Chapter 6 VARIETIES OF DRAMA
Tragedy • Pathos • Hamartia • Catharsis • Comedy • Low Comedy • Farce • Screen Scene • Aside • Burlesque • Parody • Caricature • High Comedy • Comedy of manners • Satire • Fantasy • Romantic comedy • Sentimental comedy • - Melodrama • - Play of ideas • Theatrical conventions • Representational • Presentational • -Allegory VOCABULARY
TRAGEDY • Humanity’s highest literary achievement • focus upon Protagonist’s struggle which he fails, or is overcome by opposing forces. • Outcome appears predestined - nothing the character can do to avoid it (inevitability) • Pathos: the quality of the drama that raises the audience’s pity and compassion • Antagonist wins!
TRAGEDY • Catharsis - the feeling of release felt by the audience by the end of the tragedy, because the pathos has been purged. • Pathos - represents an appeal to the audience’s emotions.
Tragedy • Hamartia - the cause of the protagonist’s difficulties brought on by a character weakness or error in judgment. • Hubris - excessive pride - the most common form of hamartia • While viewing a tragedy the audience must be made to feel pity and fear.
COMEDY • The greatest comedies have situations and characters with which the audience can identify. • The protagonist overcomes opposing forces or achieves desired goals or both
Elements of Comedy • Exaggeration - overstatement, physical characteristics • Incongruity - anything that seems out of place • Anticipation - looking forward to a potential laugh • Protection - its all fake anyway • Relief - all tension dissolves into a grand laugh
Types of Comedy Low Comedy: focus upon physical antics and physical humor to generate laughter
Types of Low Comedy Farce: based upon improbable characters implausible coincidences and events
Types of Low Comedy Burlesque: a mockery of a broad topic such as a style, societal view, or literary form and the audience should have previous knowledge of the play’s subject or they will not understand the humor.
Types of Low Comedy Parody: a mockery of a certain person or work incorporating a caricature or exaggerated feature of the subject.
High Comedy • Intellectual or, “Thinking man’s” humor • Must pay close attention to the dialogue because not dependant upon physical comedy
Types of High Comedy • Comedy of manners - mocks the pretenses of the upper class. Built on the clever use of language includes puns, paradoxes, and ironies.
Types of High Comedy • Satire - ridicules human folly, societal views, or individuals with the goal of changing something for the better
OTHER TYPES OF DRAMA • Fantasy- unreal characters, dreams, imaginary times and places • Romantic Comedy - happy-ending love affairs between attractive characters • Melodrama - 19th century, stock characters and implausible plots - virtuous maiden, threatened by evil villain, rescued by flawless hero • Play of Ideas - social problem, racism, sexism, classism, right or wrong • Psychological Drama - serious play, penetrating and often painful to view
EVEN MORE TYPES OF DRAMA • The “Whodunit” - suspenseful solving of a crime or courtroom drama • Allegory - a play that teaches moral concepts through characters who personify abstract qualities ie. Truth, justice, love, death, and humanity • Children’s Theater - written, designed, and performed for children. • Puppet Theater - ‘nuf said • Monodrama - play written to be performed by just one actor • Performance Art - monodrama that involves juxtaposing many different elements of theater in a novel way
Let’s All Match! 1. Fantasy 2. Romantic Comedy 3. Melodrama 4. Play of Ideas 5. Psychological Drama 6. “Whodunit” 7. Allegory 8. Children’s Theater 9. Puppet Theater 10. Monodrama Muppets “My Best Friend’s Wedding” Lost “101 Dalmations” Hal Holbrook as “Mark Twain” Lord of the Rings “Bridget Jones’s Diary” “Mississippi Burning” “Murder on the Orient Express” “Aesop’s Fables”
Let’s All Match! (answers) 1. Fantasy - “F”“Lord of the Rings” 2. Romantic Comedy - “B”“My Best Friend’s Wedding” 3. Melodrama - “G”“Bridget Jones’s Diary” 4. Play of Ideas - “H”“Mississippi Burning” 5. Psychological Drama - “C”“Lost” 6. “Whodunit” - “I”“Murder on the Orient Express” 7. Allegory - “J”“Aesop’s Fables” 8. Children’s Theater - “D”“101 Dalmations” 9. Puppet Theater - “A” Muppets 10. Monodrama - “E” Hal Holbrook as “Mark Twain”
STYLES OF DRAMA Dramatic style - the way in which the play is written, produced, and acted. It relies heavily on Theatrical Conventions, setting and other visual elements to create a style. Types: - Representational - most common style, audience watches the action like a fly on the, “fourth wall,” as if they were there in someone else’s situation, yet removed. - Presentational - acknowledges the audience is present and characters address the audience - Avant-Garde - new and experimental styles, found off- Broadway, and off-off Broadway
20th Century Styles of Drama Romanticism - focuses upon emotion and imagination, such as “Romantic Comedies” where love is primary theme
20th Century Styles of Drama Realism - presents life as it actually is. Characters talk and act as people in ordinary life do. The outcome of the play makes sense in the real world. Can be blended into other styles, such as horror, to chilling effect. Consider…
20th Century Styles of Drama Naturalism - grew out of realism and the idea that humans have little self-determination but act in response to forces in nature and society that are beyond their control. Life with, “No Holds Barred.”
20th Century Styles of Drama Symbolism- 19th century French reaction against Realism with symbolic elements to represent emotions, ideals, and values.
20th Century Styles of Drama Expressionism - the uselessness of human hopes and dreams in the face of mechanistic forces. Distorted, oversimplified, and symbolic characters and sets. German.
20th Century Styles of Drama Constructivism - Russian, mechanical skeletons at various levels as sets, connected by ramps, ladders, arches, and platforms. Actors communicated only through symbolic movement.
20th Century Styles of Drama Theater of the Absurd: Mid-Twentieth-century- the absurdity of human life. Think French philosopher Albert Camus “The Myth of Sisyphus,” wherein human hopes and plans are ridiculous b/c the universe is a random place where things happen for no reason. Very existentialist.
Obscure Theatrical Styles… Theater of Involvement: participation by members of the audience, performers enter audience and address individuals. Theatricalism: Makes no pretense of reality b/c drama on stage are not real situations. “This is the theater. Accept it for what it is, as it is.” Total Theater - a fusion of all the performing arts into one presentation; includes dance, mime, music, staging, lighting, and costuming. Then add the highest-tech audio-visual special effects. Rock out!
In Review… Romanticism Theater of the Absurd Theater of Involvement Theatricalism Total Theater Realism Naturalism Symbolism Expressionism Constructivism
CHapTEr ReView… • Tragedy - Pathos - Hamartia - Catharsis • Comedy - Low Comedy - Farce - Screen Scene - Aside • Hubris - Exaggeration - Incongruity - Anticipation • Incompletion - Foreshadowing - Ambiguity - Recognition • Protection - Relief - Farce - Burlesque • Parody - High Comedy of Manners - Satire - Fantasy • - Romantic comedy - Melodrama - Play of Ideas • Psychological drama - “Whodunit” - Allegory - Children’s theater • - Puppet theater - Melodrama - Performance art