Article Title

Point of View in Drama: Diegetic Monologue, Unreliable Narrators, and the Author's Voice on Stage


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

The idea of point of view in the drama1 is certain to strike many as a strange or even contradictory notion. It is conventionally assumed that, because plays are non-narrative, the complex issues associated with theories of point of view can have nothing to do with the stage. Furthermore, major theorists of both narrative discourse and the semiotics of theater generally agree that drama is exclusively a mimetic genre, while fiction combines mimesis and diegesis. Scholes and Kellogg assert: "By narrative we mean all those literary works which are distinguished by two characteristics: the presence of a story and a story-teller. A drama is a story without a story-teller; in it characters act out directly what Aristotle called an 'imitation' of such action as we find in life"; Keir Elam similarly states that drama is ''without narratorial mediation" and that it is "mimetic rather than strictly diegetic-acted rather than narrated."2 The same position is also affirmed by Franz Stanzel, Lubomir Dolezel, Dorrit Cohn, and Jiri Veltrusky.3

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