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Drama
Its Origin,
Growth
&
Development
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI
M . P h i l . E n g l i s h
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 1
Drama
The word “drama” is derived from the
Greek word “dran” means to do, to
perform; a kin to Greek “drainein” means to
b...
Definition of Drama
Drama is an imitation of life in which dialogues and acting
are in full consonance with real life wher...
Functions of Drama
• Drama is said to have originated from rituals.
• It presents a story realistically through the actors...
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 5
Play on AIDS Awareness
Play on Drug Abuse Awareness
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 6
Stage Performance on Child Abuse Awareness
Drama on Hand Washing Awareness
Origin of Drama
It is commonly believed that the art of drama is
western form of literature and it has been originated
fro...
Origin of Drama…
Some modem researches indicated that some knowledge of the
drama may have come from Egypt where it is kno...
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 9
Origin of Drama…
o Scholars are divided on the origin of drama Some
trace the origin to Greece but others insist that dram...
Origin of Drama…
Western Theatre
The origins of Western drama can be traced to the
celebratory music of 6th-century BC Att...
Greek Drama
6th century BCE – was worship of the Greek god Dionysus
◦ Dionysus – god of wine (pleasure god)
◦ Had two side...
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 13
Thalia + Melpomene Masks
These performances evolved into dramatic contests
◦ Lasted 5-6 days.
◦ Last three days four plays were performed
◦ 3 trage...
Held in the open on hillsides surrounding a circular
area called the orchestra
Wooden seats were added, then stone
Some th...
oExplain the situation
oBring the audience up-to-date
oMake a commentary on the action
oEngage in dialogue with the actors...
Aeschylus
o Expanded number of actors, reduced the
size of the chorus
o Only surviving trilogy – the Oresteia
•Sophocles
•...
Euripides
o Emphasized human relationships
o Master of pathos – human sorrow and compassion
o Author of The Trojan Women a...
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 19
Menander
was a Greek dramatist and the best-known representative of Athenian
New Comedy. He wrote ...
Roman Drama
Most were just copies of Greek Drama
Andronicus – first “Roman” playwright, an author
from a Greek colony
◦ Fi...
Roman Dramatist
Where the Greek dramatists were writing for festival
presentation and the kudos that would ensue, the
Roma...
AMPHITHEATRE
Medieval Drama
Battle between Christian religions (Catholicism mostly) and Pagan religions. Trying to “reform” the
world. ...
Medieval Drama
Performed on platforms called mansions.
◦ Three mansions represented Heaven, Hell and the Sea of Galilee
Me...
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 25
Medieval Drama
Medieval Drama
Medieval Drama
Folk Drama – secular drama (non-religious)
Discouraged by the church
Took place around planting and harve...
The Renaissance Italy
Weak imitations of classical plays
Opera – an attempt to revive Greek Drama
Commedia Dell’arte – “co...
Harlequin (Arlecchino in Italian) is the most popular of the zanni or
comic servant characters from the Italian Commedia d...
The Renaissance England
Climax came during the Elizabethan Age
◦ Queen Elizabeth supported the arts more than any other
ru...
The Renaissance Dramatist
Christopher Marlowe
◦ Introduced important use of blank verse
◦ Shakespeare’s main competition
◦...
William Shakespeare
◦ The greatest dramatist of all time!!
◦ The characters form the center of interest in Shakespeare’s
p...
The Elizabethan Playhouse
The Globe and The Rose two most famous
Platform (thrust) stage with courtyard around on three si...
GLOBE (INSIDE VIEW)
Restoration Drama
English Royal Patent of 1662 – women appeared as
players for the first time
Raked stages – sloped upward...
Restoration Drama
Authors
John Dryden (1631-1700)
- The conquest of Granada
- All for love
William Congreve (1670-
1729)
-...
18TH CENTURY ENGLISH Drama
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 36
Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774)
Considered best comedy writer since Shakes...
