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Dramatic Literature

Dramatic Literature

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Dramatic Literature

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  1. Dramatic Literature Understanding dramatic literature and the art of theatre Masks of the Italian Renaissance Commedia dell ‘Arte California English Language Arts Standard for Reading 3.1 Articulate the relationship between the expressed purposes and the characteristic of different forms of dramatic literature.

  2. What are plays anyway? Stories acted out! On stage! Live!

  3. How do plays differ from stories? • Stories are prose narratives • Stories utilize narrators to describe characters, actions, and setting • Plays consist entirely of characters’ words and actions • Playwrights describe setting and actions in italics, but the audience never “hears” the descriptions • Directors and actors interpret the literature

  4. Structure of Drama • Plot of play follows the rise-and-fall structure similar to stories • Plot of play is set in motion by an inciting incident • The inciting incident causes conflict • Internal and external conflict create tension • Conflicts grow more complicated • Tension reaches a climax • Conflict resolves and action winds down

  5. Features of Tragedy • Roots of tragedy lie in Ancient Greece as part of religious festivals • Tragedy presents serious and important actions that typically end unhappily (tragically, that is) • Central character is a noble figure, known as the tragic hero/heroine • Tragic hero/heroine possesses a tragic flaw, or hubris • Hubris, a personal flaw such as excessive pride, passion or rebellion, lead the tragic character to make choices that lead to doom • Catharsis, a cleansing of emotions Greek tragic mask in terracotta

  6. Features of Comedy • Comedies do more than make us laugh • Comedies also make us think and help us question issues of relevance • Central characters are from any social class- princes, towns people, servants • Characters possess flaws • Flawed characters see error of their ways • Order is restored Greek Comic Mask depicted in tile mosaic

  7. Tragedy vs. Comedy • Tragedy and comedy BOTH rooted in conflict • Conflict in COMEDIES typically related to romance and layered with confusion and complication • Complications involve misunderstandings, mistaken identity, disguises, and transformations Traditional Comedy and Tragedy masks

  8. Modern Dramatic Literature • No clear distinctions between tragedy and comedy • Comic moments are mixed with tragic moments • Modern drama focuses on the personal and domestic issues • Characters are easily identified with Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

  9. Movies & Theatre • Two completely different art forms • Theatre is a verbal medium • Movies are a visual medium • Theatre offers concentration, intensity, and involvement • Movies rely on images • Film versions of theatre miss a major aspect of the performance- the audience

  10. Theatre Arts Brings Dramatic Literature to Life California English Language Arts Standard for Reading 3.10 Identify and describe the function of dialogue, scene designs, soliloquies, asides, and character foils in dramatic literature.

  11. Theatre as Art • Dramatic literature is meant for performance • Directors, designers, and actors translate playwright’s intentions • Performance take place on various styles of stages, from grand or intimate spaces • Audiences become part of the live action of the play, unlike any other artistic medium

  12. Interpreting the Drama: The Director’s Task • Studies the play for meaning • Forms a vision and concept • Communicates to designers who will carry out the production’s concept • Helps the actor discover how to interpret the lines- what the words mean, why the character says them, and what the character feels • Is willing to step back and let the artists create a piece of living, breathing art on stage • Does NOT play all-controlling God-like figure as is commonly thought Kenneth Branaugh as Hamlet

  13. Set Design • Set design driven by play’s theme, setting, and/or mood • In Shakespeare’s time, t he set was simply the backdrop of the theatrical building • Today, set design transforms space using realistic, abstract, or minimalist concepts • Spaces are altered using turntables, hydraulic lifts, conveyer belts Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

  14. Lighting Design • Natural light used during Ancient Greece, Medieval, and Renaissance period (300 B.C.- 1500 A.D.) • Candle lighting used during Neoclassical period through the Romantic period (late 1600’s up though the late 1800’s) • Electric lighting debuted at the turn of the century and is still being refined (1900-present day) Romeo and Juliet

  15. Costume Design • Costumes must reflect the character’s social position, profession, and historical context • Costumes can become symbolic through color, design, style, or motif • Designers will pay attention to the play’s theme and listen to the director’s concept • Designs can be realistic, minimalist, or even mix time periods for an effect of timelessness

  16. Make-Up Design • Reveals all aspects of character from age, status, health, and even mood • Hides an actor’s flaws (corrective) • Plays up an actor’s best qualities (glamorize) • Works with director’s vision • Realistic, fantastical, character, symbolic Cats

  17. Properties • Items on stage carried or handled by actors • Props include swords, food items, letter, books, scepters, goblets, umbrellas • Props must work with set, costumes, lighting to create a unified effect • Unity sustains the audiences’ belief in the play’s “reality” Braveheart

  18. The Actor’s Tasks • Analyzes the play from the point of view of their character • Understands what motivates their character • Fills out the emotional and physical life of the part on stage • Lives the life of the character on stage King Lear

  19. Characters Onstage • Conversation is called dialogue • Monologues are spoken by one character to one or more characters onstage • Soliloquies are speeches given by one character on stage, alone • Asides are spoken directly to the audience • Stage directions are written into the script in italics, and suggest action and movement • Character foils are characters who are used in contrast to another character (cynical Mercutio is a foil to the romantic Romeo) Richard III

  20. What is the first thing that comes to mind when I say “Shakespeare?”

  21. Features of Plays • Sex • Drugs • Gratuitous violence

  22. No, really… • Wit and puns laced with multiple meanings • Drinking, parties, and mind-altering substances • Action, duels, murders, and suicides

  23. William Shakespeare California English Language Arts Standard for Reading Literary Criticism 3.12 Analyze the way in which a work of literature is related to the themes and issues of the historical period.

