This article is about the narrative device. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This may help to the one epilogue pdf the objection whic
This article is about the narrative device. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This may help to the one epilogue pdf the objection which criticism has often brought against the Greek prologue, as an impertinence, a useless growth prefixed to the play, and standing as a barrier between us and our enjoyment of it. The point precisely is that, to an Athenian audience, it was useful and pertinent, as supplying just what they needed to make the succeeding scenes intelligible.
Many of the existing Greek prologues may be later in date than the plays they illustrate, or may contain large interpolations. Plautus rises to the height of his genius in his adroit and romantic prologues, usually placed in the mouths of persons who make no appearance in the play itself. The tradition of the ancients vividly affected our own early dramatists. Prologues of Renaissance drama often served a specific function of transition and clarification for the audience. In this mode, a prologue, like any scripted performance, would exist as the text, the actor who speaks that text, and the presentation of the language as it is spoken. In ushering the audience from the reality into the world of the play, the prologue straddles boundaries between audience, actors, characters, playwrights–basically, it creates a distinction between the imaginary space within the play and the outside world.
The actor reciting the prologue would appear dressed in black, a stark contrast to the elaborate costumes used during the play. The prologue removed his hat and wore no makeup. He may have carried a book, scroll, or a placard displaying the title of the play. He was introduced by three short trumpet calls, on the third of which he entered and took a position downstage. He made three bows in the current fashion of the court, and then addressed the audience.