Peter Arnott discusses Greek drama not as an antiquarian study but as a living art form. He removes the plays from the library and places them firmly in the theatre that gave them being. Invoking the practical realities of stagecraft, he illuminates the literary patterns of the plays, the performance disciplines, and the audience responses.
Each component of the productions - audience, chorus, actors, costume, speech - is examined in the context of its own society and of theatre practice in general, with examples from other cultures. Professor Arnott places great emphasis on the practical staging of Greek plays, and how the buildings themselves imposed particular constraints on actors and writers alike. Above all, he sets out to make practical sense of the construction of Greek plays, and their organic relationship to their original setting.