  24. Sources of Information • Church documents • Legal documents • Real estate transactions • First-hand accounts Billy Boy

  25. Shakespeare’s Childhood • Born April 23, 1564 • Birthplace in Stratford, a market town 100 miles northwest of London • Father was a shopkeeper, served as glover, justice and bailiff • William attended grammar school until age 15 • Studied Latin grammar, literature, rhetoric (uses of language) • Both sisters died of bubonic plague

  26. Getting Established • Married Anne Hathaway when he was 18 on November 27, 1582 • Woops baby (Susanna) • William moved to London after his third child was born • 1592 he was established as an actor, playwright, and poet in London • 1594, was a member of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later The King’s Men)

  27. An Active Theatrical Career • Established actor by age 28 • Prolific playwright and poet • Wrote 37 plays, including masterpieces such as Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and King Lear • Retired in Stratford • Died on April 23, 1616, at age 52 • Home burned by the Reverend Francis Gastrell, who was banished as a result • Plays still widely produced and loved world-wide Romeo and Juliet

  28. Shakespeare’s Style • Puns • Blank verse (iambic pentameter) • Metaphors • Conceits (whimsical ideas) • Soliloquies • Asides • Invented words

  29. Shakespeare’s Inspirations • Other plays of the Italian Renaissance • Christopher Marlowe’s plays featuring lives of kings • Poetry such as “The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet” • Ancient Greek and Roman writers Seneca, Plautus, Ovid, Plutarch • English history

  30. The First Folio • The first 18 of Shakespeare’s plays were published as Quartos • Seven years after death, 36 of Shakespeare’s plays appeared in a Folio • First Folio had an introduction by Ben Jonson • Folio was published by John Heminges and Henry Condell

  31. Lodge Lyly Chapman Johnson Beaumont Greene Fletcher Heywood Webster Kyo Drayton Marston Renaissance Playwrights

  32. Lasting Influences • English language forever changed • Words invented and added • Phrases and ideas quoted daily • Contributed 10 historical plays, 13 comedies, 10 tragedies, 5 tragi-comedies • Challenging acting roles coveted by actors world-wide

  33. Getting into the Lingo California English Language Arts Standard for Vocabulary 1.1 Identify and use the literal and figurative meanings of words and word derivations.

  34. Features of Shakespeare’s Language • Early Modern English (sometimes called archaic language) • Iambic pentameter • Emphasis on vowel sounds to communicate emotion • Use of consonants to define harder sounds • Lots of spit!

  35. Archaic Language • Old words have new meanings • Old words have disappeared from use • Non-standard spelling • Think creatively about archaic words • Examine word roots • Play with the way words sound • Use your imagination

  36. What do you think this means – literally? “The bawdy hand of the dial is now upon the prick of noon.” … and figuratively?

  37. Iambic Pentameter • Ten syllables per line • Five feet per line • Unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable • Functions to identify key words and phrases • Aids in expressive interpretations

  38. Shakespearean Sayings • All that glitters is not gold. (Merchant of Venice) • All’s well that ends well. (title) • Break the ice. (Taming of the Shrew) • Fool’s paradise. (Romeo and Juliet) • It was greek to me. (Julius Caesar) • Knock, knock! Who’s there? (Macbeth) • Naked truth. (Love’s Labours Lost)

  39. Shakespearean Insults • (let’s invent a few!!!)

  40. The Renaissance History, Society, Culture in Context Literary Criticism 3.12 Analyze the way in which a work of literature is related to the themes and issues of the historical period.

  41. 1485-1625 Renaissance- re-birth and re-discovery of classical texts, and the creation of new arts forms and literature Reformation-King Henry VIII split from Roman catholic Church Age of Exploration- new geographical discoveries and expansion of trade and commerce Age of Discovery- science (telescope, plantary motion) Elizabethan Era- Named for Queen Elizabeth I, great ruler and patron of the arts

  42. Social organization Customs and traditions Language Arts and literature Religion Forms of government Economic systems Elements of Culture

  43. Historical Context • Renaissance begins in Italy • Role of geography in trade • Re-birth • Humanism • War delayed England’s entrance into the Renaissance era • England and France at war (100 years!) • England’s own Henry V crowned King of France • The royal Tudor family encouraged the arts to flourish in England • Elizabeth I was on the English throne during the time of Shakespeare

  44. Social Organiztion • Cosmology • World view shaped by Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.) who believed earth was center of universe • Copernicus (1610) proved that sun is center of universe • Universal hierarchy/chain of being • God, angels, men, women, animals, plants, rocks • Four Earthly elements (earth, air, water, fire) • Family structure (father first, primogeniture – oldest male offspring favored, females last) • City vs. country life • 1563 London had 93,000 • 1605 London grew to 224,000 • No sanitation; ditches as public toilets; carcasses in streets • Health • Plague, smallpox, tuberculosis, open sores • Hunger and constant stomach pain • Dental health (no toothbrushes for 100 more years!) • Education • Latin and Greek in grammar school; school was from 7am to 5pm; few holidays • Marriage • Maintained social order through arranged marriages for aritocracy; later marriages (25-29) limited children • Marriage for political alliance, not love

  45. Customs and Traditions • Bear and bull baiting • Cockfighting • Beer brawls and riots • Witch burning • Public executions • Severed heads on stakes

  46. Language • Early modern English • Mixed up words • Casual misspellings

  47. Arts and Literature • Printing press • Theatre the “den of sins” • Puritan clergy objections

  48. Religion • Reformation • Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary) • Elizabeth I • James I

  49. Forms of Government • Absolute monarchy • Divine Right of Kings

  50. Economics • Artistrocrats • Merchants • Lower classes