The Chief European Dramatists (Classic Reprint)

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Fb&c Limited, 16.09.2017 г. - 800 страници
Excerpt from The Chief European Dramatists

A collection of masterpieces of the drama extending over a score of centuries serves to make plain something which ought never to be overlooked. The principles of dramatic art are unchanging through the ages, the same to-day in Paris or in New York that they were in Athens twenty-four hundred years ago. They are to be deduced from the trage dies of Sophocles as clearly as from the tragedies of Shakespeare, from the comedies of Mollere as obviously as from the comedies of Lessing and Goldoni and Augier; and they are all the result of the fact that a dramatist always composes his plays with the desire and the intent that they shall be performed by actors in a theater and before an audi ence. He takes thought of the performers of his own time and city; and Sophocles and Moliere, while they were creating characters for the appreciation of posterity, were also preparing parts for contemporary performers in whom they had confidence. He adjusts the stories he tells on the stage to the physical conditions of the only playhouse with which he is familiar. And he feels constrained always to choose the kind of story which will arouse and retain the interests of his contemporaries in his own country, giving no thought to the possible likings of any other audience either abroad or in the future.

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