T. S. Eliot …
His theory of Poetic Drama
His role in the revival of Poetic Drama
1) Critical review on Eliot's theory of Poetic Drama:
Eliot is one of the greatest writers and poets in the history of the English literature. He has made great contributions in the favor of لصالح the development and flourishment إزدهار of literature as a whole. He wants to be unique فريد and to have his own style that distinguishes him from other writers, so he breaks the rules and decides to pay a keen interest to the art of poetic drama. He is very interested in the problems that face a verse dramatist in the modern age. So, he decides to put his theory on poetic drama to convey his point of view about this art to the readers and other critics. His dramatic criticism has a both negative and positive aspect. Negatively, he seeks to demolish يهدم the concept of prose drama, and positively, he asserts أكد على the need and possibility إمكانية of poetic drama in the modern age.
Mixture of Poetry and Drama:
In Eliot's point of view, the real opposition تعارض is not between poetic drama and prose drama, but it is between poetic drama and realistic drama. It's error to separate poetry and drama. Poetry and drama are one thing; they can't be separated because poetry is the natural language of men in the moments of highest emotional excitement الإثارة العاطفية العليا, therefore, at his highest emotional moments, dramatist becomes poetic.
Eliot has identified certain characteristics that must be existed within the poetry used in drama:
1- It must be dramatically inevitable حتمى.
2- It must flow out يتدفق of character and action.
3- It must be justified مُبرر.
4- It must not be a mere embellishment زخرفة, or more superfluity زائد عن الحد.
Eliot has determined that the main goal of poetic drama is to mix poetry with drama to produce a natural thing.
The Language of Poetic Drama:
For a long period of time, it was commonly accepted among generations of writers and poets that prose is the natural medium of expression, and poetry is artificial. But Eliot has a different point of view; unlike all other poets, critics, and writers, he thinks that prose is artificial مصطنع and verse is realistic. Eliot believes that the use of prose is artificial as it depicts يصور real life. Also, for him, the use of colloquial عامى and idiom can never express the variety of emotions and situations. For Eliot, the difference between poetic drama and prose drama is that poetic drama express permanent and universal things, while prose drama express superficial سطحى and ephemeral سريع الزوال things. For him, verse doesn't limit يحد من the range of emotions.
Themes of Poetic Drama:
As Eliot opposes realism in language and diction of drama, he also opposes realism in themes. He identified some rules concerning the themes of poetic drama:
1- The artist must impose form and order upon reality to clarify the hidden meaning of the material.
2- He rejected photographic realism in art as the drama which depicts the problems of everyday life can't be regarded as a great work of art. 3- Poetic drama may use a contemporary material, but this material must be ordered and shifted.
4- Poetic drama should deal with the vague غامض and indefinite feelings that can't be expressed by prose drama.
Problems of Poetic Drama:
According to Eliot, poetic drama is possible and can be used in modern age. But the problem is that modern age is complex, so verse dramatist will have to face problem. The most important one is to find a suitable convention عرف to help him writing his work. A clear example of this problem is the Elizabethan age, where dramatists had much realism and poetic conventions like the ghost, the aside, which was regarding the drama itself not its aims. They've worked within these poetic conventions, in other words, they wrote without aims, and the result was fantastic but absurd سخيف works....
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