Essay #6 (don't delete)

Essay #6 (don't delete) - The Reading of Drama Essay#6 24...

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The Reading of Drama Essay #6 24 October 2007 Marat/Sade “A theatre, a literature, an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time has no relevance.” – Dario Fo. Well, what about a theatrical performance that speaks for three different times, specifically 1793, 1808, and 1963. Such is the case of Peter Weiss’s The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Preformed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade , known more commonly as the play Marat/Sade . The play is structured and written in such a way that the audience of the 60’s feels as though they are in an audience in an asylum in 1808, watching a play about 1793. Though this may seem confusing, and reading this play is certainly a daunting undertaking, especially in the beginning, there are little reminders, little jolts of the present (either 1808 or 1963) that can be found throughout the dialogue, that serve to bring the audience back to reality in a way, before sending them straight back into the heart of the French Revolution. These reminders come in the form of a narrating character, subtle references to modernity, and the illusion-breaking maladies of the actors themselves. The play is narrated by a character referred to as the Herald, who is theoretically an inmate in the asylum, and whose job it is to guide the 1808 audience through the play. While reading the entire work, I found it most difficult to fit into the 1808 aspect of the
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This note was uploaded on 04/05/2008 for the course ENGL 2720 taught by Professor Davis,stuart during the Fall '07 term at Cornell.

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Essay #6 (don't delete) - The Reading of Drama Essay#6 24...

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