What he has produced is not history, and not drama. His Roman plays, if one makes allowance for a few of the practices of the stage, and the third act of Antony and Cleopatra, are models of an established construction. Either is allowed; either arrangement of the structure can cite plays of the highest merit in justification of itself. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. In this case, the poet must give diligent care, that he lay peculiar charm in the returning motive, and that before the recurrence, he arouse suspense and enjoyment in the motive. As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc.
This idea, the first invention of the poet, the silent soul through which he gives life to the material coming to him from external sources, does not easily place itself before him as a clearly defined thought; it has not the colorless clearness of an abstract conception. The poet is obliged to limit himself to a very few. He must be represented as superior in the important relations of his surroundings; and his surroundings must be so created as easily to awaken in the hearer a keen interest. The fact, for example, that Luther, that mighty champion of the freedom of conscience, became in the last half of his life an intolerant oppressor of conscience, contains, thus stated, nothing tragic. To transform material artistically, according to a unifying idea, means to idealize it. Without forcing all possible cases into the same uniform mould, therefore, the poet may hold firmly to this: the construction of a regular introduction is as follows: a clearly defining keynote, a finished scene, a short transition into the first moment of the excited action. The monstrous action presses already toward the end, with a power which takes from the spectator the capability of enjoying the extended and artistic battle of words in this interview.
On the other hand, there was another effect of the ancient tragedy, only imperfectly developed, which is indispensable to our tragedy. In any case, a resting place in the action, and even in the structure of a scene, is to be so expressed that the dramatic moments, acts, scenes, which belong to the same division of the action, are joined together so as to produce a unified chief scene, subordinate scene, connecting scene. How far the marvelous may be deemed worthy of the drama, cannot be doubtful even to us Germans, upon whose stage the most spirited and most amiable of all devils has received citizenship. Every one of his impelling forces must have an introduction that will account for it; he must introduce to the spectator his Hannos, his Ottos, his Rudolphs and Henrys; he must to a certain extent make their affairs attractive; two or three times in the piece he will create excitement, then allay it; the persons will throng and conceal each other on the narrow stage; the rising interest of hearers will every now and then relapse. In 1862, Freytag began his famous series of connected historical tales, in New Pictures from the Life of the German People, continued the next year in Pictures from the German Past, and still further in 1876 and later, in The Ancestors, including Ingo and Ingraban; The Nest of the Hedge-sparrows; The Brothers of the German House; Marcus King; The Brothers and Sisters; From a Little City, etc.
It is certainly a disadvantage on the stage. In short waves, wish and demand ripple along; the actions themselves are the chief thing. In the former, from the beginning, the passionate excitement of feeling was the charm; in the latter, the witnessing of thrilling incident. In our text-books on aesthetics, this still affords the foundation for the theory of our dramatic art, and to the growing poet, some chapters of the little work are instructive; for besides a theory of dramatic effects, there's the greatest thinker of antiquity explained them to his contemporaries, and besides many principles of a popular system of criticism, as the cultured Athenian brought it into use in considering a new production, the work contains many fine appliances from the workshops of antiquity, which we can use to great advantage in our labors. The dramatic includes those emotions of the soul which steel themselves to will, and to do, and those emotions of the soul which are aroused by a deed or course of action; also the inner processes which man experiences from the first glow of perception to passionate desire and action, as well as the influence which one's own and others' deeds exert upon the soul; also the rushing forth of willpower from the depths of man's soul toward the external world, and the influx of fashioning influences from the outer world into man's innermost being; also the coming into being of a deed, and its consequences on the human soul. Of course, opinions as to what may be represented on the stage, and what is effective, are not the same in all ages. It does not entirely disappear, even in the last rôle, in those figures which with a few words can show their participation; the attendant or the messenger, owes it as a duty, at least to the actor's art, by costume, manner of speech, deportment, gesture, posture at entering, to represent in a manner suitable to the piece what he personates, so far as externals will do it, even if meagerly and modestly.
. To make charming what is strange, is, indeed, possible. You can learn technique and process by reading the dozens of books like this one on fiction writing and by reading articles in writers' magazines. It may be considered certain that some of the fundamental laws of dramatic production will remain in force for all time; in general, however, not only the vital requisites Excerpt from Freytag's Technique of Drama: An Exposition of Dramatic Composition and Art Hellenic choral theater, the structure for the mys tery play, and the complete inclosed room of the modern stage. Such scenes almost always stand in the third act of our plays, sometimes less effective in the beginning of the fourth.
