Article Title

Some Late Reflections on Tragedy and Its Theatrical Chemistry


J. L. Styan


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

All criticism likes to classify, but in the case of dramatic criticism classification is an essential operation, since the decision whether a play is a tragedy or a comedy, a farce or a melodrama, has crucial implications for the director and his actors. An implicit decision about genre, its nature and purposes, indeed, has its effects upon a whole production, upon its conventions and all that go with it-costume, setting, lighting, style of speech and movement, music. The determination is fundamentally one about the desired control of, and effect upon, the audience itself. Nevertheless, classification is far from straightforward. Over a period of some two thousand years the pressures of widely different cultures and conventions on the stage have brought about sweeping changes in practice.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.