AS we look back over the history of the drama in the last half-century, Ibsen and Strindberg seem at the same time surprisingly far away and disconcertingly near, like figures within reach of the hand, seen through the wrong end of a glass. It is astonishing to consider that out of two great wars, a long series of social and political cataclysms, and the unexampled widening of the horizons of knowledge, so much new subject matter has come into being, and, insofar as the drama is concerned, so few ideas.
Four trends, it was suggested in the beginning, have principally affected the course of modern drama: naturalism, impressionism, symbolism, expressionism. These words are not only embarrassingly imprecise, but, beyond a certain point, their associations are meaningless. In terms of those who principally expressed these tendencies: Zola, Ibsen, Maeterlinck, and Strindberg--to say nothing of Dumas and Sardou--our view of modern drama may be brought into a sharper focus, but one cannot be certain that had these authors not written, the drama of our day would have presented a