1An Introduction to English Drama-II Dr. M. Baghfalaki CONTENTS Part-I Introduction What is Drama? Origin of Drama A Brief History of Drama in West The Elements of Drama Dramatic Structure Types of Drama Tragedy Types of Tragedy Comedy Types of Comic Drama Dramatic Conventions Realistic and Nonrealistic Drama Modern Drama Postmodern Drama Functions of Drama Part-II Analysis & Implications Part-III Terminology
2Part I INTRODUCTION What is Drama? The form of composition designed for performance in the theater, in which actors take the roles of the characters, perform the indicated actions, and speak the written dialogue. The common alternative name for a dramatic composition is a play. Drama may be defined as “a form of literature intended to be interpreted to an audience by actors who impersonated the characters, recite the speeches and dialogues and perform the action of the story.”Martin Esslinin his Anatomy of Dramahas defined drama as follows:1.Drama can be seen as a manifestation of the play instinct as in children who are playing mother and father.2.Drama is something one goes to see, which is organized as something to be seen.3.It is an enacted fiction an art form based on mimetic action.4.In arts, drama is the most elegant expression of thought nearest to the truth (reality).5.It is the most concrete form in which art can recreate human situation, human relationship. Origin of Drama It is commonly believed that the art of drama is western form of literature and it has been originated from the Greeks. Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action" (drama), which is derived from the verb meaning "to do" or "to act”.The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a collective form of reception. The structure of dramatic texts, unlike other forms of literature, is directly influenced by this collaborative production and collective reception. The early modern tragedy Hamlet(1601) by Shakespeare and the classical Athenian tragedy Oedipus the King(c. 429 BC) by Sophocles are among the masterpieces of the art of drama. A modern example is Long Day's Journey into Nightby Eugene O’Neill (1956).
3The two masks associated with drama represent the traditional generic division between comedy and tragedy. They are symbols of the ancient Greek Muses, Thalia and Melpomene. Thalia was the Muse of comedy (the laughing face), while Melpomene was the Muse of tragedy (the weeping face). A cursory glance at its history clearly shows the development and changes during centuries up to the present time. A Brief History of Drama in West ▪Classical Greek drama Greek drama is acclaimed to be the earliest recorded form of drama (5thcentury B.C). Western drama originates in classical Greece. The dramatists of this age gave insight into the philosophy and religious beliefs of the ancient Greece.