Ancient Egyptian Theatre, and the First Ever Recorded Script

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The oldest example of theatre that has been found is the “pyramid texts” or “passion plays” of ancient Egypt, dating back to 2800 B.C.E. These texts were all dramatic type shows about sending pharos to the underworld after they died. They were done as a way to keep the pharos “alive” in people’s minds, so that they could keep some power-even after their death. The first actual full play to be discovered was the Abydos passion play. Pertaining to the story of Osiris-a “legendary king-divinity” and a wise ruler who was cruelly murdered by a traitor and then avenged by his wife and son-the Abydos passion was the most important passion play for the Egyptians. It was put on annually from 2500 to 550 B.C.E. at Abydos, Busiris, and Heliopolis, among other places.

This section of history is fairly political due to the idea that putting on plays allows the pharos to continue to rule, and the fact that that was the major reason for showing these plays in itself is a political statement saying that the citizens of ancient Egypt either truly loved their pharos, or that they were truly afraid of them.

~Siobhan

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