Important notes of drama by Arslan

Oedipus complex:
Sigmund Freud’s theory that a male child feels unconscious jealousy toward his father and lust for his mother. The name comes from Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex, in which the main character unknowingly kills his father and marries his mother. Freud applies this theory in an influential reading of Hamlet, in which he sees Hamlet as struggling with his admiration of Claudius, who fulfilled Hamlet’s own desire of murdering Hamlet’s father and marrying his mother. In the Greek play by Sophocles, Laius, king of Thebes, is told by an oracle that he would be killed by his son and so leaves Oedipus out on the mountainside to die. Oedipus is rescued by a shepherd and taken to the king of Corinth who raises him as a son. Oedipus, in turn, is told by the Delphic oracle that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Horrified by this, he flees Corinth. At a crossroads he meets Laius, quarrels and kills him. At Thebes, he correctly answers the sphinx's question and hence wins the hand of Jocasta, his real mother, with whom he had two sons and two daughters. When at last the truth comes out, Jocasta hangs herself and Oedipus, finding her, blinds himself with her golden brooch.

Greek Dramatic chorus:
chorus, in the drama of ancient Greece. Originally the chorus seems to have arisen from the singing of the dithyramb, and the dithyrambic chorus allegedly became a true dramatic chorus when Thespis in the 6th cent. B.C. introduced the actor. First the chorus as a participating actor tied the histrionic interludes together; later, as a narrator, it commented on the action and divided it, creating acts. And as tragedy developed the chorus shrank in size and actors increased in number. Aeschylus began with a chorus of 50, but the number was soon decreased to 12. Sophocles used a chorus of 15. In the 3d cent. B.C. the comic chorus contained only seven persons and in the 2d cent. B.C. only four, the tragic chorus having disappeared altogether. The chorus had ceased to play a vital part in the drama; Euripides assigned to it lyrics not necessarily integrated with the action. Ultimately it was dispensed with in comedy as well. The chorus enters the orchestra during the parados, from the two ramps known as paradoi on either side of the orchestra. Once there the leader, coryphaeus, speaks the choral dialogue. Scenes of dialogue [technical term to learn: episode] alternate with choral song, which is called stasimon. In this way the stasimon is like the darkening of the theater or curtains down between acts. The final scene [technical term to learn: exodus] of Greek tragedy is one of dialogue. Songs 1. Like more modern choruses, the Greek chorus would sing songs concerning the drama and characters in the play. Exposition 2. Greek choruses served to provide the viewers with plot exposition, essentially acting as narrators for many parts of the drama. Audience Surrogates 3. The Greek chorus often acted as audience surrogates, questioning the other characters' motives or warning them about the consequences of their actions.

