Personification involves giving inanimate items human feeling or attributes. But even with all the devices of the past, it is well- nigh impossible in a one-act play or in an act of one setting to create the feeling that much time has passed. . An act can be sub-divided into scenes. In the same scene, Antony, absorbed in adoration of Cleopatra, cries, when interrupted by a messenger from Rome, “Grates me; the sum.” Here we need the action of the speaker, his in- tonation, and his facial expression, if the speech is to have its full value. Riverside Literature Series. Now that soliloquy and the aside have nearly gone out of use, the dramatist, when compared with the novelist, seems, at first thought, greatly hampered in his expression. Another is the 'thunder and lightening' used to make Ariel's entrance during the harpy scene much more dramatic and powerful as the sound creates fear and shocks the audience. man : Ps yaa DRAMATIC TECHNIQUE BY GEORGE PIERCE BAKER PROFESSOR OF DRAMATIC LITERATURE IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY “eA good play is certainly the most rational and the highest Entertainment that Human Invention can produce.” COLLEY CIBBER HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY BOSTON NEWYORK CHICAGO Che Hivergide Press Cambridge COPYRIGHT, I919, BY GEORGE PIERCE BAKER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED The author acknowledges courteous permission to quote passages from copyright plays as credited to various authors and publishers in the footnotes. It can do something, but only a little, to develop the technique that is highly individual. Each dramatist worked sincerely, believing the technique that he used would give him best, with the public he had in mind, his desired effects. Glossary of Dramatic Terms Note: The Glossary is in alphabetical order. Historically studied, the English drama shows that char- acterization appeared as an added interest when the inter- est of action was already well established. The differences brought about by the greater speed, greater compactness, and greater vividness of the drama, with its impersonality, its codperative nature, its appeal to the group rather than to the individual, create the fundamental technique which distinguishes the drama from the novel. The technique of any dramatist may be defined, roughly, as his ways, methods, and devices for getting his desired ends. A thoroughly sympathetic and finely imaginative producer may, like an equally endowed actor, reveal genuine values in the play unsuspected even by the dramatist himself. Detailed consideration of the one-act play has been reserved for later special treatment. This book tries in the light of historical practice merely to distinguish the permanent from the impermanent in technique. The contents of this book were originally brought together from notes for the classroom as eight lectures delivered be- fore the Lowell Institute, Boston, in the winter of 1913. When all is said and done, this time difficulty caused by the greater vividness of stage presentation remains the chief obstacle in the way of the dramatist who would write of TECHNIQUE IN DRAMA ml a sequence of historical events or of evolution or devolution in character. As Sir Arthur Pinero has said, “The art — the great and fasci- nating and most difficult art — of the modern dramatist is nothing else than to achieve that compression of life which the stage undoubtedly demands, without falsification.” ? Why, however, is it impossible that some time should be saved a would-be dramatist by placing before him, not mere theories of play-writing, but the practice of the dramatists of the past, so that what they have shared in common, and where their practice has differed, may be clear to him? Now, when a young actor helps me, I adapt one of my novels to the stage and this bastard art immediately makes it possible for me to buy automobiles.” Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, toward the end of his life, to Mr. Sidney TECHNIQUE IN DRAMA 15 Colvin, “No, I will not write a play for Irving nor for the devil. Is it not odd that most adaptations of successful stories and most noveliza- tions of successful plays are failures? DRAMATIC TECHNIQUES The sequence proceeds from sensory/concentration activities to movement/pantomime, dialogue, characterization and improvisation/story playing. Discuss the dramatic techniques in Death of a Salesman.From a technical point of view, Miller was welcomed by those involved in the practical craft of theatre. Secondly, there is the special technique of a period, such as the Elizabethan, the Restoration, the period of Scribe and his influence, etc. 234 MEDVOATOGUIGuLci fe. Bright light can create a happy, even surreal effect on stage. An uncomprehending and self-willed pro- ducer may easily so confuse the values of a well-written play as to ruin its chances. Comparison of the religious and social ideals of the Greeks with those of Shakespeare’s au- dience, Congreve’s public, Tom Robertson’s, or the public of today shows the truth of the second.! That is all this book attempts. Act: A major division in a play. Too much knowledge ham- pers. It is the poorer dramatists — Dryden, Jonson, Chapman — who, using their characters as mouthpieces, reveal their own personalities. Kismet, Mr. Knobloch frankly states, was modeled on the loosely constructed Elizabethan plays intended primarily to tell a story of varied and ex- citing incident. The value of dialogue for its own sake was recognized even later. 