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Introduction to English Literatures Drama- Lecture 9.

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1 Introduction to English Literatures Drama- Lecture 9

2 What is Drama? Drama is literature that is primarily written for theatrical performance. A dramatic text consists of two components: (1) It is literature to begin with (2) but it is incomplete without the performative aspect. Every dramatic text contains of instructions, known as secondary text, for performance. Multi-medial (audio, visual, textual) Theatre Studies/Literary Studies (performance criticism)





7 History of Drama  Greek Drama: 500-400 B.C. (tragedy, comedy, amphitheatres, annual competitions)  Medieval: The Middle Ages 1200-1500 AD  (Liturgical, morality; example: The Castle of Perseverance)  Elizabethan & Jacobean:1500-1642  (Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson )  Restoration & 18 th Cent. Drama :1660-1800 (John Brute’s The Provoked Wife )  Romantic Era:1800-1880 (Keats, Byron, Shelly)  Modern Era :1880-Present (absurd, regular drama, Beckett, Pinter)

8 Conventions of Drama  Cast of Characters: listed in the beginning of the play, before the action starts  Act: a major division of a play  Scenes: a major division of an act  Stage Directions: a dramatist’s instructions for performing a play (secondary text)

9 Waiting for Godot (Italics: secondary text, non-italics: primary text) ACT I A country road. A tree. Evening. Estragon, sitting on a low mound, is trying to take off his boot. He pulls at it with both hands, panting. He gives up, exhausted, rests, tries again. As before. Enter Vladimir. ESTRAGON: (giving up again). Nothing to be done. VLADIMIR: (advancing with short, stiff strides, legs wide apart). I'm beginning to come round to that opinion. All my life I've tried to put it from me, saying Vladimir, be reasonable, you haven't yet tried everything. And I resumed the struggle. (He broods, musing on the struggle. Turning to Estragon.) So there you are again. ESTRAGON: Am I? VLADIMIR: I'm glad to see you back. I thought you were gone forever.

10 Communication  External at the level of author and recipient, production and audience  Internal/Intertextual at the level of characters, text. characters move between the roles of the addresser and addressee Key Components of Internal Communication Dialogue Monologue Soliloquy Aside (there is no narrator in drama)

11 Communication - Between the Characters and Stage H istorical Author/ Recipient (reader and theatre apparatus) (addresser) - Between the Cast and the Audience T heatre apparatus and audience (addresser) Epic Theatre. Stage Manager. Inside the Action. Outside the Action Shaffer’s Amadeus (clip). Wilder’s Our Town Verbal. Non Verbal. Alienation Effect

12 Types of Drama  Comedy (Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well)  Tragedy (Shakespeare's Othello)  Romantic Comedy (boy gets the girl, loses her, and gets her again: Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream)  Satiric Comedy (critique of society, wit, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest)  Farce (verbal humor, mixed plot, subversion, eg. Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew)  Absurd (meaningless of existence, Beckett’s Endgame, Pinter’s The Homecoming)

13 Semiotics of Theatre Codes Acoustic/Visual Stage Set (Durative) – do not Change Gestures and Facial Expressions (Non-Durative) – Change (Transparency)

14 Information and Verbal Communication ‘Dramatic introduction’ (phatic) (Waiting for Godot) ‘Exposition’ (referential- drama text, context) (clip – The Tempest) Can occur concurrently Isolated/Initial (separate from the action proper) (examples Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle) Integrated (part of the action proper) (clip Richard III) Analytical Drama – genre – Analysis of exposition is present throughout

15 Monologue and Soliloquy Soliloquy – Character speaks to himself/herself in his or her lonely presence Monologue – Character speaks to himself/herself addressing others/ in the presence of others Obvious of artificiality, realistic dramas avoid them. They can also serve as ‘exposition’ and ‘introduction’ of the drama.

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