but is unaware that the situation is at odds with this meaning. This is the result of the reader having a greater knowledge than the characters themselves.) A classic instance of dramatic irony that involves no hypocrisy takes place in the scene in which Oedipus reproaches his brother-in-law Creon. benign or malign. Dramatic Irony: Definition: Dramatic irony is when the words and actions of the characters of a work of literature have a different meaning for the reader than they do for the characters. however. (In conscious hypocrisy. some consciousness (in fiction. the speaker is aware that the situation is at odds with what he gives himself out to mean. understands the character's situation actually to be. in some sense inevitable.Filler 4. and which is constrained by the limitations of an individual's history up to that moment. On a more practical level. at the same instant. that result.say." There is on the one hand how things appear from a point of view that emerges within the action at a given moment. (4) the fact that Oedipus will suffer terribly at this revelation. We note that the warning is phrased as a universal: it applies to any person. The audience. Some but not all cases of dramatic irony involve unconscious hypocrisy. But some of the most famous and powerful uses of dramatic irony are associated with tragedy. knows (1) the facts about Oedipus' parricide and incest. (3) the fact that these transgressions will eventually be revealed before all Thebes. In the days of Greek theater. Dramatic irony is a relationship of contrast between a character's limited understanding of his or her situation in some particular moment of the unfolding action and what the audience. Oedipus is unaware that he himself has slain his own father (the very same king. granting the play a grandeur it might not otherwise possess. in the moment it hears Oedipus make this declaration. the songs and speeches of the Greek chorus gave the other actors time to take a break while allowing the scenery to be adjusted and other changes made to the set. That is. he intends to deceive the hearer.) There is on the other hand a synoptic point of view that takes in the whole of an interpersonal history. (2) the fact that Oedipus is unaware of these. part of which is unknown to that individual at the particular moment in question. where it serves to emphasize how limited human understanding can be even when it is most plausible. and how painful can be the costs of the misunderstandings. He tells Creon that a man is a fool if he thinks that he can sin against his kinfolk and escape the wrath of the gods. the protagonist of a drama. and hence is "moment-bound. sets were very sparse and special effects nonexistent. It is this discrepancy between what Oedipus understands his words to . no less) and committed incest with his mother. this will be the picture held by some character -. In unconscious hypocrisy the speaker intends to be understood as meaning what his utterance would ordinarily be understood to mean. Spectacle 5. For dramatic irony to emerge. (In fiction. this will be the audience's) must be simultaneously aware of both perspectives. whom he mistakenly but plausibly believes to have conspired to bring him under suspicion of having killed the former king of Thebes in order to have him expelled from the city so as to be able to take over the kingship in his stead. and (4) the fact that the divine order (in virtue of the various prophecies and circumstances of their fulfillment) is firmly implicated both in the commission and the discovery (hence "punishment") of these crimes. It is thus the result of a special sort of discrepancy in perspective. The chorus lent a sense of epic to the setting.

in spite of the fact that they (unlike we) are in agreement with him that intention not to commit the prophesied abominations does not absolve him from the pollution of having done so nevertheless.apply to and what the audience understands their scope actually to be that constitutes the effect the dramatic irony. • Another reason is that. it arises from sharp contrasts between reality and human ideals. by framing him as the murderer. would immediately recognize (as he eventually does) that the principle applies to him. he is ruled out as a suspect of Laios’ assassin. Creon does not want to be king at all. Oedipus constantly sees things incorrectly. In reality. or between human intentions and actual results. it would be grotesquely stretching the concept of "unconscious hypocrisy" to say that Oedipus is guilty of that at this moment. Because of Oedipus’s denial and stubbornness. The expression “irony of fate” stems from the notion that the gods (or the Fates) are amusing themselves by toying with the minds of mortals with deliberate ironic intent. Verbal irony Verbal irony is a figure of speech. dramatic irony is often present in Oedipus’ long speeches. The different sorts of discrepancy between the meaning of what is said and what is in fact on the particular occasion meant with it give rise to different kinds of verbal irony: According to A glossary of literary terms by Abrams and Hartman. • An effect of this is that Oedipus retains his ethical dignity. Oedipus refuses to believe that Iocaste is his mother. Oedipus assumes that. At the same time. . The resulting situation is poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended. in fact. even though all of the evidence points to him. and presumably for the original audience as well as for us -. Oedipus is in denial that he is guilty. • One reason is that even at this moment we know that Oedipus is the kind of person who. only to frustrate and mock them. Closely connected with situational irony. as he became a citizen of Thebes after the murder. or else fate is represented as though deliberately manipulating events so as to lead the protagonist to false hopes. he may be mistaken about the facts. he did not escape the fate he was told of at Delphi. under the circumstances in which he happens to have arrived in the situation in which the audience knows him to be. In another speech. That is. but he is not committed to a double standard. killed his father and married his mother. Oedipus here can in no way said to be self-deceived. Oedipus calls the man who did this an evil murder. This is first apparent when he demands the death of the man who killed Laios. This is a favourite structural device of Thomas Hardy. he enjoys his current position of wealth and power without any real responsibility. and that by escaping to Thebes. In Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. At this point. Irony of fate or Cosmic Irony: Cosmic irony or the irony of fate is attributed to literary works in which a deity. Oedipus accuses Creon of setting him up in order to get the throne. and is in denial that he has. if it were demonstrated to him that he has "sinned against kin" in the ways described. though he did kill someone. The speaker intends to be understood as meaning something that contrasts with the literal or usual meaning of what he says. he did suffer greatly and ‘commit the greatest sin’. A third occasion of irony in the speeches is Oedipus’s firm belief that the people who raised him were his biological parents.