Romanticism Drama
Relied on emotions and feelings
Melodrama- most popular type of Romanticism where the hero
always succee...
Realistic Drama
1820-1920
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 38
Began as reaction against Romanticism
Mid century dramatic style = Reali...
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 39
England’s George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Pygmalion
◦ Wanted to reform the world through his work
...
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 40
Oscar Wilde (1856-1900)
◦The Importance of Being Earnest
◦ Comedy of Manners
20th century playwrights
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 41
oArthur Miller (The Crucible and Death of a Salesman)
oEugene O’Neill
Is...
Goethe – Germany in 1770s to early 1800s – Faust
Edmond Rostand – France – Cyrano de Bergerac
Samuel Becket – France – Wai...
Theatre of the Absurd
A reaction to the disappearance of the religious dimension form
contemporary life
◦ Authors felt tha...
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 44
Its almost impossible to cover each and every writer as well as theatre in one lecture
SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 45
THANK YOU
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Drama its origin: growth & development by Suhail Ahmed Solangi

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An effort to search the exact history of drama along with its development. This work also includes all the eras of English Literature with its link to Drama.

However, one presentation couldn't define a complete history of drama.

Thanks

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Drama its origin: growth & development by Suhail Ahmed Solangi

  1. 1. Drama Its Origin, Growth & Development SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI M . P h i l . E n g l i s h SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 1
  2. 2. Drama The word “drama” is derived from the Greek word “dran” means to do, to perform; a kin to Greek “drainein” means to be ready, to do and technically it means deed, action on the stage. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 2
  3. 3. Definition of Drama Drama is an imitation of life in which dialogues and acting are in full consonance with real life where acting and performance occupy the first place and dance and dialogues occupy the second place. Drama is a branch of fine arts. According to some scholars the drama is a literary miracle which is written for the stage; dialogues and speeches are in the form of poem; sentiments and feelings are expressed by body and tongue. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 3
  4. 4. Functions of Drama • Drama is said to have originated from rituals. • It presents a story realistically through the actors to the audience. • Drama is therefore used to • Entertain • Inform • Educate For instance, most campaigns against AIDS, DRUG ABUSE, CHILD ABUSE and so on, are presented in form of drama to educate SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 4
  5. 5. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 5 Play on AIDS Awareness Play on Drug Abuse Awareness
  6. 6. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 6 Stage Performance on Child Abuse Awareness Drama on Hand Washing Awareness
  7. 7. Origin of Drama It is commonly believed that the art of drama is western form of literature and it has been originated from the Greeks. But in reality it is totally opposite to it as the Encyclopedia Americana has rejected this theory. It traces its origin in Egypt as far back as 3200 B.C. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 7
  8. 8. Origin of Drama… Some modem researches indicated that some knowledge of the drama may have come from Egypt where it is known of Egyptian drama was the famous Abydos or Osiris passion play. Osiris being the name of the god whose history is celebrated. The pyramid texts of which at least 55 exists the coronation festival plays, several of which survive in some forms; Hebseds( Coronation Jubilees), physical evidences of which still exist in great number Passion plays, at least three; and at least one medicinal play recognized by Egyptology (Freedly & Reeve) SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 8
  9. 9. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 9
  10. 10. Origin of Drama… o Scholars are divided on the origin of drama Some trace the origin to Greece but others insist that drama in its definitive form or pattern evolved from Egypt o However, the account of tracing the origin of drama to Greece is more plausible. The evolution is clearer and well-documented. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 10