154 . Play-readers and producers, however, seem not so sure of this distinction, for they are often heard saying: “The plays we receive divide into two classes: those competently written, but trite in subject and treatment; those in some way fresh and interesting, but so badly written that they cannot be produced.” Some years ago, Mr. Savage, the manager, writing in The Bookman on “The United States of Playwrights,” said: “In answer to the question, ‘Do the great majority of these persons know anything at all of even the fundamentals of dramatic construction?’ the managers and agents who read the manuscripts unanimously agree in the negative. Shakespeare's key dramatic techniques in Macbeth include: The Supernatural. _ Just as dialogue for the stage is incomplete without the ® % 12, DRAMATIC TECHNIQUE actor, so, too, the stage direction needs filling out. (Ward in Wright 1985) DRAMATIC TECHNIQUES • Ward placed an emphasis on the external skills which children display through that process: characterization, development of When he has mastered the first technique, and from the second has made his own what he finds useful in it, he is likely to pass to the third, his individual additions. AndI have done it a long while, — and nothing ever came of it.” ? He, too, has his Love’s Labor’s Lost, or Feast at Solhaug. The technique of the plays of Corneille and Racine, even though they base their dramatic theory on classical practice, differs from the Greek and from Seneca. MaxineG A SCENARIO Ps athe lal Ae) Mie d aeeaeD . This difference applies in our attitude toward moral questions as treated in books or on the stage. He never can use description, narration, analy- sis, and personal comment as his own. Only when he has stood the tests of these Masters is he the matured artist. 1 Robert Louis Stevenson : the Dramatist, p. 30. Aristotle considered these six things to be essential to good drama: • Plot: This is what happens in the play. The limitations of any such at- tempt I fully recognize. When they see this, let them set down the thu- ribles that they have carried within that same sepulchre, and take up the cloth and hold it up before the clergy, and, as if in testimony that the Lord has risen and is not now wrapped therein, let them sing this antiphon : The Lord has risen from the tomb, Who for us was crucified, and let them lay the cloth upon the altar. Act One of the main divisions of the play. Dramatic techniques include literary devices and staging elements determined by the playwright, director or stage manager. The influence of the Greek drama on The Servant tn the House is unmistakable. Today we hear much discussion whether it is what is done, 7.e. In the drama, the soldier’s persuasions do not seem nearly so subtle, importunate, triumphant, as in the story. In turn the drama which aimed to copy them, the so-called Heroic Plays of England from 1660 TECHNIQUE IN DRAMA 3 to 1700, differed. Indranil Sarkar Assam, India 2. Contemporary technology takes dramatic techniques to a new level. download 1 file . It is the art and techniques of dramatic compositions . The dramatic structure [s various aspects such as … Sometimes you need to adopt an unfamiliar accent or use slang naturally; other times you must change your pitch to com… The character of the matron in the story pro- vokes a not unpleasant sarcastic smile at the audacity of wedded love; in the drama this becomes repulsive, horrible. Having said this, however, let him rise and lift the veil, and show them the place empty of the cross, but the clothes, only, laid there with which the cross was wrapped. It is just for that reason that short stories are easier dramatized than long novels. He may use them only in the comparatively rare instances when they befit the character speaking. Find the best information and most relevant links on all topics related to Lyric poetry consists in meditation or highly wrought description taking such forms as odes, sonnets, hymns, — poetry that lends itself to elaborate rhythms and other devices of musical art: here the music is the element of the Ballad Dance which has come to the front. For the moment the better the imitation, the better he is satisfied; but shortly he discovers that somehow the managers or the public, if » % 2 DRAMATIC TECHNIQUE his play gets by the managers, seem to have very little taste for great dramatists at second hand. It was an art which used bodily motion to convey thought: as in speech the tongue artic- ulated words, so in dancing the body swayed and gesticu- lated into meaning. Though aiming at a real diffi- culty, this device missed because it so vulgarized the original. It