Our Everyday Greek: So Many Greek Words in the Performing Arts

March 30, 2019
Dimitra Pontoporou

So many words in the performing arts vocabulary are ‘Greek you already know’ – drama, theater, amphitheater, lyric, epic, trilogy, tetralogy, tragedy, comedy, satire, monologue, dialogue, chorus, orchestra, poet, scene, episode, musical, melody, strophe, odium, ode, protagonist, deuteragonist, hypocrite etc.


Greek word Pronunciation    Meaning

Ο πρωταγωνιστής   O protayoniSTEES  the protagonist (male)

Η πρωταγωνίστρια  EE protayonEEstria the protagonist (female)

Η αγωνία    EE ayoNEEa     the agony

Ο δευτεραγωνιστής O defterayoniSTEES     the deuteragonist

Η τριλογία   EE triloYEEa     the trilogy

Η τετραλογία     EE tetraloYEEA the tetralogy

Ο υποκριτής      o ipokriTEES     hypocrite

Η υποκρίτρια     EE ipoKREEtria hypocrisy

Υποκρίνεται       ΙpoKREEnete    he/she pretends

Ο ηθοποιός       O ithopiOS  actor

Η ηθοποιός       EE ithopiOS      actress

Το ήθος                  TO EEthos  ethos, morals

Η ηθική             EE ithiKEE  ethics, morality

Ο ποιητής         O piiTEES   poet

Το ποίημα         TO PEEima poem

Ο ποιητικός, ή, -ό    O piitiKOS, -EE, -O poetic

Ο ρόλος            O ROlos           role

Το αστέρι          TO aSTEri         star

Ο/η σταρ           O/EE STAR       star for actors

Tο δράμα          TO DRAma the drama

Δραματικός       DramatiKOS     dramatic

Το θέατρο         TO THEatro      the theater

Θεατρικός, ή, -ό ΤheatriKOS, -EE, -O Theatrical

Η τραγωδία       EE trayoDEEa tragedy

Τραγικό             TRAgic Tragic

Η κωμωδία       EE komoDEEa comedy

H ωδή              EE oDEE ode

To ωδείο     TO oDEEo the odeon

H μελωδία  EE meloDEEa melody

O σάτυρος  O SAtiros satyr

H σάτιρα     EE SAtira satire



Greek word Pronunciation    Meaning

Είναι           EEne    is

Παίζει         PEzi     he/she acts, plays

Μου αρέσει moo aREsi  I like

Απόψε        aPOpse      tonight

Πάω           PAo      I go

Θα πάω      THA PAo    I will go

Θα δω        THA DO     I will see, watch

Για να δω    yia na DO   let’s see, watch

Το έργο       TO Eryo      the play

Ένα έργο    Ena Eryo    one play

Μου αρέσει moo aREsi  I like

Στη/στο       STEE / STO      at

Αυτός         afTOS  this (male gram. gender)

Αυτή           afTEE   this (female gram. gender)

Αυτό           afTOS  this (neuter gram. gender)

Με             ΜΕ with

πολύ          poLEE  very

καλός, ή, -ό kaLOS, -EE, -O good

καλά           kaLA     well



  1. Use the vocabulary above to describe the theatrical play you will to go tonight. Fill in the blanks the correct Greek words.

Απόψε  … (I will go) στο θέατρο …(with) τη Μαρία και το Γιώργο. …(I will see) ένα θεατρικό έργο του Σαίξπηρ. Το έργο αυτό είναι …(tragedy). Είναι …(poetic) και …(tragic). Μου αρέσει το …(drama). Ο …(protagonist) είναι ο S.M. Είναι πολύ καλός … (actor). … (he plays) το … (role) του Romeo. Η δευτεραγωνίστρια …(is) η F.R. Είναι … (star). Παίζει … … (very well) το … (role) της Juliet. Έχω … (agony) για την Juliet. Η Juliet έχει … (morals) και ο Romeo δεν είναι …(hypocrite).


  1. Can you translate the sentences below into English?

Αυτός ο πρωταγωνιστής μου αρέσει.

Μου αρέσει το θέατρο.

Μου αρέσει η κωμωδία.

Απόψε θα πάω στο θέατρο, για να δω μία τραγωδία.

Η Μαρία έχει ήθος.

Η Ελένη υποκρίνεται.

Ο Ρόμπερτ Ρέντφορντ είναι πολύ καλός ηθοποιός.

Η Μέριλ Στριπ είναι πολύ καλή ηθοποιός.

Ο ηθοποιός παίζει πολύ καλά το ρόλο του.

  1. Now try to say in Greek.

Robert Redford is the protagonist.

Robert de Niro is a very good actor.

Glenn Close is a very good actress.

Barbra Streisand is a star.

The actor plays his role very well.

Petros pretends.

Homer is a very good poet.

“Ithaca” is a very good poem.

This play is poetic.

Tonight, I will go to the theater.




i (idiom), ee (bee), e (energy), o (organism), oo (boot), y (yes), h (helium), th (theory), d (the). The capitalized syllables are accented.


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