Movement and Rise of the Action. Historical material offers the greatest and most beautiful opportunities; but it is very difficult to combine it into a good action. This outburst of deed from the soul of the hero, or the influx of portentous impressions into the soul; the first great result of a sublime struggle, or the beginning of a mortal inward conflict, — must appear inseparably connected with what goes before as well as with what follows; it will be brought into relief through broad treatment or strong effect; but it will, as a rule, be represented in its development from the rising movement and its effect on the environment; therefore, the climax naturally forms the middle point of a group of forces, which, darting in either direction, course upward and downward. In Love and Intrigue, therefore, Ferdinand and Louise are pushed forward by the intriguers; and only from the scene between Ferdinand and the president, after the tragic force enters, Ferdinand assumes the direction till the end. Where dramatic material is to be found. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. In the arrangement of scenes, at least, the poet must feel the full mastery of his material; and it is generally an embarrassment of his power of imagination when this seems impossible to him.
He knows that he must not attribute too much to it, nor dare he offer it too little. Excerpt from Freytag's Technique of Drama: An Exposition of Dramatic Composition and Art Hellenic choral theater, the structure for the mys tery play, and the complete inclosed room of the modern stage. There remains, however, to these figures for the drama a pre-eminence which may be, for their life and that of their contemporaries, a positive disadvantage. Only in outline has been received, which unskilled hands have made — a corrupt text with gaps, apparently disconnected chapters, hastily thrown together. This celebrated law has undergone a very different application with the Greeks and Romans, with the Spanish and French, with Shakespeare and the Germans, which has been occasioned partly by those learned in art, partly by the character of the stage. The scene is also remarkable because the great poet has here used humor to intensify the horrible effect, and because this is one of the very rare places, where the audience, in spite of the awful commotion, perceives with a certain surprise that Shakespeare uses artifices to bring out the effect.
It is true Götz von Berlichingen will always be considered a very commendable poem, because the chivalric anecdotes which are excellently presented with short, sharp strokes, hold the reader spellbound; but upon the stage the piece is not an effective drama; and the same is true of Egmont, although its feeble action, and the lack of characterization of its hero, is to a certain extent compensated for in the greater elaboration of its vigorous female characters. Drama in which the chief hero leads. It is true, the first kind of dramatic structure conceals a danger, which even by genius, is not always successfully avoided. And it is further clear that this picture of real life shades off differently in the mind of each person, and that the poet, however fully and richly he is taken into his own life the culture of his race, still is confronted with conceptions of reality in a thousand different tones. Only music is able to make its influence more powerfully felt upon the nerves; but the thrill which the musical tone evokes, falls rather within the sphere of immediate emotions, which are not transfigured into thought; they are more rapturous, less inspired. In Euripides, it is, by a careless return to the older custom, an epic messenger announcement, which a masked figure delivers to the audience, a figure who never once appears in the play, — like Aphrodite in Hyppolitus and the ghost of the slain Polydorus in Hecuba. It is true, an elaborate technique which determines not only the form, but also many aesthetic effects, barks out for the dramatic poetry of a period a limited boundary within which the greatest success is attained, and to transgress which is not allowed even to the greatest genius.
The effect which the intimate connections of an historic life produce, is powerful, and excites wonder. An elaborate narrative must not occur when the action is moving forward with energy and rapidity. Even such motives may force a man into violent conflicts with his environment; but the dramatic art, considered in general, may be in a position to turn such antagonisms to account. Far more easily than in real life the tears flow, the lips twitch; this pain, however, is at the same time accompanied with intense enjoyment, while the hearer experiences immediately after the hero, the same thoughts, sorrows, calamities, with great vividness, as if they were his own. In Mary Stuart, the heroine has the controlling influence over her portentous fate, up to the climax, the garden scene; so far she controls the mental attitudes of her counter-players; the propelling forces are, however, as the subject demanded, the intriguers and Elizabeth.
But he, himself, achieved from the stage of his time the wonderful advance to a complete action; and we owe to him, after he began to make use of the material in Italian novels, our comprehension of how irreplaceable and noble effects are which are produced by a unified and well-ordered action. The contrast between the court atmosphere, from which the lover has emerged, and the narrow circle of a little village household, is vividly felt. Thus, in Electra, in addition to the Ismene scene, mentioned later, Chrysomethis is indispensable according to our feeling for the chief heroine, and no longer as episode, but as part of the action. And since the Greek stage did not know our love scenes, they occupied a similar position, though good-will did not always appear in them, and sometimes even hatred flamed up. In contrast to such cold excess of power, meek-spirited modesty of man is the highest wisdom. The epic hero intrinsically undramatic. But this method of constructing a play is not the most correct, dramatically; and it is no accident, that the greatest dramas of such a character, at the tragic close, intermingle with the emotions and perturbations of the hearer, an irritating feeling which lessens the joy and recreation.