DRM100 Class Notes SEM 1 .docx

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Drama Class Notes
translations are always interpretations
art holds the mirror up to nature- reflective
Sept. 12
Drama comes from simplicity; simple, basic questions
Develops what is inside the mind, ex. “To be or not to be” , “who am I?”
Reflection of a reflection of the truth
Course questions the assumptions one has on theater
Function of theater- sparks/ inflames passions that we probably shouldn‟t
Relationship between character and plot
Aristotle quote “Tragedy…” from Poetics
Audience defines theater
Charles Meed
The key to thinking is being selective; create a structure that makes sense
We live in an age of infinite information, to know that information is not to think
Sept. 14
Asks basic questions
Entertainment, didactic, inspiring
Mode of world creation- mimesis
Plato 429-347 BC
School of Athens (by Raphael)
Aristotle‟s teacher
Critique of theater- drama and art give a degraded version of the truth;
abstract ideas are in a different realm- how do we get to the truth?
Didn‟t like dramas yet he wrote dialogues
Aristotle 384-322 BC
Agreed that the highest experience of human existence was realism
Did not accept Plato‟s idea of ideal forms
Plot proceeds according to probability
Treats drama like he would threat physics
Lectured to students
Poetry and rhetoric
Reason, ration, emotion
Controlled conscience thought
Poetics- descriptive or prescriptive?
Drama and theater are models of thinking; being selective
Selection of the details are rational, complete
Poetry is how things might unravel, history is what actually happened
descriptive or prescriptive?
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Been an impact since Renaissance
Initiates serious thinking
method= to define terms
important- plot, character, thought, diction
plot is the structure of the action
character has habitual actions
death of a salesman is not a great tragedy because it has a simple plot that
does not involve Peripeteia and Katharsis together
Poetry= imitation through language, rhythm, and harmony
Drama- to do
Ch. 15- painters should make the picture more attractive to make it more
grand and spectacular appealing
Tragedy is imitation of actions; it is complete, has magnitude, fear and pity
cause the events (does not separate emotion and feeling)
Means, object, matter
Mimesis- truthful action, gives an imitating action form
Process not a realm (as Plato thought)
Good drama will promote not thwart
Cause corruption?
Boundary of human action and thought
Katharsis- rids passion (pity or fear); moral rather than medical
Spectators see how tragic emotions fit into a harmonious world
Characters have choice, choice determines action
o Plot more important that character?
Tragedy ignore the element of ethical success; fate overrides it
Why pity and fear?- characters become relatable, understandable (dramas
social role)
Pity alone creates sentimental drama not tragedy
human vulnerability that comes from fear creates the tragic aspect
language gives structure, helps understanding, the rules are arbitrary
the theater becomes a subject to the theme of the drama
Sept. 19
Atmosphere affects the play/ story
Orchestra (main stage) surrounded by ramps/ rows (most of the plays entrances and exits)
Chorus- vital, 12-15 individuals who stayed on the whole play, sang and danced the
choral odes, may chant with actors
Rehearsals- civic duty
Patronage- wealthy man paid for performance
Crisis= means decision
-agon=conflict (protagonist, antagonist)
chorus bonds the audience, shows/helps them feel
translations are always interpretations
characters are destroyed (not necessarily dead)
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imitation-selecting events and setting boundaries around them
rise of the city states
new language of law
concern about individual responsibility
solution of the drama escapes them
language can create tension and relation, whether they use prose
man living out a debate
ambiguous values
theater was a civic act- poets are the teachers of the people, they provoke and explore
we are spectators on acts that are to be judged
tragedy is the imitation of action, not man
Oedipus Rex
Many linguistic puns
Sophocles took the events and put his twist on the tale
To be an man is to be great and be nothing- profound question of life
Oedipus is truly a great mind but is he a victim of the gods
Opening lines- Suppliants to Apollo
He may be their father but he is also their brother
Language shows stage direction, shows the meaning
the doorway= mortals must shift ground and give way, mortals must change
the story is one big crescendo
Sept. 21
Tragedy confronts heroic tendencies
Free will and determination
Morality and divinity are distinct
Chorus- Human action becomes the topic of discussion and debate
Civic duty to attend
Oedipus (pg 133)- he sees that he is nothing; he knows nothing- paradox
Birth and destruction
Dramatic irony- enables Sophocles to allow the audience to judge the action
Willful blindness
Tragic flaw- brings a person down but also elevates them; Oedipus is headstrong,
brilliant, insists on solving problems
Plot- arrangement of incidents
Story- general knowledge of the beginning middle and end
Believes he is being usurped
Creon is obsessed with decorum, many of the Greek virtues
Fundamental paradox
Rhetorical power in the language
What question is the play raising? What is it not raising?
Crossroads symbolize choice
Spectacle (presentation) is in conjunction with the words being said
Entry gives the impact/ significance of each character
Ramps show proper arrivals and departures
Threshold- creates boundary
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