Write a short notes on Modern Drama
Ans. It may well be said that the first distinctly modem note in English literature was struck on the state in the plays of Ibsen. Of course, this statement has to be accepted with some modifications. In the first place, the revolutionary character of the English drama did not continue for long except in the works of George Bernard Shaw and to a lesser extent in the plays of Sean O’Casey Secondly. side by side with the preoccupation with social realism, there was a fertile romantic impulse represented by the drama of the Irish literary revival. There was also the revival of poetic drama in the twentieth century. Write a short notes on Modern Drama
The Drama of Social criticism or the Problem play or the Drama of Ideas.
The influence of the great Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen(1828-1906) assumes very great importance. Ibsen was the exponent of the discussion play or the problem play. He wrote dramas of ideas in his play, A doll’s house and Ghost. He dealt with revolutionary ideas. He influenced major English dramatists like Shaw and Galsworthy with his psychological realism and subtle stagecraft. The earliest English disciples of Ibsen were H.A. Jones (1851- 1920) and A. W Pinero (1855-1934). Oscar Wilde had revived the comedy of wit and manners.
after the long dramatic vacuum of the nineteenth century Pinero and James were stimulated by the revolutionary influence of Ibsen to I’ve seriousness to drama. After beginning with conventional farces and sentimental plays. Pinero wrote such plays as The Second Mrs. Tanqueray (1893) and Thunderbolt. Jones wrote problem-plays like Mrs. Dane’s Defence and Saints and Sinners. The plays of Pinero and Jones are not intrinsically impressive, but they prepare the ground for the arrival of G B. Shaw. Write a short notes on Modern Drama
Short notes on modern poetic drama
G B. Shaw was undoubtedly the greatest of the modem dramatists. He was a dramatist with a mission. He did not believe in the doctrine of Art for Art’s sake. He wrote his plays for the sake of life, for the sake of society Under the influence of his master Ibsen, he wrote intellectual drama or dramas of ideas. For shaw, the idea is everything He wrote problem-plays. A problem play is a play that deals with a social, moral or political problem. Widower’s House (1892) was Shaw’s first problem play. It deals with the evils of London slums: A play on such a subject the problem of genuine social evil was something entirely new in the English theatre.
Shaw wrote several plays about real social problems such as prostitution in Mrs. Warren’s Profession, war and marriage in Arms and the man, education in Pygmalion and religious intolerance in The Devil’s Disciple. Most of Shaw’s plays including Candida are problem-comedies. Shaw made a remarkable contribution to the development of the theatre of Ideas. Write a short notes on Modern Drama
Themes of modern drama
Neither Shaw’s attitude nor his art shows any marked phase of development. His works, therefore, can be studies without too much attention to their chronology. He employs the same satirical realism in his most brilliant historical plays Caesar and Cleopatra (1901) and Saint Joan (1923). Shaw departs from History. He is fond of writing anti-romantic comedies, as in Arms and the Man and pygmalion. Man and Superman (1903) and Bake to methuselah (1991) are philosophical plays. Shaw presents his concepts of Life-force and Superman. Shaw’s greatest gift is his incomparable wit. He is a master of paradox and the anti-climax.
Perhaps the most effective of the new dramatist. besides Shaw, was the novelist John Galsworthy (1867-1933). He brought moving representations of the most painful spectacle of social injustice on the stage. The most impressive of his plays is Strife. The silver Box. Loyalties and Justice. His method is the opposite of Shaw’s. Black Shaw’s humor and his verbal wit. His characterization is simple and threadbare. His plays are problem-plays like Shaw’s. His play is finely constructed but his plots are mechanical. He is a forceful and effective social reformer. It is said that the treatment of prison life in Justice was responsible for prison-reforms.
Granville-Buker (1877-1946) presented a realistic treatment of the contemporary problems of society in his best plays The Voysey Inheritance and wash. He also shows an Ibsenian mingling of realism and romance in The Marrying of Ann Leete. Write a short notes on Modern Drama
J. M. Barrie (1860-1937) invented new mythology bathed in poetry childhood. His finest plays present fantasies. In his finest plays. Peter Pan (1904) and Wendy and Dear Brutus, Barries reconcile the comic with the tenderly emotional simplicity of childhood.
Noel Coward with his Blithe Spirit made his marks as a writer of witty and elegant comedies of post-war dramatists, John Osborne is well-known for his plan. Look Back in Anger (1956). This play records the angry mood of the younger generation in the fifties. In this play, in the personality and the problems of Jimmy Porter, Osborne presents a singularly impressive account of the unrest among the sensitive young men of the post-war days.
In the post-war atomic age. we have the growth of Absurd Drama-the theatre of the Absurd. Samuel Beckett in his famous play Waiting for Godot (1956) presents a model of absurd drama with its unconventional technique. Harold pinter with his Caretaker painted yet another comprehensive picture of the Sordidness of the post-war life. Thus, the pre-occupation of the English drama in the later middle of the twentieth century is almost exclusively with negative and superficial aspects of life.
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