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The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama


The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama presents a well-balanced selection of plays, commentaries, and casebooks in a concise, affordable format. Its 29 chronologically arranged plays represent every major period from classic times to the present. With in-depth treatment of William Shakespeare, a strong representation of plays by women and American multicultural plays, and an exciting contemporary section loaded with prize winners, The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama has the plays you want to teach and features designed to help students think critically about all aspects of a play as a work of literature and as a performance.

Giving students a rich understanding of the plays and the contexts from which they emerge, the anthology offers 33 commentaries, two casebooks, the most extensive collection of theater photographs available in a text of this kind, coverage of writing about drama, and a robust companion web site with help for students and instructors.

About the Author

LEE A. JACOBUS is professor emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut and the author/editor of popular English textbooks, among them A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers, Sixth Edition (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002); The Longman Anthology of American Drama; and Literature: An Introduction to Critical Reading. Professor Jacobus has written scholarly books on Paradise Lost, on the works of John Cleveland, and on the works of Shakespeare, including Shakespeare and the Dialectic of Certainty. He is also a playwright; two of his plays — Fair Warning and Long Division — were produced in New York by the American Theater of Actors; Dance Therapy , three one-act plays, was produced in New York at Where Eagles Dare Theatre.  He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.  Volcanic Jesus, his book of short stories, is set in Hawaii.

Table of Contents

Preface for Instructors

Introduction: Thinking about Drama

What Is Drama?
Drama and Ritual
Drama: The Illusion of Reality
Seeing a Play Onstage
        Theaters and Their Effect
Reading a Play
The Great Ages of Drama
        Greek Drama
        Roman Drama
        Medieval Drama 
        Renaissance Drama
        Late Seventeenth-and Eighteenth-Century Drama
        Nineteenth-Century Drama through the Turn of the Twentieth Century
        Drama in the Early and Mid-Twentieth Century
        Contemporary Drama
Genres of Drama
Elements of Drama

Lady Gregory, The Rising of the Moon

Greek Drama
Origins of Greek Drama
        The Greeks and Their Gods
        The Greek Stage
        *The Greek Actor
Genres of Greek Drama
        Satyr Plays
The Great Age of Greek Drama
Greek Drama Timeline
Sophocles, Oedipus Rex (Translated by Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald)
        Oedipus Rex in Performance
Commentaries on Oedipus Rex
Aristotle, Poetics: Comedy and Epic and Tragedy
Sigmund Freud, The Oedipus Complex
Claude Lévi-Strauss, From The Structural Study of Myth

Aristophanes, Lysistrata (Translated by Dudley Fitts)
        Lysistrata in Performance
Roman Drama
Indigenous Sources
The Greek Influence
The Roman Stage
*The Roman Actor
Roman Drama Timeline
Roman Dramatists
        Plautus, Excerpt from The Twin Menaechmi (Act III)
        Terence, Excerpt from The Brothers (Act V)
        Seneca, Excerpt from Thyestes (Act V, Scene ii)

Medieval Drama
The Role of the Church
Miracle Plays
Mystery Plays
Morality Plays
The Medieval Stage
*The Medieval Actor
Medieval Drama Timeline

Hrosvitha, Dulcitius (Translated by K.M. Wilson)
        Dulcitius in Performance
Commentary on Hrosvitha
Sue-Ellen Case, Re-viewing Hrotsvit

Anonymous, Everyman (Edited by A.C. Cawley)
        Everyman in Performance
Renaissance Drama
Italian Drama
        The Italian Theater
        Commedia dellArte
Elizabethan Drama
       The Elizabethan Theater
       * The Elizabethan Actor
        The Elizabethan Audience
        Female Characters on the English Stage
        The Masque
Spanish Drama
Renaissance Drama Timeline
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Nights Dream
        A Midsummer Nights Dream in Performance
Commentaries on A Midsummer Nights Dream
Linda Bamber, On A Midsummer Nights Dream
Peter Brook, The Play is a Message…
Clive Barnes, Review of A Midsummer Nights Dream
William Shakespeare, Othello
        Othello in Performance
Commentaries on Othello
Virginia Mason Vaughan, Macreadys Othello
Margaret Webster, Shakespeare without Tears
Ben Jonson, The Masque of Blackness
        The Masque of Blackness in Performance
Commentary on Jonson
Eldred Jones, Africa in English Masque and Pageantry
Late Seventeenth-and-Eighteenth Century Drama
The Restoration: Rebirth of Drama
Theater on the Continent: Neoclassicism
        French Comedy: Moliere
*Theater in England: The Restoration
        Restoration Comedy in England
        Eighteenth-Century Drama
* The Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Actor
Drama in Japan
Late Seventeenth-and Eighteenth-Century Drama Timeline

* Moliere, Tartuffe (Translated by Richard Wilbur)
        Tartuffe in Performance
Commentary on Moliere
* Mel Gussow, Review of ‘Tartuffe
* Aphra Behn, The Rover; Or, The Banished Cavaliers
         The Rover; or, The Banished Cavaliers in Performance
Commentaries on Behn
* Elaine Hobby, Courtship and Marriage in The Rover
Chikamatsu Monzaemon, The Love Suicides at Sonezaki
        The Love Suicides at Sonezaki in Performance
Commentary on Chikamatsu Monzaemon
Donald H. Shiveley, The Development of Theater Buildings
Nineteenth-Century Drama through the Turn of the Twentieth Century
The Nineteenth Century Theater
* The Nineteenth-Century Actor
Romantic Drama
The Well-Made Play
The Rise of Realism
Nineteenth-Century Drama Timeline
Henrik Ibsen, A Doll Ho

Product Details

Jacobus, Lee A
Bedford Books
Jacobus, Lee A.
History and criticism
Drama -- History and criticism.
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Sixth Edition
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
10.00 x 7.94 in

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