POETIC DRAMA

I

People have tended to think of verse as a restriction upon drama. They think that the emotional range, and the realistic truth, of drama is limited and circumscribed by verse. People were once content with verse in drama, they say, because they were content with a restricted and artificial range of emotion. Only prose can give the full gamut of modern feeling, can correspond to actuality. But is not every dramatic representation artificial? And are we not merely deceiving ourselves when we aim at greater and greater realism? Are we not contenting ourselves with appearances, instead of insisting upon fundamentals? Has human feeling altered much from Aeschylus to ourselves? I maintain the contrary. I say that prose drama is merely a slight by-product of verse drama. The human soul, in intense emotion, strives to express itself in verse. It is not for me, but for the neurologists, to discover why this is so, and why and how feeling and rhythm are related. The tendency, at any rate, of prose drama is to emphasize the ephemeral and superficial; if we want to get

-59-

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Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Note 5
  • Select Bibliography Of Prose Writings 6
  • Contents 7
  • Part 1 - Literary Criticism 9
  • The Function of Criticism 11
  • Criticism 13
  • The Experience of Literature 17
  • Tradition 21
  • Tradition and the Individual Talent 23
  • Poetry and Philosophy 35
  • Romantic" and "Classic 40
  • Journalism and Literature 42
  • The Appreciation of Poetry 46
  • The Critic of Poetry 48
  • "Difficult" Poetry 50
  • Poetic Imagery 53
  • Metrical Innovation 54
  • Auditory Imagination 55
  • Part 2 - Dramatic Criticism 57
  • Poetic Drama 59
  • Greek Drama 61
  • The Pattern of Shakespeare 62
  • The Unity of Shakespeare 63
  • Ben Jonson 66
  • Middleton's "Changeling" 67
  • Part 3 - Individual Authors 69
  • Dissociation of Sensibility 71
  • Marvell 73
  • Blake 76
  • Coleridge 81
  • Wordsworth 83
  • Arnold 85
  • Walter Pater and "Marius The Epicurean" 88
  • Tennyson 93
  • Thomas Hardy 94
  • The PensÉes of Pascal 96
  • Baudelaire 116
  • Part 4 - Religion and Society 127
  • Christianity and Society 129
  • Christian" or "Pagan 131
  • War 133
  • Private Religions 134
  • The Reformation of Society 135
  • The Strait Gate 137
  • A Christian Community 138
  • Society and the Arts 142
  • Religion and Literature 145
  • Church and State 147
  • Conformity to Nature 151
  • Modern Education 154
  • The Decay of the Music-Hall 157
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