A Study of the Drama

A Study of the Drama

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A Study of the Drama

A Study of the Drama

Read FREE!

Excerpt

This book is a study of the technic of the drama. It is intended, not for those who want to write plays, but for those who wish to learn how plays are written now, and how they have been written in the past. It is the result of a belief that the fundamental principles of the drama are the same throughout the ages, and that they can be discovered as well in the plays of Sophocles as in the plays of Shakspere, as well in the plays of Molière as in the plays of Ibsen. And therefore the author has not confined his attention to the English drama alone; he has preferred to consider the whole history of the theater, ancient and medieval and modern, in the belief that this is the only method which will result in a real understanding of the dramatic practices of any particular period and of any particular people. He has held fast also to the conviction that all the masterpieces of the dramatic art were originally written to be performed by actors, in a theater, and before an audience of the dramatist's own contemporaries; and he has therefore kept in mind always the theatrical circumstances which conditioned the work of the dramatist. In other words, this study is devoted mainly to an examination of the structural framework which the great dramatists of various epochs have given to their plays; and it discusses only incidentally the psychology, the philosophy, and the poetry which we now admire in these pieces. Although the author had no intention of neglecting the content . . .

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