Western theater theory and criticism is generally considered to be set forth by the Greeks. Plato was "the first theater critic" with his negative comments about theater owing to his idealistic views about "the truth." Then came Aristotle who used a different viewpoint from that of Plato, saying that there is "truth" in theater. However, hostile criticism on theater came back in the Middle Ages, championed by Tertulian before Aristotelian theory was revived by the neo-classicists such as Scaliger and Castelvetro. Theater theory and criticism discourse was then made more alive by the romanticists who disagreed with the neo-classicists rigid rules on theater. As the influence of science became dominant in the theater world, naturalism and realism emerged and became the mainstream of theater theory and criticism until well into the twentieth century.
When modernism started to become the major paradigm in the western world, western theatre also took part in the development. Realism, a child of modernism, soon became the mainstream of the theatrical expression. As soon as realism became established in the first-half of the 20th century, anti-realist movements flourished as reactions to the establishment. These movements were so diverse that it ranged from movements which were purely artistic such as what was done by Edward Gordon Craig until those that were political like what was proposed by Bertolt Brecht (1992).
Melodrama has been a part of the American life since colonial time. This genre, with its hero-villain or black and white development of characters, has formed the idea of the American heroes. In Western films, in which the local themes of westward movement on the American society are developed, melodrama treats the dichotomy of hero-villain more stereotypically. The heroes depict the concept of the American self and the villains picture the other. However, the development of Western film shows that the stereotypical treatment on self and the other undergoes some changes.
As one of the most influential figures in theatre, Bertolt Brecht has stamped his legacy in the world theatre. His search for a new kind of theatre made his theatre a modern avant-garde which has left its traces in postmodern theatres. This paper tries to investigate Brechts epic theatre as a modern avant-garde and its influence in postmodern theatre. His epic theatre was in fact a revolt against the main stream modern theatre in which Brecht openly declares that theatre should be political. Brechts theatre was so influential that his theatre becomes reference to the postmodern theatre.
Melodrama has long been considered as a genre with no artistic value by theatre/drama historians. It is there to cater the tastes of the lower class or the popular society; thus, it is not a genre worthy of literary scholars. Through New Historicism lens, however, such a consideration is given by people with elitist point of view. As it is discussed in the following paper, melodrama has a lot to offer. It has been a genre with a lot of values attached to it since its "birth" in France, its development in England, and maturation in the United States. Unlike the other genres, which are not free from values and biases, melodrama is more frank in delivering its messages.
Melodrama reflects and constructs ideology. In American melodrama, the dominant social group imposed its ideology by constructing the standard American identity and its opposite through the heroes and villains. In the four plays discussed, the standard is pictured through the heroes in terms of their ability to get financial success, their acceptance of the Protestant moral codes, and their being white. Thus, in the world of melodrama people of color as well as financially deprived people are marginalized.
Wayang kulit (shadow puppet) has not only been an entertainment; it is a medium to disseminate Javanese values to the public. Therefore, wayang kulit has been a site of power game. Those who could control it have their best opportunity to pass their values to the public. Throughout its history, those in power since the colonial time until the New Order regime had successfully used this medium to educate the public. The New Order regime, for one thing, had used this medium well. Wayang kulit promoted Suharto as an equal of Semar, a wise, god-like character. It also promoted Golkar as the most powerful political party in the New Order Era. Feudalism in wayang kulit was also used to reinforce a feudalistic regime of New Order.
Nahum Tate’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear was so successful in Restoration theatre. Modern critics, however, regard Tate’s work as a second class drama which deserves mockery and dismiss it from master narratives of the history of English theatre. Therefore, we examine the ‘fields of cultural production’ of Shakespeare’s and Nahum Tate’s King Lear from Shakespeare’s time to the present to find out how each period values a certain work of literature. In the discussion, we would like to argue that the shifting ‘fields of cultural production’ determines the acceptance and rejection of Nahum Tate’s King Lear. By analyzing the ‘fields of cultural productions’ of both plays, we show that Tate’s has been excluded from the canonization within modern field of production’s discourses because of shifting circles of belief.
This paper examines the individuation of Potter and Voldemort in Harry Potter series. To be a holistic individual, a person needs to be individuated by managing their three main archetypes. The three main archetypes are persona, shadow, and anima or animus. Potter and Voldemort have to manage their archetypes their journey as human beings. Each of them has to know his persona including his appearance, behavior and role; confront his shadow; and balance his anima. In the end, Potter manages himself to be a individuated person who can lead a good life, while Voldemort fails to be an individuated person and, as a result, he died.
This paper emphasizes guilt as the main issue portrayed in Khaled Hosseiniâs The Kite Runner through its main character, Amir. Guilt discussed in this paper is defined as a feeling produced from a behavior that is related to a failure, a wrong doing, or even a sin. This paper discusses the way Amir deals with his guilt since it needs to be redeemed even through suffering. In this paper, I maintain that Amir bears not only his personal guilt yet also his familial and societal guilt. Amirâs personal guilt comes from his failure to become a good friend, his familial guilt comes from his burden to bear the sin of the family, especially his father, and his societal guilt comes from his burden to bear the injustice that happened in the history of his tribe. The analysis also shows that self-sacrifice is the way Amir chooses to deal with his guilt.