Classical and Early Drama & Plays
Classical era drama was often more informal than its modern counterpart. It often dealt with cunning and foolish peasants, and often delved into relationships between master and servant or husband and wife. With the development of the law in England, the movement toward professionalism was accelerated. The rise of the theatre in the modern era, however, ushered in a new era of drama.
The distinction between classical and early drama is significant, especially when considering the period in which Shakespeare wrote. The first tragedies, such as Julius Caesar, were written in 1599, and Shakespeare would continue to develop his themes through the years. The tragedies were different from early drama because they dealt with national affairs and high-born characters. However, his late tragedies, such as The Winter's Tale, are similar to medieval romance literature, focusing on romantic conflicts and happy endings.
While Shakespeare was not a classical dramatist, he did read works by the Romans and English writers, and knew the five-act structure. Despite this, he wrote plays with continuous structures and rejected the neo-classical structure. In other words, Shakespeare wrote plays for actors that would work well with their voice and acting abilities. As a result, the dramatic structure of Shakespeare's plays is still the most popular type of play in the world.
There are several reasons for the popularity of Shakespeare. Although many people enjoyed his plays, he also had a number of detractors, which led to the production of his plays from 1592 until 1613. The dates are a bit fuzzy because of the lack of written records. Despite the fact that Shakespeare was a prolific writer, there are still many questions to answer about his life and his works. In particular, there are several myths and misconceptions about his life.
Aristophanes' comedy can be categorized as either a realistic or a fantasy genre. The former describes the playwright's freedom in selecting the chorus, whereas the latter calls attention to the constant interplay between sexual and political discourse. Aristophanes' plays are notable for their satirical nature, but they also offer a fascinating look at how society and politics intersect with the playwright's world view.
The plays of Aristophanes often feature an independent-minded hero. They are typically portrayed as a self-reliant and resourceful individual with the characteristics of a hero from Homer's Odyssey or the farmer in Hesiod's Works and Days. They suffer from corrupt leaders and devise fanciful escapes to find their way out of a predicament.
Aristophanes' works were produced for two reasons: to entertain his audience, and to compete in prestigious contests. Many of his plays were written to win prizes at Athens dramatic festivals. These plays were judged and awarded prizes in competition with other comic dramatists. To avoid corruption, elaborate lotteries were used to choose winners. In the City Dionysia, there were five judges and five plays were selected.
Comedy in ancient Greece lasted for three periods: the Athenian period and the Middle Comedy. The Athenian period has eleven plays surviving; the New Comedy is known mainly through the work of Menander, and the Middle Comedy is characterized by short fragments of works by Athenaeus of Naucratis. Aristophanes' plays survive in both periods.
The earliest known Greek playwright was Euripides, who was born in 423 BCE in Sparta. Throughout his life, he was the most prolific and widely read Greek playwright, and is the author of more papyri than any other Greek poet except Homer. Euripides won five dramatic prizes and was reputed to have had a library and spent time in a cave near the city of Salamis.
The most famous playwright from the Ancient Greek period, Euripides introduced many innovations into Greek drama, including the New Comedy in the fourth century bce. These plays resemble modern playwrights more than Athens' Golden Age dramas. Euripides humanized the gods and emphasized human beings, and adapted standard mythic subjects. This resulted in a dramatic style more like ours than that of his contemporaries.
While Euripides' plays were steeped in agonies, they were also highly entertaining. While the audience might find the tragedies to be irritating, they were nonetheless enthralling, and the Dionysia became a major event throughout the Aegean region. Euripides' relationship with his audience was fruitful, but ultimately doomed. While the plays of Euripides reappear in theaters throughout the world, they remain an excellent way to study early drama.
Aristotle's story proves that Euripides was wealthy and engaged in various public activities. He traveled to Sicily and Greece and was engaged in many public activities. He eventually left Athens to live in Macedonia, where he was invited by King Archelaus I of Macedon. As a result, he faced ridicule and acrimony. Despite the scandalous nature of his tragedies, Euripides was still considered a major player in early Greek drama.
Jean Racine's plays
One of the three greatest playwrights of the seventeenth century, Jean Racine was a master of tragedy. His most well-known tragedies are Andromaque and Esther for the Young. The latter was written in the late seventeenth century and is considered a classic of early French drama. But, his plays are not confined to tragedies. Racine wrote comedies as well, including the famous Phedre.
Although his plays were widely popular during his lifetime, they were attacked by some critics for their crude realism and focus on passion. Racine was able to overcome these criticisms and eventually eclipsed Corneille in 1674. Boileau, an influential French critic, wrote an essay comparing the two writers, noting that the later was a far superior tragedy. In the process, Racine brought classical stage characters to life, bringing the complexity of their interior conflicts into sharp focus.
The tragic action of Racine's tragedies is often driven by politics and passion. The succession plots of seventeenth-century monarchical France naturally attracted the interest of the audience. Racine's plays feature legitimate pretenders who are also identical twins. La Thebaide, meanwhile, centres on the two sons of Oedipus, who kill each other in mortal combat and attack their native city of Thebes. Racine's play examines the resulting hatred between the brothers and the alienation.
The Atellan farce, also known as the Oscan Games, was a genre of low comedy that originated in Atella, Campania, and was imported to Rome in 391 BC. The farce featured characters reading lines of the Oscan language, which eventually evolved into Punch and Judy and Commedia Dell'Arte. They were typically performed after a tragedy and represented the lower classes.
The Atellan farce is closely related to commedia dell'arte, which developed in late Renaissance Italy and became popular throughout Europe. Both genres of comedy often feature stock characters, improvisation, and comedy masks. Characters also share similar physical features and personalities. The Atellan farce is a great example of classical & early drama & plays. Here are some examples:
The Atellan genre began during the reign of Sulla. Early exponents included L.*Pomponius and *Novius. Aprissius and Mummius are also mentioned. Mummius revived the genre in later times. It continued to be performed until Juvenal. And while there are numerous examples of Atellan farce in classical & early drama & plays, the genre is best known for its satire and heightened emotions.
The word "farce" was first used to describe improvised buffoonery in the late 15th century. It was originally used to refer to the comic bits inserted in religious plays. Later, farce became a genre on its own, spreading throughout Europe. Similarly, Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors incorporated elements of farce. However, farce is generally considered inferior to comedy.
In the classical era, Atellan farce was a popular form of Greek-style comedy. The Greek-style farce was known as fabulae palliatae and reigned from 240 BCE to 120 BCE. Atellan farces featured comedy, tragedy, and other themes based on Greek myths and legends. These plays often featured comic characters who acted out their tragic fates in hilarious ways.
The Atellan farce is thought to be the first example of improvised theatrical performances. It is also the earliest known instance of improvisational theatrical performance. It inspired future generations of artists and provided valuable information about ancient theatrical advances. In fact, it is the oldest surviving form of improvisation in the world. Let's examine some of the key elements of this ancient genre.
The Atellan tragedy has many aspects in common with Greek tragedies. The play begins with a character crisis, known by Aristotle as PERIPETEIA. Cassandra's graphic prophecy of Agamemnon's murder provides the shocking counterpoint. The play also features several other classic tragedies, including the Peloponnesian War.