Dramatic Opinions and Essays with an Apology by Bernard Shaw: Containing as Well a Word on the Dramatic Opinions and Essays, of Bernard Shaw - Vol. 2

Dramatic Opinions and Essays with an Apology by Bernard Shaw: Containing as Well a Word on the Dramatic Opinions and Essays, of Bernard Shaw - Vol. 2

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Dramatic Opinions and Essays with an Apology by Bernard Shaw: Containing as Well a Word on the Dramatic Opinions and Essays, of Bernard Shaw - Vol. 2

Dramatic Opinions and Essays with an Apology by Bernard Shaw: Containing as Well a Word on the Dramatic Opinions and Essays, of Bernard Shaw - Vol. 2

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Excerpt

Magda : a play in four acts. Translated by Louis N. Parker from Hermann Sudermann "Home." Lyceum Theatre, 3 June, 1896.

The Queen's Proctor : a comedy in three acts. Adapted by Herman Merivale from "Divorçons," by Victorien Sardou and E. de Najac. Royalty Theatre, 2 June, 1896.

IN ALL the arts there is a distinction between the mere physical artistic faculty, consisting of a very fine sense of color, form, tone, rhythmic movement, and so on, and that supreme sense of humanity which alone can raise the art work created by the physical artistic faculties into a convincing presentment of life. Take the art of acting, for instance. The physically gifted actor can fill in a conventional artistic outline with great charm. He--or she (I really mean she, as will appear presently) --can move exquisitely within the prescribed orbit of a dance, can ring out the measure of a line of blank verse to a hair's-breadth, can devise a dress well and wear it beautifully, can, in short, carry out with infinite fascination the design of any dramatic work that aims at sensuous and romantic beauty alone. But present this same fascinating actress with a work to the execution of which the sense of humanity is the only clue, in which there is no verse to guide the voice and no dance to guide the body, in which every line must appear ponderously dull and insignificant unless its truth as the utterance of a deeply moved human soul can be made apparent, in which the epicurean admiration of her as an exquisite apparition, heightened, of course, by sex attraction, can be but . . .

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