The Chief European Dramatists: Twenty One Plays from the Drama of Greece, Rome, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, and Norway; From 500 B. C. to 1879 A. D.; Selected and Edited with Notes, Biographies, and Bibliographies (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Chief European Dramatists: Twenty One Plays From the Drama of Greece, Rome, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, and Norway; From 500 B. C. To 1879 A. D.; Selected and Edited With Notes, Biographies, and Bibliographies

A collection of masterpieces of the drama extending over a score of centuries servu ti make plain something which ought never to be overlooked. The principles of dramafi art are unchanging through the ages, the same to-day in Paris or in New York that the: were in Athens twenty-four hundred years ago. They are to be deduced from the trag dies of Sophocles as clearly as from the tragedies of Shakespeare, from the comedim II Moliere as obviously as from the comedies of leasing and Goldoni and Augier; and the are all the result of the fact that a dramatist always composes his plays with the deair and the intent that they shall be performed by actors in a theater and before an and ence. He takes thought of the performers of his own time and city; and Sopho an Moliere, while they were creating characters for the appreciation of posterity, were ale preparing parts for contemporary performers in whom they had confidence. He adjust the stories he tells on the stage to the physical conditions of the only playhouse wit which he is familiar. And he feels constrained always to choose the kind of story whio will arouse and retain the interests of his contemporaries in his own country, giving n thought to the possible likings of any other audience either abroad or in the future.

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