• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"Taking a range of plays studied on the course show how the play texts are affected by the particular style and cultural context of the theatre from which they are drawn."

Extracts from this document...


Danielle Abulhawa - DRA 1006 "Taking a range of plays studied on the course show how the play texts are affected by the particular style and cultural context of the theatre from which they are drawn." For this essay I will be looking at The Menaechmi by Plautus, Once upon Four Robbers by Femi Osofisan, Therese Raquin by Emile Zola, Hernani by Victor Hugo, Riders to the Sea by J.M. Synge, Aoi no Uye by Zenchiku Jinobu and East Lynne by Mrs Wood, adapted by T.A. Palmer. I have chosen this selection of plays as I feel it gives an accurate cross section of the plays which have made up the course this year. From delving into the culture surrounding these different plays I will be examining the cultural and political aspects which have affected their creation, and how these plays may reflect or affect reality. Plautus having been born in Italy became a Roman soldier, "This is probably when he was exposed to the delights of the Greek stage". After the Macedonian conquest, Greek comedy moved away from "The daring personal and political satire of Aristophanes". The Three era's of Greek Comedy are categorised as Old, Middle and New, and the development of comedy is said to be "mainly due to the political and social conditions of Athens, it finally held up a mirror to all that was characteristic of Athenian life." ...read more.


The prologue is highly motivational, with quotations like this: "Slogans about returning to the land, sermons of bourgeois morality, are empty to a man who is born condemned to poverty." And: "I hope this play shocks us into a new awareness... I hope it helps to change our attitude from passive acceptance or sterile indignation into a more dynamic more enraged determination to confront ourselves and our lives." Within the play itself you can see elements which are almost Brechtian at times, the use of the 'Song of the storyteller' for example. Regarding a section of the text in which three characters read off a list of 'scandals' there are footnotes relating to this list which read... "In production, the list should be made to include the most recent public scandals" effectively highlighting that the story of the play really is one that transcends eras of time so long as the political references are kept up to date. This also shows the flexibility of the writer; the flexibility of African theatre as a whole. The ending of the play depends on the result of the audiences opinions. Two separate endings are written. One sees the Robbers set free, and the other sees them put to death. ...read more.


I am afraid. Never again will I come as an angry ghost." Then, in order to drive the point forward even further the Ghost ends the play saying "When she heard the sound of Scripture the demons raging heart was stilled; shapes of pity and sufferance, the bodhisats v descend. Her soul casts off its bonds, she walks in Buddha's way." This theatre form seems to be incredibly moralistic and it is clear that religion exerts a dogmatic hold over the people who view such performances. The play text itself is a prime example of the Noh genre, it complies in every aspect. Out of all the plays I have chosen to cover in this essay it is interesting that despite whether the playwright has chosen to write his or her play in the cultural style of the time or to go against the grain entirely in order to produce a new style of theatre, whether the play itself adheres to the politics of a particular society or if it attempts to evoke a political stance in the audience, all are affected by their cultural, social and political circumstances. All these plays have affected the cultures from which they are drawn to a greater or lesser extent. The degree to which they have reflected their theatrical, political or cultural situation is variable and especially remarkable. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Theatre Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Theatre Studies essays

  1. Steven Berkoff - East. Social, Cultural & Historical.

    A French newspaper once referred to him as a 'new Artaud' after he evoked Artaud's name, ideas, phrases and images in his plays 'Metamorphosis' and 'The Trial'.

  2. 'The crucible' context essay

    towards a Reformed Protestant Church and theology, simplified forms of worship, an emphasis on personal interpretation of the Bible and harbored a deep dislike for church ritual, robes, music and idolatry. Their aim was to cleanse people from the remnants of Roman Catholicism, cleanse and convert them to Puritanism.

  1. Greek Theatre Research and our Masked Perfomance

    into a small, tight strip and secured it onto the cardboard and then I did this for everyone, then I had to papier-mache these. After this I was trying to find the best way to fix the feathers onto the mask, someone suggested that maybe I should of just papier-mache them onto the mask.

  2. Explore the impact of social, cultural and/or historical conditions upon the work.

    that causes the audience to think about the consequences or to understand and appreciate the views that we are conveying. In present day society we have the obvious issue of the 'Credit Crunch', which was one of the reasons why we decide to represent an economic crash and present a

  1. How did the group plan for a range of responses from the audience?

    The image of the protagonist hanging in the ropes was a flash-forward to the end of the play, this wasn't meant to be recognised until that point. This moment was a third of the way through the monologue, which meant that the audience had no idea this was going to

  2. AS Theatre Studies Portfolio

    sight of the temptation idea, and therefore abandoned it, but took aspects we liked form it, such as the characters. We kept the characters because they related to the different types of people there are in society- the 'do gooder', the 'know it all', the bad influence, the one who wants to be liked, 'the follower'.

  1. Shirley Valentine Contexualising the play

    VM: I call it c**t SV: If I said I was off to Greece for a fortnight VM: I've reclaimed it. SV: He's think it was for the s*x. VM: c**t . SV: Well im not even particularly fond of it.

  2. Drama and Theatre studies - practical- coursework

    in control he beat his wife just to make him feel like he had power over her. I told Priya about my idea of using domestic violence as the story of what happened between our couple, at first she wasn't so sure, she said it'd be difficult to portray someone

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work