TRANSITION FROM RITUAL TO ART: THE DROMENON ("THING DONE") AND THE DRAMA
PROBABLY most people when they go to a Greek play for the first time think it a strange performance. According, perhaps, more to their temperament than to their training, they are either very much excited or very much bored. In many minds there will be left a feeling that, whether they have enjoyed the play or not, they are puzzled: there are odd effects, conventions, suggestions.
For example, the main deed of the Tragedy, the slaying of hero or heroine, is not done on the stage. That disappoints some modern minds unconsciously avid of realism to the point of horror. Instead of a fine thrilling murder or suicide before his very eyes, the spectator is put off with an account of the murder done off the stage. This account is regularly given, and usually at considerable length, in a "messenger's speech." The mes-