does not deal with theories of what the drama, present or future, might or should be. They are the qualities which make a play a play. This is “The School of Experience.” Though a long and painful method of training, it has had, undeniably, many distin- guished graduates. ...In epic poetry, where thought takes the form of simple narrative, the speech (Greek epos) of the Ballad Dance triumphs over the other two elements. The use of effective lighting can support a drama. The dramatist must TECHNIQUE IN DRAMA 13 move, not a considerable number of individuals, but at least the great majority of his audience. The use of supernatural forces within Macbeth goes well beyond the role played by the witches in Act 1 Scenes 1 and 3. Go ye, announcing that he has risen from the dead. Witness, too, the change late in that cen- tury from the widespread influence of Scribe to the almost equally widespread influence of Ibsen. Dramatic techniques are used in multiple ways by Miller to convey different angles of the story while lighting patterns follow the dialogue or music to exhibit the play [s mood. <> The mere possibility of such an action diverted us; its reality shows it in all its atrocity; the suggestion amused our fancy, the execution revolts our feelings, we turn our backs to the stage and say with the Lykas of Petronius, without being in Lykas’s peculiar posi- tion: ‘Had the emperor been just, he would have restored the body of the father to its tomb and crucified the woman.’ And she seems to us the more to deserve this punishment, the less art the poet has expended on her seduction, for we do not then condemn in her weak woman in general, but an especially volatile, worthless female in particular.” + As Lessing points out, in the printed page we can stand a free treatment of social question after social question which on the stage we should find revolting. Often, in whole-hearted admiration, he gives him- self to close imitation of Shakespeare, one of the great Greek dramatists, Ibsen, Shaw, or Brieux. Made as concise as possible by the dramatist, it is meant to be packed with meaning, not only for the actor, but for the producer. action, or characterization, or dialogue which most interests a public. The stories that Shakespeare chose for his plays are practically summaries. A novel we read at one or a half-dozen sittings, as we please. Study of the technique of a special period, if the temper of his public closely resembles the inter- ests, prejudices, and ideals of the period he studies, may give him even larger results. Otherwise the book attempts to treat helpfully the many problems which the would-be dramatist must face in learning the funda- mentals of a very difficult but fascinating art. “I have found it very useful, when asked to dramatize a novel, not to read it myself, but to get some one else to read it and tell me about it. If I were to write a play on Hamilton, I would look up an article in an encyclopeedia; then make a scenario; then read detailed biographies. Then he, He is not here; he has risen, as was foretold. Like the dramatist, they must understand char- TECHNIQUE IN DRAMA 5 acterization and dialogue or they could not have written suc- cessful stories. novelist — to make a rough generalization — works through the individual, the dramatist through the group. The characters are blind to facts, but the reader is not. Climax The crisis or high point of tension that becomes the … Then he added his magic. ‘ This begun, all the bells are rung together, at the end of which let the priest say the verse, In thy resurrection, O Christ, as far as this word, and let him begin Matins, saying, O Lord, hasten to my aid! Where? The repetition of the words “What if…” at the beginning of each line reinforces the speaker’s confusion and fear. Which is the chief essential in good drama? Tur DRAMATIST AND HIS PUBLIC bid Sands . In the story we picture to ourselves a sensitive little woman who is really in earnest in her grief, but succumbs to temptation TECHNIQUE IN DRAMA 9 and to her temperament, her weakness seems the weakness of her sex, we therefore conceive no especial hatred towards her, we deem that what she does nearly every woman would have done. The italics in the following show the action; the roman type the dialogue. The theatre in which the play is presented also produces differences between the practice of the dramatist and that of the novelist. At first untrained and groping blindly for the means to his ends, he moves to a technique based on study of successful drama- tists who have preceded him. Twofold: first, as promptly as possible to win the attention of the audience; secondly, to hold that interest steady or, better, to increase it till the final curtain falls. The . . A dramatic device is anything that drives the action. Nor, as the drama develops, does physical action cease to be central. Most of the problems, and much of the Why, however, should men or women who have already written stories long or short declared by competent people to be “dramatic,” make any special study of the technique of plays? type of