Essay about Book Report on Martin Esslin's an Anatomy of Drama

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Martin Esslin, an established drama director, scholar, and critic, approaches his analysis of drama by drawing on his practical experience as a director of plays. Esslin implicitly assumes that drama is the most elite of the artistic genres when he directly declares the purpose of his book, which is to answer the question "why should those concerned with art resort to drama rather than any other form of communication?" Esslin then immediately poses another question that he seems to take as a prerequisite for the first question: "What is the underlying, basic nature of dramatic form and what is it that drama can express better than any other form of communication?" Esslin's book consists of eleven chapters each of which touches on a…show more content…
Though Esslin does not suggest a definition for drama in the first chapter, he at least resolves what drama is not and then clarifies what drama really is in the second chapter--of course not in a form of a definition. In his second chapter, where Esslin discusses the nature of drama, he seems to adopt the Aristotelian doctrine of drama though he does not mention that he does so. He believes drama is a mimetic action and that, in any play, action is crucial while words are secondary. Furthermore, Esslin believes that drama as a form of art is the most economic and surpasses other artistic forms since its effect on the audience is instantaneous and live. Other fictional literary forms lack such trait, Esslin claims, because of their linear textual narration of the plot. In the third chapter Esslin arrives at the issue of the audience stating that drama is a collective experience and ritual where the audience is indispensable. He goes further to say that without audience there world be no drama and assessing a play depends primarily in its acceptance by the spectators. To account for such indispensability of the audience, tow demonstrations are brought forth in the book: First, there is a kind consensus and collective reaction that develops in the audience during stage performance. Second, there is a remarkable feed-back effect between the spectators themselves on the one hand and between the audience and the actors on the other hand. The

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