The Dark Comedy
2nd Revised edition
By (author) J. L. Styan
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Dark Comedy by J. L. Styan
Book DescriptionMuch of twentieth-century drama defies the traditional pigeon-holes of tragedy and comedy: the heroes are not straightforwardly heroic; the subject-matter seems at some times grimly realistic and at others nearer to pure fantasy. Professor Styan explains and illuminates the nature of this dark, paradoxical comedy. He reminds us, first, that this is not a purely modern phenomenon: many great plays of the past have similarly defied classification and have called for an equally vacillating response from their audience. But nonetheless this dramatic genre has had its clearest expression in the last sixty years: we are shown in detail how its techniques have developed from Ibsen and Chekhov to Pirandello, Brecht and contemporary playwrights such as Ionesco, Beckett, Tennessee Williams and Pinter. The author brings us to realize that the playwright, by creating complex tensions in the action of the play between the actor and the audience and within the individual spectator, is able to explore new areas of human feeling and response. In this second edition of The Dark Comedy Professor Styan has brought the book up to date in relation to recent plays and theatrical developments. He has modified some earlier judgements and added detailed analyses of scenes from Brecht's Mother Courage and from Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Anyone who takes an intelligent interest in theatre-going will find profit and stimulus in this book. It covers a wide range of subject-matter; but its underlying theme is clear, forceful and unified.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521095297
(216mm x 140mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jul-1968
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author J. L. Styan
Restoration Comedy in Performance, Paperback (August 1986)
Restoration comedy demonstrates the interplay possible between the stage and the audience. Thus, this text argues that only through a performance approach can the plays of Etherege, Wycherley, Dryden, Shadwell, Vanbrugh, Congreve and Farquhar recover a lost sense of their value.
Modern Drama in Theory and Practice: Volume 1, Realism and Naturalism, Paperback (June 1983)
This 1981 volume begins with the French revolt against naturalism in theatre and then covers the European realist movement.
Modern Drama in Theory and Practice: Volume 3, Expressionism and Epic Theatre, Paperback (June 1983)
Epic theatre is studied from Piscator and Brecht to Durrenmatt and Weiss, and is seen as flourishing in offshoots of documentary theatre.
Shakespeare Revolution, Paperback (April 1983)» View all books by J. L. Styan
This is a succinct and finest history of Shakespeare studies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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