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The Elements of Drama - John L. Styan

The Elements of Drama

Paperback Published: 3rd March 1960
ISBN: 9780521092012
Number Of Pages: 316

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This is an introduction to the drama, singling out and discussing its various elements, with detailed and generous quotation from masterpieces. Styan emphasizes that plays are meant to be judged in performance, not in the study, and that the play is something created by a co-operation of author, actor, producer and audience. The actor is doing something for the author's words; he is making the play work; and so is the spectator as he responds to the art of the actor, the producer and the playwright. It is a unique relationship, and the play in performance must be judged by 'theatrical' standards as well as literary ones. Styan begins with the elements of a dramatic text and the way they are built together. For every aspect - words, movement, tempo - and for larger considerations, such as verse-drama, convention, 'character', and audience-participation, Styan provides close analyses of excerpts from plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov, Wilde, Shaw, Strindberg, Pirandello, Synge, Anouilh, Sartre, Eliot and others. These detailed expositions give an insight into the aims and techniques of the particular playwrights as well as into the general themes. This is an ideal introduction to the art of the theatre for the general reader and the student of literature.

Industry Reviews

'Sensible and stimulating.' Times Educational Supplement 'A valuable introduction for students of drama, whilst it may remind actors, producer and critics of things forgotten, or reveal things as yet undiscovered.' Donald Fitzjohn, Drama 'A straightforward and lucid introduction to the subject, of its kind a model. The book is sensible, intelligent, interesting and detailed.' James A. Sharaf, Harvard Summer News

Prefacep. v
Introductionp. 1
The Dramatic Score
Dramatic Dialogue is More than Conversation: Rosmersholm, The Importance of Being Earnestp. 11
Dramatic Verse is More than Dialogue in Verse: Othello, A Sleep of Prisonersp. 27
Making Meanings in the Theatre: The Playboy of the Western Worldp. 48
Shifting Impressions: The Cherry Orchardp. 64
The Behaviour of the Words on the Stagep. 86
Voice, pause and meaning, Pygmalion
Voice and verse, The Confidential Clerk
Gesture and meaning, Arms and the Man, The Apple Cart
Words and movement, King Lear
Building the Sequence of Impressions: King Oedipus, Deirdre of the Sorrows, Murder in the Cathedralp. 121
Tempo and Meaning: The Importance of Being Earnest, Saint Joan, The Wild Duck, The School for Scandal, The Fatherp. 141
Manipulating the Characters: Arms and the Man, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Six Characters in Search of an Authorp. 163
Breaking the Continuity: The Plough and the Stars, Ardelep. 188
The Meaning of the Play as a Whole: The Three Sisters, Antony and Cleopatra, Point of Departurep. 205
Audience Participation: Crime Passionnel, The Hairy Apep. 231
Passing Judgment: Deirdre of the Sorrows, The Lady's Not For Burning, The Cocktail Partyp. 256
Playgoing as an Artp. 285
Short Reading Listp. 290
Referencesp. 292
Index of Playwrights and Playsp. 299
Index of Subjectsp. 302
Index of Critics and Commentatorsp. 306
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521092012
ISBN-10: 0521092019
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 316
Published: 3rd March 1960
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.49 x 13.64  x 2.11
Weight (kg): 0.32