Rare is the human being, immature or mature, who has never felt an impulse to pretend he is some one or something else.
Out of the past come the standards for judging the present; standards in turn to be shaped by the practice of present-day dramatists into broader standards for the next generation.
Sensitive, responsive, eagerly welcomed everywhere, the drama, holding the mirror up to nature, by laughter and by tears reveals to mankind the world of men.
There is no essential difference between the material of comedy and tragedy. All depends on the point of view of the dramatist, which, by clever emphasis, he tries to make the point of view of his audience.
What then is tragedy? In the Elizabethan period it was assumed that a play ending in death was a tragedy, but in recent years we have come to understand that to live on is sometimes far more tragic than death.
When the drama attains a characterization which makes the play a revelation of human conduct and a dialogue which characterizes yet pleases for itself, we reach dramatic literature.
But what is drama? Broadly speaking, it is whatever by imitative action rouses interest or gives pleasure.
Acted drama requires surrender of one's self, sympathetic absorption in the play as it develops.
Drama read to oneself is never drama at its best, and is not even drama as it should be.
Farce treats the improbable as probable, the impossible as possible.
In reading plays, however, it should always be remembered that any play, however great, loses much when not seen in action.
No drama, however great, is entirely independent of the stage on which it is given.
The drama is a great revealer of life.
Back through the ages of barbarism and civilization, in all tongues, we find this instinctive pleasure in the imitative action that is the very essence of all drama.
The instinct to impersonate produces the actor; the desire to provide pleasure by impersonations produces the playwright; the desire to provide this pleasure with adequate characterization and dialogue memorable in itself produces dramatic literature.
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