The Drama of Savage Peoples

The Drama of Savage Peoples

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The Drama of Savage Peoples

The Drama of Savage Peoples

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Excerpt

Under the influence of the study of evolution, especially social evolution, and of the science of society, it has become a practice to investigate the simpler stages of social institutions in order to be resolved as to their essential nature. Thus, Frazer has done much with the early history of religion; Westermarck, with that of marriage; and Tylor with that of culture in general.

Among social institutions must be included also the drama. What can we find out about the nature of the drama by studying its earlier stages? The following work is an attempt to go back of the Greek drama, which has currently been conceived of as the source of the dramatic art, and to develop the more primitive phases of this institution. Such a study leads one among savage peoples the world over, with the result of revealing, in their various rites, ceremonies, dances, and pleasures, the germ of the drama. It is very crude in its beginning, yet it shows the earliest known steps which man took in this line; and, the simpler forms being at length set in the series, we may say that we have carried one more social institution further back towards its origin.

There are many parallels to be drawn between the drama of the savages and that of the Greeks . . .

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