of the different theatrical practices, one must take in account that there have been
many interpretations, and productions of each of their respected plays. The differing
presentations of each may lead someone to think differently about the play than
another would. In comparing and contrasting the dramatic representation of the
protagonists Oedipus and Othello, theatrical presentation, costume design, and
character will lead the reader, and viewer, to have a greater insight into the theatrical
practices of their times and their approaches to the issue of verisimilitude.
The theatrical presentation of both plays are very similar. The two plays would
both be presented on a thrust stage, which is a platform surrounded on three sides by
the audience. Except for the backdrop which would have some element of scenery,
the stage itself would be bare apart from a few scenic elements and props. Othello,
like most of Shakespeare's plays, had what is called an abstract setting. That is a
setting in which the locale may change rapidly, it may not be indicated by the script
that it has changed, and was most likely suggested by a few props. Abstract settings
place more emphasis on the language and the performer, which causes the spectator
to use their imagination. It also places more emphasis on costuming. This type of
setting helped set up the style of representational theater, which places high emphasis
on the realistic. The style used in classical Greece was presentational which, because
of the use of the mask, gave no illusion that this story is happening before their eyes.
The audience is reminded that they are watching a play, and not merely observing
life. Thus, the use of the thrust stage is the only similarity of the two types of
presentation. Othello is a purely illusionistic play, whereas Oedipus Rex is one that...