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A Brief History of Drama

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Title: A Brief History of Drama


1
A Brief History of Drama
  • Major Developments

2
Drama To be, or not to be, that is the question
  • Drama a literary composition involving
    conflict, action crisis and atmosphere designed
    to be acted by players on a stage before an
    audience. This definition may be applied to
    motion picture drama as well as to the
    traditional stage.
  • Drama had its origin in the country of Greece
    around 500 B.C.
  • Drama, as a literary genre, is an art form that
    is meant to be performed!

3
Greek Theatre
  • The Greek Theatre or Greek Drama is a theatrical
    tradition that flourished in ancient Greece
    between c. 550 and c. 220 B.C. in Athens. Athens
    was the centre of ancient Greek theatre. Tragedy
    (late 6th century B.C.), comedy (486 B.C.) and
    satyr plays were some of the theatrical forms to
    emerge in the world. Greek theatre and plays have
    had a lasting impact on Western drama and
    culture.

4
Greek Theatre continued
  • The earliest dramas were designed to worship to
    gods and goddesses, specifically Bacchus and
    Dionysus
  • The Greek tragedies of Aeschychus, Sophocles and
    Euripides were performed annually at the spring
    festival of Dionysus, god of wine and
    inspiration.

5
The Greeks
  • In 534 B.C a contest was won by Thespis in
    Athens.
  • He is the first recorded winner of this contest.
    Tragedy (the group word tragoidia began with
    the introduction of an actor, who played various
    roles by changing masks, whose actions the chorus
    commented on in song.
  • Thespis according to Themistiuss account, was
    the first actor and usually credited with
    inventing drama as we know it (actors speaking
    lines) thus actors are know known as Thespians

6
Decline of Drama
  • Drama went into a period of decline around A.D.
    400 (Roman Empire)
  • Due to the Power of Christians
  • Acting has been deemed at times to be
    unchristian, idolatrous and depraved or, worse,
    boring. Actors themselves have frequently been
    seen to be one of the humbler classes, and only
    towards the end of the 19th century did their
    status start to improve

7
Revival of Drama
  • A. D. 900-1500
  • Medieval Drama, when it emerged hundreds of years
    later, was a new creation rather than a rebirth.
    The drama of earlier times having almost no
    influence on it. The reason for this creation
    came from a quarter that had traditionally
    opposed any form of theatre The Christian church

8
Medieval Drama
  • Purpose Teach religion
  • Types of acceptable drama
  • 1. )Miracle plays lives of saints.
  • 2.) Morality plays being good/ moral
  • 3.) Mystery plays life of Christ

9
Middle Ages Theatre
  • During the Middle Ages, most plays were about the
    lives of saints and/or Bible stories.

10
Renaissance Drama
  • Ruler Elizabeth I
  • Renaissance Drama is English drama written before
    the Reformation and the closure of theatres in
    1642. It may also be called early modern English
    theatre or (misaccurately) Elizabethan theatre.
    It includes the drama of William Shakespeare, the
    most notable playwright during this period.
  • One distinctive feature of the companies that put
    on Elizabethan plays was that they included only
    males.

11
Elizabethan Drama
  • Shakespeare
  • Christopher Marlowe
  • Thomas Kyd
  • John Lyly

12
Victorian/Modern English drama
  • Oscar Wilde
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • The Abbey Theatre key figures were W.B. Yeats
    and Lady Augusta Gregory opened in Dublin in
    1903 and helped to produce new Irish plays (J.M.
    Synge)

13
Modern Drama
  • Primary characteristic realism
  • Some of the major forms of drama are
  • Tragedy
  • Comedy
  • Melodrama
  • Most importantly, drama, as a literary genre, is
    an art form that is meant to be performed.

14
Dramatic Terminology
  • Literary Terms

15
Acts and Scenes
  • Subdivisions in the play when the time or place
    usually changes
  • Acts big breaks (in Shakespeare plays usually 5
    Acts)
  • Scenes smaller breaks within acts (usually one
    or two per act)

Act III
Act IV
Act II
Act I
Act V
16
Aside
  • A dramatic device in which a private thought is
    spoken aloud. It is intended for the audience
    alone not other characters in the play
  • Contributes to dramatic irony
  • (the audience knows something
  • other characters in the play
  • do not)

17
Comedy
  • A type of drama in which the characters
    experience reversals of fortune, usually for the
    better. In comedy, things work out happily in the
    end, usually in marriage.

Comedy Mask
18
Tragedy
  • A type of drama in which the characters
    experience reversals of fortune, usually for the
    worse

Tragedy
19
Dialogue
  • Conversations among characters

20
Drama
  • One of the three main types of literature it
    tells a story through the words and actions of a
    character .
  • Additional
  • Information

21
Intermission
  • A break in the performance of the play

22
Monologue
  • A speech delivered by one person

23
Playwright
  • The author of a drama

24
Props
  • Articles or objects that appear on stage during a
    play

25
Script
  • The written version of the play

26
Stage directions
  • Instructions to the performer and the director
    usually written in italics or parentheses

27
Staging
  • The effect the play has on its audience
    including the position of actors, the scenic
    background, the props and costumes, and the
    lighting and sound effects

28
Subplot
  • An additional or minor or parallel plot in a play
    or story that coexists with the main plot

29
Thespians
  • Actors and actresses
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