The Evolution Of Drama Essay Research Paper

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The Evolution Of Drama Essay, Research Paper Western drama has evolved much since its development and introduction into Greek society. In it?s earliest form drama was a free and artistic endeavor. Writers wrote for their love of the art and to express their own personal beliefs. However, as drama proliferated across the western world, and over the centuries, it became a way for those who were financially affluent to show off their wealth. In the renaissance drama returned to its roots, and again writers wrote for their love of the art and their own personal inspirations. This change was inspired by the redistribution of wealth from a small noble class to a larger middle and upper class making a writers services more affordable to the masses. Since then, with the arrival of

mass publication, modern writers write in a more holistic manner. They take on topics of personal value to themselves and topics that they feel are relevant to the problems of society. A good example of early Greek dramatic style is Sophocles?s, ?Oedipus the King.? The major themes of this play are blindness and fate. The tragedy incorporates the Greek properties of drama as it echoes ideas and story line from ancient Greek legend. The theme common of Greek legend is that above all else fate is far too powerful to be manipulated by man?s effort. Moving ahead nearly 20 centuries, to the Elizabethan era, dramatic style reverts to its purest form based on the works of the Greeks and the Romans. William Shakespeare?s ?King Lear,? incorporates the dramatic styles of the renaissance,

and therefore the Greeks, by referring to legend in the form of a proverb. The aforementioned proverb is that ?you never know what you have until you?ve lost it.” In addition, ?King Lear? puts forth new concepts of dramatic writing style by being written in prose. Also, Shakespeare utilized iambic pentameter in the crafting of his work, which was another style new to the world of theatre. Another example of Renaissance writing is Moliere?s ?Tartuffe.? This again refers back to Greek theatre, however, it mirrors a different form than that in ?King Lear.? ?Tartuffe? is a satire. It criticizes the so called morality of society by presenting a character who is essentially a professional hypocrite. Thus, the work ridicules societal behavior by bringing to light mankind?s flaws. It

targets especially the French upper class poking fun at its egotistical ways. The transition from traditional drama to modern drama is made evident through the works of Buchner, Shange, and Beckett. These plays each address a separate, self-standing aspect of modern drama, however, focusing on a common theme, they all look deep into the souls of man and attempt to decipher the code that is human behavior. Unlike traditional dramatists these writers do not write in a set style as writers of the Elizabethan era did, rather, they write according to their own personal interests and for their own motives. George Buchner?s ?Woyzeck? is a perfect example of the modern concept of psychological drama. In his work, Buchner details how a life with little or no meaning can affect a man

emotionally. The story centers around the character Woyzeck, who sees nothing to live for and nothing worth accomplishing; nothing except love. Unconditional love is the only hope that he is able to conjure up because he believes that love can free him from a meaningless existence. However, once this final hope is shattered two tragic victims are introduced into the plot-line, the psychologically disturbed Woyzeck, and the victim of domestic violence, Marie, thus leading to one of the aspects that classifies this play as tragic. Buchner not only portrays his protagonist as a tragic hero, but also successfully exemplifies his victim as a tragic character. The use of multiple tragic characters is a modern aspect of drama because classical works of tragedy contained only one tragic