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Drama term paper

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"To the Victorian stage he had brought an original mind and a passion for thoroughness and authenticity; a perception of human limitations, both those which are inevitable and those which can be overcome; a capacity for playing seriously with words and ideas; some observation of practical but innovative stagecraft; a determination to make drama once again a major art form while simultaneously reforming the stage; an energetic mind and a temperament able to enforce the production of what that mind conceived. If his originality sometimes became eccentricity, his pattern repetitive, his mind dogmatic, and his temperament peremptory, that should not deter us from recognizing in his work the satire of an iconoclast who, paradoxically, was not a revolutionary. In a day when closet drama was extolled and popular playwrights needed to be prolific to supply a voracious stage, works for the theatre were generally considered inferior, even trivial, compositions. Indeed, Gilbert's rapid rise was in some measure owing to the fact that 'he has given us plays . . . which we keep by us and read,' as the Era pointed out ( 28 January 1872). He himself thought that dramatic composition did not require 'the highest order of intellect', but demanded 'shrewdness of observation, a nimble brain, a faculty for expressing oneself concisely, a sense of balance, both in the construction of plots & in the construction of sentences'."
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"- and he does), and of drama It would be difficult to say which form predominates, but the purely mechanical use of the concepts of generosity as a sort of lever to resolve the love dilemmas suggests that the prevailing mood is romantic. This impression is further enhanced by the experimental character of the verse: its varied lengths, its frequent oxymorons, its concentration on affective rather than hortatory mots-cles. Like the long interview in Sertorius between Pompe and the hero, the interview between Lysandre and Agsilas here seems out of place. And it is revealing that in this play it is Pompe's political counterpart who defends a pure sense of honour, the politically inferior Lysandre, while it is the king figure who speaks from Pompe's "impure" (or at least unconfident) position as genereux. This suggests that Lysandre, like Sertorius earlier, is "out of place" in this world, but actually he is out of place only in his confrontations with Ag'silas-as-king. In the crucial love intrigues of the play, he is as indulgent as any of the lovers, as we have seen, and in fact is a worthy successor to the indulgent parents of the early comedies. Indeed, he seems less angry than perplexed when confronted with his king's behavior and, far from being a rival, he seems only a victim of that king. Similarly, Cotys seems overwhelmed by his mistress' behavior in their long combat amoureux, but both the prudent king and the haughty mistress are really functioning in only one mode of their being in both these instances: they are equally as strong amoureux as they are gnreux. And since these other modes of being are sacrificed with relative simplicity, they seem chiefly pretexts to resolve the love interest of the play, a kind of dramatic ballast."
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"They were aware that in a Greek or Hellenistic city the cessation of the theatres would be understood to mean great grief or great peril. This was so obvious that Libanius, when Julian deserted Antioch in anger, advised the citizens to close the theatres by way of showing how extreme their anxiety was at the loss of the imperial patronage. As Antioch was a city of theatres in one or another of which every kind of spectacle, from the legitimate drama down to dog-fights and prestidigitation, was to be seen, the suggestion of Libanius emphasizes the value of the emperor's presence to the business of the city. The classic drama was well cultivated in Antioch. Libanius enumerated among the ancient plays which were reproduced, the Pasipha, either the tragedy of Euripides or one by Alcaeus with the same title; the Acharnians of Aristophanes; Menander's comedy, the Tictousae; and many others. There appear to have been plays also by contemporary writers, and it is certain that there were many pieces corresponding to modern ballets and pantomimes. Libanius named many such spectacles in his speech defending the professional dancers."
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