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hedda gabler

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Introduction

Drama has no single definition and does not have a common meaning that can be applied to the wide range of texts, plays, acts, and various others that can be called drama. However, drama is "by far the most economical means of expression" (Esslin, 1976). The subjects expressed in drama are extensive and diverse and can be declared dramatically or subtly. A common and almost essential subject matter expressed in drama is the representation of social issues. Drama can be manipulated and used as a powerful political weapon; as propaganda. Indeed, during periods such as war, cinema and theatre were used commonly as a form of propaganda in order to gain the attention and support of the public. Perhaps then, drama's representation of social issues differs from that of propaganda only in the way drama is used. Propaganda's representation of social issues is often limited because of it being censored, controlled, in the hands of mainly the government. Its purpose is to persuade and convince a targeted audience of a central idea. Nonetheless, it can reflect social issues such as poverty, war, famine, or perhaps equality, democracy, peace. In Ibsen's play Hedda Gabler, Ibsen is able to use this piece of drama as a tool to comment on social values and issues; these issues being about women and their place in a 'double-standard society'. His message is subtle but strong. ...read more.

Middle

In Soviet Russia, propaganda represented political discipline and economic prosperity, and social issues such as a happy working society and national literacy to strengthen Communism. It does not represent social issues such as the class divisions, religion, and social differences and inequalities. As the aim of propaganda is to persuade, only one side of an argument will be shown. Therefore, propaganda's representation of social issues will be limited because it depends on the purpose and the creator to decide to what extent social issues may be represented. The way in which drama represents social issues may be different to that of propaganda, but drama can also be used as a form of propaganda. Drama in the form of theatre and cinema was used commonly as a propaganda tool in places like Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia in the 1960s. The German plays and movies often had issues of anti-Semitism and the rule of the Aryan race. Propaganda films such as Triumph of the Will were aimed at the population of Germans who were considered Aryans, of the issue of anti-Semitism and the enemy the Jews were, while also reinforcing the purity of the Aryan race. Another way drama has been used as propaganda has been through the 'pageant', one of the earliest forms of drama. The pageant is, in simplest terms, "a play on wheels". ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, drama's representation of social issues differs from that of propaganda because they each have different objectives, and when drama is used as propaganda, its aim is the same as any other form of propaganda. Drama is a means of expression and communication, conveying many themes, values, and issues to an audience. Social issues are one of these, almost always represented in drama. Drama, however, can also be used as political propaganda and there are many plays and films that have been used in this way. They also represent social issues, but their representation is limited. The aim of propaganda is to persuade an audience of a concept or issue, and so it shows usually only one side of the issue. For example, Chinese Communist propaganda may represent loyalty and prosperity but fails to recognise poverty. The representation of social issues is very limited. Drama that has been used as propaganda include the Nazi German film Triumph of the Will, representing social issues such as anti-Semitism and the superior Aryan race. Again however, the social issues are limited. Ibsen's Hedda Gabler may be able to act as feminine propaganda due to its social issues of gender and women in society but it is more simply a comment on society and a representation of common social issues. Drama and propaganda and their representations of social issues differ only because they have different objectives and purposes; drama being to express and communicate, and propaganda being to persuade and convince. ...read more.

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