An established formula for public worship. Verbal irony is also frequently used by Sophocles. Dramatic irony depends on the audience's knowing something that the character does not and verbal irony is presented when there is a contradiction between what a character says and what they mean. intelligent and strong willed. The audience becomes aware of Oedipus' prophecy from the very beginning of the play. This also demonstrates verbal irony because Oedipus is in fact. There are many instances of this in Oedipus' dialogue. He creates various situations in which dramatic and verbal irony play key roles in the downfall of Oedipus. In the Roman Catholic Church it includes all forms and services in any language. This distinction illustrates an important aspect of verbal irony speakers communicate implied propositions that are intentionally contradictory to the propositions contained in the words themselves. Such as the statement.Verbal irony is a statement in which the meaning that a speaker employs is sharply different from the meaning that is ostensibly expressed. The reading from the Oracle stated that Oedipus was destined to murder his father and marry his mother. but not to Oedipus. the reader knows the tragic future of the character. the truth. Both the clergy and laymen participated in the drama. Liturgy: -sacred rituals of the Church. for the celebration of Mass. These elements create the incredible journey of Oedipus' tragic life. This use of dramatic irony allows the story to avoid the typical Greek tragedy structure and keep the reader intrigued as the events unfold. The answers to his questions are visible to the audience. if a man exclaims. the liturgical drama was performed in the parvis in front of the church. Dramatic and verbal irony in Oedipus the king: Oedipus is self-confident. attitude or evaluation. and the variety of subjects was broadened. Ironically these are the very traits which bring about his demise. My search will never end until I take in chains the murderer of Laius". and often opposite. Both of these elements are used effectively to develop the tale of Oedipus. however. consisting of the staging of separate episodes from the Gospel. be situational irony). "I will fight for him like I would fight for my father. but with indications in the overall speech-situation that the speaker intends a very different. Liturgical Drama The liturgical drama was part of the Easter or Christmas church service (liturgy). But if the same speaker said the same words and intended to communicate that he was upset by claiming he was not. the liturgical drama was penetrated by realistic. For instance. the entire play could be said to be an example of dramatic irony. Throughout the story Oedipus searches for his identity. a formulary for public prayer or devotion. in which Oedipus is unaware that he is actually the murderer. or the entire ritual for public worship in a church which uses prescribed forms. by making use of dramatic and verbal irony. Gradually. “I’m not upset!” but reveals an upset emotional state through his voice while truly trying to claim he's not upset. as well as the goliards and tregetours. Sophocles illustrates these answers. who were given . In fact. The spectator aspect of the presentation was strengthened. it would not be verbal irony by virtue of its verbal manifestation (it would. The ironic statement usually involves the explicit expression of one attitude or evaluation. Sophocles makes use of many situations involving dramatic irony. Sophocles makes liberal use of irony throughout "Oedipus the King". the utterance would be verbal irony. Starting in 1210. Verbal irony is distinguished from situational irony and dramatic irony in that it is produced intentionally by speakers. in any part of the world. fighting for his father Laius. Scenes from the Old Testament and tales of saints and martyrs were included. everyday elements. Although Oedipus is unaware of his fate.

