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By Simon Shepherd

What's implied once we discuss with the learn of appearing arts as 'drama', 'theatre' or 'performance'? each one time period identifies a distinct culture of proposal and gives diverse chances to the scholar or practitioner. This e-book examines the background and use of the phrases and investigates the various philosophies, politics, languages and associations with which they're linked. Simon Shepherd and Mick Wallis:                     * learn attitudes to drama, theatre and function at varied historic junctures* hint a number political interventions into the field(s)* discover and contextualise the institutionalisation of drama and theatre as college matters, then the emergence of 'performance' as perform, concept and educational self-discipline* consultant readers via significant techniques to drama, theatre and function, from theatre historical past, via theories of formality or play, to the assumption of functionality as paradigm for a postmodern age* speak about the most important phrases comparable to motion, alienation, catharsis, personality, empathy, interculturalism, mimesis, presence or illustration in a considerable 'keywords' part. constantly linking their research to wider cultural matters, the authors right here supply the main wide-ranging and authoritative advisor to be had to a colourful, fast-moving box and energetic debates approximately its nature, function and position within the academy.

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Coleridge, as we have seen, approaches the play as a reader. ’ The materiality gets in the way. Thus Shakespeare’s plays are not really ‘calculated for performance on a stage’ (Lamb 1903: 99). drama and the literary tradition Most notoriously, Lamb and (mainly) his sister reduced the works of Shakespeare to a series of prose tales. Almost as notorious are the accounts of Shakespeare’s characters written by the critic William Hazlitt (1778–1830). He, too, shared the preference for reading plays.

Just as Sidney’s Defence became more panicked as he thought more closely about ‘corporal’ actions, so for Johnson Cato’s soliloquy is at its most forceful and dignified when it has no trace of the corporal about it. CONFUSION OF THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS: COLERIDGE This tense relationship between dramatic text and its bodily performance also created problems for the poet and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834). Earlier dramatists of England and France, like Shakespeare, he says, ‘neither sought in comedy to make us laugh merely, much less to make us laugh by wry faces, accidents of jargon, slang phrases from the day, or the clothing of commonplace morals in metaphors drawn from the shops or mechanic occupations of their characters’.

That tradition is described in Jacky Bratton’s authoritative overview, which begins with works published by James Wright in 1699 and John Downes in 1708 (to which might be added Gerard Langbaine’s Account of the English Dramatick Poets of 1691). From these she traces two main elements – the ‘playlist’ giving information on play, author, date of performance, etc. and the ‘annals’ of theatrical doings. The authors of such works tended to be already connected with the theatre, as minor actors or prompters, and their books reflected this in their display of minute detail and re-telling of gossip and anecdote.

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