Discuss the emergence of realism in theatre

Topics: George Bernard Shaw, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov Pages: 2 (586 words) Published: December 5, 2013

Theatre and Performance
Lecturer: Ms Marcelle Theuma
First term

Discuss the emergence of realism in theatre at the turn of the 20th century and how you think it influenced playwrights like Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg and George Bernard Shaw.

Miriana Borg
Second year
Group: 2A
Discuss the emergence of realism in theatre at the turn of the 20th century and how you think it influenced playwrights like Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg and George Bernard Shaw.

Realism  in the theatre was a general movement in the later 19th century that steered theatrical texts and performances toward greater fidelity to real life. The realist dramatists Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg in Scandinavia and Anton Chekhov in Russia, and George Bernard Shaw, rejected the complex and artificial plotting of the well-made play and instead treated themes and conflicts belonging to a real, contemporary society.

Henrik Ibsen was born in Norway in 1828. His mature work may be read as an effort to come to terms with reality, the reality of his early life and the reality of society as a whole. Ibsen is perhaps best known for eight plays he wrote in Italy and Germany. By separating himself physically from his homeland, he gained the freedom and perspective to criticize it. Ibsen embarked on a series of realistic prose plays exposing contemporary problems in contemporary Norwegian settings. Concentrating directly on Norwegian society, he addressed universal concerns, for the social problems that provide the context for these plays were instantly recognizable to audiences. Among them the question of women's rights in 'A Doll House' (1879), hereditary syphilis in 'Ghosts' (1881), and municipal corruption in 'An Enemy of the People' (1882). Ibsen's realistic plays take place in three-dimensional rooms, rather than against flat painted or architectural backdrops. Shaw, Strindberg, and Chekhov each found a different dramatic...
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