French. Mystery Plays: Mystery plays were Bible stories. Although they were supervised by aristocratic and church circles. Eventually the laity began to participate and vernacular elements were included. as part of the liturgy of the Church during the medieval period. Again.4 BCE–65 CE) in his nine plays based on Greek drama (especially that of Euripides). Or plays performed in Latin by the clergy and the choir that sang the service. The morality play has remained a cultural influence to some degree. and jurists. learned theologians. Presentations. bible stories were represented in church by means of live tableaux accompanied by singing. a genre of Western European religious theater of the late Middle Ages (14th to 16th centuries).roles of traders. Some sets for some plays were really elaborate. One stage was located right outside the local church. Each presentation was broken up. These plays were staged like the mystery plays. Actors performed these plays. From such simple beginnings. such as the plays of William Shakespeare. A morality play is a type of theater. As early as the fifth century. and further adapted by playwrights of the Italian. This was especially true of plays performed in the cathedrals. the clergy were the actors. The morality play can be considered an intermediate step between the biblical mystery plays of the medieval period and the secular theater of the later Renaissance. which generally took place in the public square. which were introduced into the plays by the performers. Morality Plays: Morality plays began with the rise of towns. Seneca's plays were almost certainly closet dramas intended for recitation rather than stage performance. Miracle Plays: Miracle plays were plays about the lives of the saints and the miracles they performed. Clergymen were the actors. The towns also produced miracle and mystery plays that were performed by actors. formerly introduced between the parts or acts of miracle and morality plays or given as part of other entertainments. good deeds. The audience moved from stage to stage. usually days when fairs were held. Sometimes. devils. and English Renaissance. Religious scenes alternated with comic everyday episodes. Senecan tragedy. which was common in medieval Europe. The Wise Men. It uses allegorical characters to teach the audience moral lessons. The stories included the Birth of Jesus. liturgical dramas developed gradually over several centuries as parts of the liturgy were embellished by “tropes” and then elaborated into dialogues and short reenactments of scenes from the Easter story and the Nativity. however. physicians. and staged all over town. there were no sets at all. most of whom were local amateurs. The most significant work was the “Mystery Play About Adam” (mid-12th century). There were four or five short mystery plays in each presentation. Some scenes were placed in different parts of town. and religious mysticism with the realities of everyday life. esp. The mystery plays were quite fun and very well attended by commoners and nobles alike. eventually gaining some kind of personal integrity. Interlude a short dramatic piece. typically of a Christian nature. though it has greatly waned in popularity. butchers. is still common in many works of theater and film. mystery plays were a form of popular art in which piety constantly clashed with blasphemy. a form of tragedy developed by the Roman philosopher‐poet Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c. and the Flight Into Egypt. and death. and so forth. The stories were about virtues and vices such as fellowship. in which an "everyman" character who is easy to relate to makes a journey and is influenced by characters along the way. of a light or farcical character. Another scene might be staged in a wagon that was pulled through town. were organized by town authorities and artisans’ guilds to coincide with town celebrations. Composed in five . Mystery plays were most highly developed in France. They were based on biblical stories and written by priests. The basic premise of the morality play. The backdrop of the cathedral was the setting.

