Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art

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I. ANTIGONE
A Classical Tragedy by Sophocles

Introductory Note to Sophocles and Antigone

THE ULTIMATE GREATNESS of a drama lies in its ability to speak clearly to the condition of successive ages. Among the tragedies surviving from the Greek dawn of the drama, none has more to say to us today than Antigone, written by Sophocles some 2400 years ago.

Fortune seems to have favored Sophocles. Born at Colonus near Athens in 496 B.C., the son of a well-to-do manufacturer of armor, he was given the best of physical and intellectual educations. A handsome youth of sixteen, he was chosen to lead the chorus, naked and playing the lyre, celebrating the Athenian victory over the Persian fleet off Salamis. While still in his twenties, he won his first triumph over Aeschylus as a dramatist. He was already a fine-looking man, a talented musician, a charming personality, a respected citizen, a rare genius in the theater. Though without military or political gifts, he was twice elected a commander and later a general commissioner. When he died in 406 B.C. at the age of ninety, Sophocles was honored as a poet and worshipped as a hero.

He wrote about one hundred twenty plays in all and won first prize some twenty times, never falling below second place. He made significant contributions to the art of the theater and drama: added the use of a third actor, introduced painted scenery, developed the separate-play form as distinct from the trilogy, increased the size of the chorus and decreased its importance. Seven of his tragedies survive, including an Electra and an Ajax, together with a long fragment of a satyr play. Of these, three, written at different periods of his life, deal with incidents in the legendary Thebes story: Œdipus the King (ca. 429 B.C.), considered by many the most powerful of the Greek tragedies, tells of Œdipus' fearful discovery of his identity and fate. Œdipus at Colonus, written perhaps during

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Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Preface to Drama: - An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art i
  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Contents v
  • Part One - The Preface 1
  • I - Preliminary 3
  • II - The Playscript 25
  • Scene I 44
  • Scene II 52
  • III - The Stageplay 64
  • IV - The Play 93
  • V - The Drama 124
  • H.M.S. Pinafore or the Lass That Loved a Sailor 145
  • Part Two - The Plays 181
  • I - Antigone 185
  • Scene I 192
  • Scene II 197
  • Scene IV 202
  • Scene V 206
  • II - Othello 221
  • Act One 224
  • Scene III - The Council Chamber. 229
  • Act Two 232
  • Scene II - A Street. 242
  • Act Three 251
  • Scene II - A Room in the Citadel. 261
  • Scene IV - Before the Citadel. 263
  • Act Four 276
  • Scene II - A Room in the Citadel. 282
  • Scene III - State Bedroom in the Citadel. 290
  • Act Five 297
  • III - The Ridiculous PræCieuses 320
  • Scene I - La Grange, Du Croisy 323
  • Scene IV - Madelon, Cathos, Gorgibus. 324
  • Scene V - Cathos, Madelon. 325
  • Scene VII - Mascarille, Two Chairmen. 327
  • Scene VIII - Marotte, Mascarillie. 328
  • Scene X - Cathos, Madelon, Mascarille, Marotte. 330
  • Scene XI - Cathos, Madelon, Jodelet, Mascarille, Marotte, Almanzor. 334
  • Scene XII - Lucile, CéLimène, Cathos, Madelon, Mascarille, Jodelet, Marotte, Almanzor, and Fiddlers. 335
  • Scene XIII - Du Croisy, la Grange, Cathos, Madelon, Lucile, CéLimène, Jodelet, Mascarille, Marotte, and Fiddlers. 337
  • Scene XVI - Madelon, Cathos, Jodelet, Mascarille, and Fiddlers. 338
  • Scene. XVIII - Gorgibus, Madelon, Cathos, and Fiddlers. 339
  • IV - Hedda Gabler 344
  • Act Two 347
  • Act Three 370
  • Act Four 390
  • V - Candida 420
  • Act I 423
  • Act II 445
  • VI: Life with Father - A Period Comedy by Lindsay and Crouse 482
  • Act One 485
  • Scene II 503
  • Scene II 517
  • Act Three 548
  • VII - The Glass Menagerie 569
  • Scene 1 572
  • Scene 2 578
  • Scene 3 583
  • Scene 5 587
  • Scene 6 594
  • Scene 7 601
  • VIII - The Crucible 636
  • Act One - (An Overture) 639
  • Act Two 663
  • Act Four 683
  • Appendix 731
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