A Brief History of Drama. Major Developments. Drama – To be, or not to be, that is the question .
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A Brief History of Drama
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 it’s 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!
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.
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.
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
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
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
During the Middle Ages, most plays were about the lives of saints and/or Bible stories.
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.
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)
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
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.
A type of drama in which the characters experience reversals of fortune, usually for the worse
Conversations among characters
One of the three main types of literature; it tells a story through the words and actions of a character .
A break in the performance of the play
A speech delivered by one person
The author of a drama
Articles or objects that appear on stage during a play
The written version of the play
Instructions to the performer and the director; usually written in italics or parentheses
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
An additional or minor or parallel plot in a play or story that coexists with the main plot
Actors and actresses