Characteristics of Modern Drama

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Characteristics of Modern Drama

By | May 2010
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The essence of this paper is to list and discuss characteristics of modern period drama. These characteristics are realism, naturalism and interaction between characters and the readers. They will be discussed along with Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’ and Arthur Miller’s ‘Death of a Sales man’. Realism and naturalism are considered to be the cornerstones of modern drama as we know it today. They are the major influencers of the modern drama. Henrik Ibsen is considered to be the founding father of these two movements. It is crucial to note that characters in these two movements represent themselves as normal human beings and this aid to the readers to interact and analyse the play to make their own judgements which is a feature of modern drama. Realism in literature was first developed in France in the mid-nineteenth century. Realist writers sought to narrate their plays from an objective, unbiased perspective that simply and clearly represented the factual elements of the play. They became masters at psychological characterization, detailed descriptions of everyday life in realistic settings, and dialogue that captures the idioms of natural human speech. The realists endeavoured to accurately represent contemporary culture and people from all walks of life. Ghosts capture the issues that concern us in everyday life. They are real issues that concern us in the contemporary world. The fact that they are real and not shielded they led to the play being rejected when it was first produced in1891.What Ibsen was saying was the truth which was took place in the society before 19th Century and was concealed. By revealing issues such as sex, sexual transmitted infections, incest, and infidelity he hurt the society since such issues were not openly discussed prior the 19th Century. The reason why ‘Ghosts’ was rejected is that it dramatise those secret issues. “Daily Telegraph leader is perhaps the most damning, describing the play as: ‘an open drain; a loathsome sore...

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