The Greeks fully understood that different types of literature elicited different types of responses from the audiences, especially when those works were then turned into plays for the very popular Greek theatre and performed by a troupe of actors and actresses.
The three main categories of the plays that were put on by the ancient Greeks were comedies, dramas and tragedy.
The oldest surviving form of what was considered “tragedy” plays came form the early Athenians who were one of the oldest of the Greek peoples and resided in, of course, Athens. Athenian tragedies were a form of dance-drama that was considered very important to the culture of the theatre in that city-state and they even formed competitions around the writing of these tragedies such as the prestigious “Dionysus” Festival as early as 534 b.C.
The majority of the tragedies written centered on dramatizing events found in Greek mythology, a source material rich with heroics and epic adventures of the Greek Gods and the humans who interacted with them.
The dramas written at the time, however, were also exceptionally intriguing and experts no less qualified on writing and meditation like Aristotle pored over the subject matter to gain insight into the workings more than a 130 years after some were written.
The comedies too have been preserved to a degree and scholars have dissected and analyzed them for many years.
Most of what makes the theatre what it is today, the pageantry and the attempt at thoughtful and interesting dialogue and interaction stems from the influence that the earlier forms of civilized peoples have exported down to us over the ages and have been embraced and celebrated by the masses in order to keep the traditions of theatre alive and thriving.
Without the very early influence of the Greek playwrights would theatre even be what it has become today or would it look entirely different or even exist at all? This is for contemporaries to reflect upon.