  11. 11. Origin of Drama… Western Theatre The origins of Western drama can be traced to the celebratory music of 6th-century BC Attica, the Greek region centered on Athens. Although accounts of this period are inadequate, it appears that the poet Thespis developed a new musical form in which he impersonated a single character and engaged a chorus of singer dancers in dialogue. As the first composer and soloist in this new form, which came to be known as tragedy, Thespis can be considered both the first dramatist and the first actor. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 11
  12. 12. Greek Drama 6th century BCE – was worship of the Greek god Dionysus ◦ Dionysus – god of wine (pleasure god) ◦ Had two sides to him good and bad (comedy and tragedy) •Chorus – group of chanters – danced around an altar to commemorate his death •Song they sang was called the goat-song or tragos (the Greek word for tragedy)
  13. 13. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 13 Thalia + Melpomene Masks
  14. 14. These performances evolved into dramatic contests ◦ Lasted 5-6 days. ◦ Last three days four plays were performed ◦ 3 tragedies (trilogy) and a comedy (satyr) ◦ Thespis (the first actor) won the first competition by stepping out from the chorus and engaging in dialogue ◦ Thespian – the name given to actors ever since Greek Drama
  15. 15. Held in the open on hillsides surrounding a circular area called the orchestra Wooden seats were added, then stone Some theaters seated more than 17,000 people!! Greek Theatre
  16. 16. oExplain the situation oBring the audience up-to-date oMake a commentary on the action oEngage in dialogue with the actors Eventually role diminished as actors’ roles expanded. The chorus is still used to increase realism of scenes and to engage in scenes with the main characters. The Role Chorus
  17. 17. Aeschylus o Expanded number of actors, reduced the size of the chorus o Only surviving trilogy – the Oresteia •Sophocles •Ranked with Shakespeare as one of the best playwrights of all time. •Refined plot structure to create unified works •Author of Oedipus and Antigone Authors of Greek Drama
  18. 18. Euripides o Emphasized human relationships o Master of pathos – human sorrow and compassion o Author of The Trojan Women and Medea •Aristophanes oAuthor of Greek comedy oConsidered nothing sacred oSkilled satirist and observer of humanity oAuthor of The Frogs, The Clouds, and Lysistrata
  19. 19. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 19 Menander was a Greek dramatist and the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy. He wrote 108 comedies and took the prize at the Lenaia festival eight times.
  20. 20. Roman Drama Most were just copies of Greek Drama Andronicus – first “Roman” playwright, an author from a Greek colony ◦ First Roman tragedy was a translation from a Greek play Roman Theater ◦ Amphitheaters – large circular arenas surrounded by tiers of seats.
  21. 21. Roman Dramatist Where the Greek dramatists were writing for festival presentation and the kudos that would ensue, the Roman theatre was commercial and the dramatists wrote for money or patronage. Plautus and Terence adapted Greek originals. It is known that they used the plays of Menander SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 21
  22. 22. AMPHITHEATRE
  23. 23. Medieval Drama Battle between Christian religions (Catholicism mostly) and Pagan religions. Trying to “reform” the world. Any play that was not approved by the church was considered blasphemous. Liturgical drama – question-answer song performed by monks on Easter Saint plays – based on legends of saints Mystery plays – based on biblical history Passion plays – address the last week of Christ’s life Morality plays – taught the difference between right and wrong (context of devil and God battling for souls).
  24. 24. Medieval Drama Performed on platforms called mansions. ◦ Three mansions represented Heaven, Hell and the Sea of Galilee Medieval craft guilds took over the presentation of drama ◦ Pageant wagons – stages on wheels ◦ Divided into two levels (upper = stage, lower = dressing area)
  25. 25. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 25 Medieval Drama Medieval Drama
  26. 26. Medieval Drama Folk Drama – secular drama (non-religious) Discouraged by the church Took place around planting and harvest time and presented outdoors  Most pagan religions gave thanks to an earth goddess, hence celebration around planting and harvest. Example: Robin Hood
  27. 27. The Renaissance Italy Weak imitations of classical plays Opera – an attempt to revive Greek Drama Commedia Dell’arte – “comedy of the profession” ◦ Professional improvised comedy ◦ Plot outlines posted before performance ◦ No scripts ◦ Stock characters which represented two classes
  28. 28. Harlequin (Arlecchino in Italian) is the most popular of the zanni or comic servant characters from the Italian Commedia dell'Arte.
