Conventions of Drama

1980 Words8 Pages
Through the centuries, the conventions of drama have been altered in many different ways. These conventions are the setting, plot, characters and staging. The main factor which has been a dominant force during the changes of conventions has been the society. The society present during the time in which a play was written had a direct influence on the plot and characters. This is because drama is defined as a representation of life. Four plays which have been selected from Greek, Elizabethan, Restoration and Modern times can be analysed to show and represent the changes of drama. These plays are “Oedipus the King”, “Macbeth”, “The Way of the World” and “A Doll’s House”. The…show more content…
A unique feature of the Elizabethan theatre was the use of soliloquies during a play. These are moments when a character is able to voice their inner thoughts and emotions without the other characters hearing (even if they are still on stage). Such soliloquies enable the audience to enter the mind of the character and understand what is happening. Usually the only character to use a soliloquy is one with a guilty conscience, for example Macbeth. In the play “Macbeth”, Macbeth speaks in soliloquy while he is carrying out or devising dirty deeds. The language which is used during the texts such as Macbeth is Elizabethan language. This is quite metaphorical and poetic with many of the speeches being quite long. By the eighteenth century, drama had changed yet again during the restoration period. This time, the focus had shifted from royalty and drama was now based on the upper class society. The plays written during the restoration period were all to do with dramatic irony and comedy of manners. This type of comedy meant that the main issues dealt with during the play were concerned with up-to-date dress and fashion standards as well as the behaviour of men and women under the new code of permissiveness. The code of permissiveness which prevailed that society was able to do basically anything they pleased, came about with the restoration of Charles II to the throne. As a result in the change of throne, the attitudes of
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