motives. disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present. who presented such horrors on stage in their revenge tragedies. Soliloquy Soliloquy . dramatic traditions of the age . including ghosts and horrible crimes. they became the models for the revival of tragedy on the Renaissance stage. Blank verse is often unobtrusive and the iambic pentameter form often resembles the rhythms of ordinary speech.both drew inspiration from Seneca. coined by St. notably in Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville's Gorboduc (1561).) dramas. meaning “to speak. and his moral hairsplitting.e.followed its lead in this. According to wikipedia Senecan tragedy is a body of ten 1st century (A. meaning “alone. The Elizabethan dramatists found Seneca's themes of bloodthirsty revenge more congenial to English taste than they did his form. which can all be traced back to the Senecan model. the first English tragedy. but very different. a corpse-strewn climax.” and loqui.” aside . is a chain of slaughter and revenge written in direct imitation of Seneca. French Neoclassical dramatic tradition. These were preceded by a purer form of English Senecan tragedy. D. his substitution of speech for action. with important actions being recounted by messengers. Augustine.acts with intervening choruses. These Neoclassicists adopted Seneca's innovation of the confidant (usually a servant).) Senecan influence is also evident in Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy and Shakespeare's Hamlet: both share a revenge theme. Rediscovered by Italian humanists in the mid-16th century. the Bishop of Hippo. The term is from the Late Latin soliloquium. The Senecan tragedy also focuses heavily on the supernatural elements. each of which consists of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (iamb). Blank Verse Definition of Blank Verse Blank Verse is Poetry that is written in unrhymed iambic pentameter.a speech delivered by a character in a play or other literature while alone. Iambic pentameter is one of the most popular metrical schemes in English poetry. Iambic pentameter: Each line of verse has five feet (pentameter). Gorboduc (1561). The first English tragedy.French Neoclassical tragedy and Elizabethan tragedy . of which eight were written by the Roman Stoic philosopher and politician L. Gorboduc does follow the form as well as the subject matter of Senecan tragedy: but only a very few other English plays . William Shakespeare wrote most of his plays in blank verse. and ghosts among the cast. which reached its highest expression in the 17th-century tragedies of Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine. appealed to the popular English dramatists of the late 16th century. This technique is frequently used to disclose a character’s innermost feeling. or an utterance by a person who is talking to him/herself. they employ long rhetorical speeches. Their bloodthirsty plots. The two great. such as thoughts. The conventional five‐act structure of Renaissance drama owes its origin to the influence of Seneca. by Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton. The Misfortunes of Arthur . and intentions or to provide information needed by the audience or reader. drew on Seneca for form and grandeur of style.g. (As it happens. state of mind. Annaeus Seneca (Seneca the Younger). from the Greek monologia which was derived by combining solus.

iv. the aside. For example. is a convention in medieval romances. both inside of a character's mind and in the plot of the play. the division of a play into acts and scenes is a dramatic convention. It is a device used so that the audience gets to hear the candid. The other characters pretend to not hear and we the audience get to listen in on the thoughts. Trebonius is told to stay close to Caesar's side and he replies to Caesar: "Caesar. and the soliloquy are conventions in Elizabethan tragedy. inner thoughts of the characters. in Othello. but everyone pretends that Caesar does not hear Trebonius' threatening words. and so on. The wandering knight-errant who travels from place to place. for instance. In western films of the early twentieth-century. seeking adventure while suffering from the effects of hunger and the elements.An aside is words spoken to the audience or perhaps to another character while other characters are on stage. through usage and time. The use of a chorus and the unities are dramatic conventions of Greek tragedy. literary. abab. flashbacks and foreshadowing are examples of literary conventions. or dramatic./That your best friends shall wish I had been further. I will (and in an aside to the audience) and so near will I be. . to be recognized as a familiar technique. Iago gives several asides. that is not supposed to be heard by other actors on stage. aside (uh-SIDE): an actor’s speech." (II. efef. cdcd. In Harlequin romances. directed to the audience. as are soliloquies and asides. For example. An aside is usually used to let the audience know what a character is about to do or what he or she is thinking. It is a convention for an English sonnet to have fourteen lines with a specific rhyme scheme. depending upon whether the convention appears in a poem. 124-125) The audience hears everything. informing the audience of his plans and how he will try to achieve his goals. Asides are important because they increase an audience's involvement in a play by giving them vital information pertaining what is happening. Conventions are often referred to as poetic. Convention A characteristic of a literary genre (often unrealistic) that is understood and accepted by audiences because it has come. CONVENTION: A common feature that has become traditional or expected within a specific genre (category) of literature or film. while. gg. In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. it is conventional to focus on a male and female character who struggle through misunderstandings and difficulties until they fall in love. or a play. it has been conventional for protagonists to wear white hats and antagonists to wear black hats. short story or novel.

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