Chapter 14 Early 20th-Century Drama From An Outline of English Literature by Thornley and Roberts.
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Chapter 14 Early 20th-Century Drama From An Outline of English Literature by Thornley and Roberts
Several General Tendencies I. The attempt to show on stage some parts of the daily lives of ordinary people in a realistic way that often contains social and political criticism. i.e. George Bernard Shaw (p.165) II. Of the individual’s research for identity in an unfriendly outside world, and the difficulty and fear of communicating with other individuals. i.e. Samule Beckett and Harold Pinter (p.171) III. Language is not only the means by which the characters’ feelings and beliefs are expressed but an important part of the play in its own right, particularly when it is used for a witty or comic effect to contrast with the seriousness of the theme beneath. i.e. Oscard Wilde (p.174)
George Bernard Shaw Shows on stage some parts of the daily lives of ordinary people in a realistic way that often contains social and political criticism (p.165-67) Shaw’s plays was to face his audiences with new points of view and ways looking at themselves as well as the society they lived in Effects: shock and offence Saying and showing the opposite of what his audience expected Show in various ways the workings of his theory of the “Life Force,” the power that drives people to value life as a great gift and fight for a better world
George Bernard Shaw Arms and the Man (1989) The Devil’s Disciple (1901): Man and Superman (1903) Caesar and Cleopatra (1901) Major Barbara (1905) Saint Joan (1924) Pygmalion (1912) –made into film My Fair Lady
Samuel Beckett Born in Ireland and spent his adult life in France Sees language as building a wall between human beings which stops them communicating Waiting for Godot (1954) 1. Show true essence of the human condition 2. Vladmir and Estragon waiting for the arrival of the mysterious Godot to give their lives some purpose and direction. But Godot does not come, and may not even exist. 3. Shows the pain and fear as well as the humor of the two men as they try to use reason and argument to help them in a situation where reason is not enough 4. Estragon is more determined that they should wait for Godot as they have been told to do so.
Harold Pinter The central theme in his plays: the impossibility of communication between characters in a closed situation. The Birthday Party (1957) The Caretaker (1960) The Homecoming (1964) His plays reflect the difficulty of communication between people.
Oscar Wilde Language used for its witty or comic effect Importance of Being Earnest (1895) 1. Witty language which leads to its comic effect by reversing what is usual or expected 2. The appearance of things and people are in contrast with each other, and these contrasts are expressed in language of great wit