safe journeys. Others believe it originated as a way for the rulers of ancient Greece to control their subjects through public entertainment. Still others think theater developed from small groups of people singing and dancing for their own amusement. No matter how it started, by the time we get to the early years of Christianity there are examples of actors performing in church during holy days and seasons. It is believed that this activity went on until A.D. 313 when Roman emperor Constantine declared that all men should be allowed freedom of religion and stopped any future arrests related to theater activities.
The first known actor was the Persian king Cyrus II who was said to have acted out scenes from his own history games with his friends.
A mask conceals a portion or the entire face. The sign for drama, two masks, one symbolizing tragedy and the other depicting laughter, was inspired by Greek theater. In ancient Greece, actors wore simple cloth masks to hide their identity. Modern adaptations include plastic masks worn by artists in the theatre-in-the-round style.
Masks are used in many different contexts within theatre and dance. Masks can be used to protect the actor's identity or to indicate some aspect of character. Masks can also be used to make the actor appear older or younger than he or she is, or to change his or her appearance as part of the story line.
In ancient Greece, actors performed in masks to conceal their identities. This allowed them to take on different characters without being recognized by spectators who knew them personally. Masks were also used to indicate which role an actor was playing. Two actors would wear different masks to represent two different people.
Today, masks are still used in theatre to indicate various aspects of character or scene design. Some examples include: masks that show age or status, such as those worn by elders or monarchs; masks that reveal something about the character, such as a criminal's mask; and masks that help an actor escape identification, such as those used by spies or assassins.
Melpomene and Thalia. The two masks, with their smiling and frowning expressions, are connected with ancient Greek play. They are the Comedy and Tragedy masks, which were used in ancient Greece throughout its golden period, between 500 and 300 BC, and are paired together to represent the two extremes of the human mind. Although now they are usually found hanging on the wall of a theatre, back then they would have been used during performances.
The name "comedy" comes from the Greek komikos, meaning merry or fun-loving, while "tragedy" comes from the Greek trapeza, a stage on which plays were performed.
People started wearing the masks as an expression of sympathy or encouragement. They would have been worn by actors playing different roles in a drama scene or by singers during a performance.
Each mask is made of gold or silver and is about three inches (7.5 cm) high. They show very detailed images that give a clear picture of what kind of mood the actor or singer was trying to express.
Sometimes other objects are also worn as accessories, like jewels or feathers. These things were valuable at the time and they wanted to make sure everyone knew who they were meant for.
In conclusion, the comedy and tragedy masks are famous for being the masks used by actors during classical Greek plays.