therapy that uses theatrical techniques and concepts to bring about meaningful change Mere lectures, no matter how good, will not make the students productive. Bohn ed. Resting on what he knows of the ele- ments common to all good drama, alert to the significance of the hints which the special practice of any period may give him, he thinks his way to new methods and devices for get- ting with his public his desired effects. From that he should move to a technique that is his own, a mingling of much out of the past and an adaptation of past practice to his own needs. Chiswick Press, London. The motivation that was easy for the novelist as he explained how profoundly Blanche was moved by winning words or persuasive action of Denis, becomes almost impossible unless the words and action when seen and heard are for us equally winning and persuasive. The stage appeals to both eye and ear. There will be very little to alter and only a certain amount of touches to add.” If, in accordance with this suggestion, an adapter would plan out in scenario the mere story of the novel he wishes to adapt for the stage, would then transfer to his scenario only so much of the novel as perfectly fits the needs of the stage; and finally with the aid of the original author, would rewrite the portions which can be used only in part, and with him compose certain parts entirely anew, we should have a much larger proportion of permanently successful adaptations. stream Dramatic Irony occurs when the reader knows a secret, but the characters in a play or work of fiction do not. 4 0 obj In his plays, we find challenge and convention, boldness and caution, daring technical experiment and poetic dialogues. Dramatic techniques are used by the playwright to enhance meaning and understanding amongst the audience. CONTENTS TECHNIQUE IN Drama: WuatiT is. Writers for radio next learned how to suggest place and time by word of mouth, accompanied by the impressionistic use of sound and music. Even if his choice of topic be fresh, the young dramatist inevitably studies the dramatic practice just pre- ceding his time, or that of some remoter period which at- tracts him, for models on which to shape the play he has in mind. Sir A. Pinero. 2 0 obj CLEARING THE Way . Usually, it is peculiarly inimitable and elusive because the result of a particular temperament working on problems of the drama peculiar to a special time. He reads and sees past and present plays, probably in large numbers. Tur EssEnTIALS oF Drama: AcTION AND Emotion . 18 DRAMATIC TECHNIQUE Obviously in this little play the directions for imitative movement fill three quarters of the space; dialogue fills one quarter; characterization, except as the accompanying music may very faintly have suggested it, there is none. CHAPTER II THE ESSENTIALS OF DRAMA: ACTION AND EMOTION Wuat is the common aim of all dramatists? How is he to win this attention? Dramatic techniques are used by the playwright to enhance meaning and understanding amongst the audience. The real dancing of the Greeks is a lost art, of which the modern ballet is a corruption, and the orator’s action a faint survival. the Lord is risen. SCRIBE SCANDATA ZIP download. “An Aleut, who was armed with a bow, represented a hunter, another a bird. Some drama techniques can be used in devising and rehearsing plays. THE DRAMA AS AN INDEPENDENT ART Tuis book treats drama which has been tested before the public or which was written to be so tested. a ae her Pete ts - x 4 Py j Ve . The teacher who is not widely eclectic in his tastes will at best produce writers with an easily recog- Vi PREFACE nizable stamp. It is undeniable that the novelist and the dramatist start with}common elements — the story, the characters, and the dialogue. 809 . . The other imitated the motions of a bird seeking to escape the hunter. * ® 10 DRAMATIC TECHNIQUE only a few minutes have elapsed. First there are certain essentials which all good plays, from Aschylus to Lord Dunsany, share at least in part. Includes bibliographical reference and indexes Télécharger gratuit Dramatic technique pdf. The whole situation is ad- mirably summed up in a letter of Edward Knobloch, au- thor of Kismet. The classroom permits a teacher such adaptations of existing PREFACE Vv usage. 47 . In a story or novel, mere clearness would demand more because the author could not be sure that the reader would hit the right intonation or feel the gesture which must accompany the words. It is also a dramatic irony for the people to think that the person lying on the stone of sacrifice is Wara while it’s actually Parker. The human voice quickens the imagi- nation as the mere printed page cannot in most cases. 1 0 obj On the other hand, the greatest dramatists, such as Shakespeare and Moliére, in their plays reveal singularly little of themselves. It does not con- cern itself with plays, past or present, intended primarily to be read — closet drama. Though the author writes the play, it cannot be properly judged till the producer stages it, the players act it, and the audience approves or disapproves of it. It aims to show what successful drama has been in differ- ent countries, at different periods, as written by men of highly individual gifts. ‘ 6 DRAMATIC TECHNIQUE vised form and order as shall, within the limits of an ordi- nary theatrical representation, give rise to the greatest pos- sible amount of that peculiar kind of emotional effect, the production of which is the one great function of the theatre.”