  29. 29. The Renaissance England Climax came during the Elizabethan Age ◦ Queen Elizabeth supported the arts more than any other ruler of the time ◦ Threats of closing the theatre due to the plague were often stopped because of her ◦ Financially assisted some troupes and theaters
  30. 30. The Renaissance Dramatist Christopher Marlowe ◦ Introduced important use of blank verse ◦ Shakespeare’s main competition ◦ Author of Doctor Faustus (story of a man who sells his soul) Ben Johnson ◦ Master of English comedy ◦ Author of Volpone, The Alchemist and Every Man in His Humour
  31. 31. William Shakespeare ◦ The greatest dramatist of all time!! ◦ The characters form the center of interest in Shakespeare’s plays ◦ Iambic pentameter/blank verse ◦ Author of Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and 35 others! ◦ Also wrote 154 sonnets!!
  32. 32. The Elizabethan Playhouse The Globe and The Rose two most famous Platform (thrust) stage with courtyard around on three sides Three tiers of seating – the higher the tier the more expensive the seat (opposite of today’s theatre) Open air – if it rained, the groundlings got wet
  33. 33. GLOBE (INSIDE VIEW)
  34. 34. Restoration Drama English Royal Patent of 1662 – women appeared as players for the first time Raked stages – sloped upward so audience could see the performance
  35. 35. Restoration Drama Authors John Dryden (1631-1700) - The conquest of Granada - All for love William Congreve (1670- 1729) - The Way of the World - Love for Love SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 35
  36. 36. 18TH CENTURY ENGLISH Drama SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 36 Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) Considered best comedy writer since Shakespeare
  37. 37. Romanticism Drama Relied on emotions and feelings Melodrama- most popular type of Romanticism where the hero always succeeded Playwrights made clear distinctions between good and evil Forces of good always won SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 37
  38. 38. Realistic Drama 1820-1920 SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 38 Began as reaction against Romanticism Mid century dramatic style = Realism ◦ Seeks the truth / depicts a selected view Presented things as in real life (often dealt with social problems) Major author: Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) ◦ “Father of Realism” ◦ Revolutionary themes ◦ Ghosts ◦ A Doll’s House ◦ Realistically showed the day’s problems
  39. 39. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 39 England’s George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Pygmalion ◦ Wanted to reform the world through his work ◦ Ranked with Shakespeare
  40. 40. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 40 Oscar Wilde (1856-1900) ◦The Importance of Being Earnest ◦ Comedy of Manners
  41. 41. 20th century playwrights SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 41 oArthur Miller (The Crucible and Death of a Salesman) oEugene O’Neill Issues range from interpersonal relationships to faith Long Day’s Journey into Night oTennessee Williams (The Glass Menagerie) Lillian Hellman – most influential female playwright
  42. 42. Goethe – Germany in 1770s to early 1800s – Faust Edmond Rostand – France – Cyrano de Bergerac Samuel Becket – France – Waiting for Godot Chekov – Russia – greatest Russian Dramatist Other Drama/Dramatist
  43. 43. Theatre of the Absurd A reaction to the disappearance of the religious dimension form contemporary life ◦ Authors felt that life is meaningless; there is no hope of salvation – thus their plays reflected these ideas. An attempt to restore the importance of myth and ritual to our age, by making man aware of the ultimate realities of his condition ◦ Not everything is scientific and can be figured out – so plays showed illogic of life. Shows that language is unreliable ◦ There are so many clichés in language that it doesn’t convey real human thought ◦ Language in plays can be purposefully confusing. As in Hamlet, language means something and sometimes nothing SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 43
  44. 44. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 44 Its almost impossible to cover each and every writer as well as theatre in one lecture
  45. 45. SUHAIL AHMED SOLANGI 45 THANK YOU
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An effort to search the exact history of drama along with its development. This work also includes all the eras of English Literature with its link to Drama. However, one presentation couldn't define a complete history of drama. Thanks

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