! in full detail for himself, An intelligent producer who reads the play with comprehension but follows only the letter of the stage directions gives a production no more than adequate at best. As long as they stirred his imagination, that was all he asked of them. While the third respond is chanted, let the three others approach, all alike vested an copes, bearing thuribles, (censers) with incense in their hands, and, with hesitating steps, in the semblance of persons seeking something, let them come before the place of the sepulchre. That is, the drama of any past time, if studied carefully, must reveal the essen- tials of the drama throughout time It must reveal, too, methods and devices effective for the public of its time, but not effective at present. \ What the dramatist selects for presentation must be more productive of immediate effect 1 Robert Louis Stevenson: The Dramatist, p. 7. endobj It is the attempt to reproduce exactly on the stage the most popular parts of successful novels which has made many an adaptation a failure sur- prising to author and adapter. 829-330. Irony, foreshadowing, paradox and the aside are some examples of dramatic devices. This de- mands very skilful selection among his materials to gain his desired effects in the quickest possible ways. Just what is it? Throughout the centuries a very different technique has distinguished them. Today we regard the stage, as we should, as plastic. His- tory shows indisputably that the drama in its beginnings, no matter where we look, depended most on action. that enhances the meaning of a detail in a literary work. From Supsect THROUGH Story To Piotr. 1 Early Plays, pp. From Supsect to Prot: Proportionine THE MATE- RIAL: NUMBER AND LeNeTH or ACTS sepa . A dramatic device is a convention used in drama as a substitution for reality that the audience accepts as real although they know them to be false. The prac- tice of the past provides satisfactory principles for students of ordinary endowment. Few untrained imaginations respond quickly enough to feel the full significance of the printed page of the play. In the drama, so far as the dramatist is concerned, we must travel alone. Dramatic technique by Baker, George Pierce, 1866-1935. This acrid fable is well known; it is un- questionably the bitterest satire that was ever made on fe- male frivolity. While the third lesson is being chanted, let four brothers vest them- selves, one of whom, vested in an alb, enters as if to do something, and, in an inconspicuous way, approaches the place where the sep- ulchre is, and there holding a palm in his hand, sits quiet. They were carefully reworked for later lectures before audiences in Brooklyn and Philadelphia. The dramatist has no time to waste. In all creative courses the problem is not, “What can we make these students take from us, the teach- ers?” but, “Which of these students has any creative power that is individual? Be- cause, first, the dramatist is using a stage different from that of his forebears, and, secondly, because he is writing for a public of different standards in morals and art. j If their common ability to discern in their story or characters possible emotional interests for other people, their so-called “dramatic sense,” is “to achieve success on the stage it must be developed into theatrical talent by hard study and generally by long practice. Dramatic devices create a particular mood or emphasize points in storytelling. Greek plays were not divided into acts. I have written for the person who cannot be content ex- cept when writing plays. Imitation of this individual technique in most instances results, like wearing the tailor- made clothes of a friend, in a palpable misfit. Sud- denly the dead bird rose, turned into a beautiful woman, and fell into the hunter’s arms.” ” Look where we will, then, — at the beginnings of drama in Greece, in England centuries later, or among savage peoples today — the chief essential in winning and holding the attention of the spectator was imitative movement by the actors, that is, physical action. The earliest extant specimen of drama in England, circa 967, shows clearly the essential relations of action, characteriza- tion, and dialogue in drama at its outset. Dramatic devices were not invented by Shakespeare as a drama would not hold up without them: the plays of Shakespeare’s predecessors and contemporaries used them, but one of the reasons that Shakespeare’s plays are so gripping and suspenseful is that he was a master of the dramatic device. Than long novels with un- quickened pulse of horror after horror armed with a bow, represented a hunter another. 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