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Critique of a play to be watched - Essay Example

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Theatre Critique The Eumenides is the third part of Aeschylus Oresteian Trilogy and is recognized as one of the seminal dramatic productions of Greek antiquity. The play itself explores issues of morality and justice in a dramatic context that is indicative of a true masterpiece…
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Critique of a play to be watched

Download file to see previous pages... In this version a variety of critical interpretations are advanced, with the interpretation most centrally being that Greek theatrical productions remain important aspects of the literary and cultural landscape not through being reimagined and reinterpreted but through the preservation of their core structural dimensions. In viewing Peter Hall’s production of the Eumenides one of the first aspects one notices is it preservation of traditional Greek structural dimensions. In the opening scene the speaker is masked (indeed, this is thematic throughout all the characters) indicative of a traditional Greek production. In these regards, Hall himself stated that, “Greek plays are impossible without the mask... its very mystery solved not only the problem of expressing unbearable feeling, but also how to make the unending laments of the chorus understandable to a modern audience". In these regards, the mask clouds the identity of the characters such that audiences throughout humanity can cast their own insights and emotions onto the characters. In addition to these authentic elements, the play includes an orchestra that accompanies the production much like one would imagine the Greek stage of antiquity. It’s indicative of Hall’s intentions in the production of keeping the play true to authentic form as the music does not function in the background as is the case with film, television, or indeed a great many stage productions, but is intermingled with the stage action seamlessly. This demonstrates Hall’s vision as the viewer shares the same presence as would a viewer listening to the orchestra during a performance of the Eumenides in antiquity. This element also demonstrates the everlasting nature of Hall’s perspective when one considers that in great part this structural format – the melding of music and on-stage narrative – has persisted even into the mainstream contemporary social environment in terms of the music video; all the more remarkable considering that this production occurred the same year as the emergence of MTV. The stage dimensions of this opening scene are also indicative of what one envisions the Greek stage place to be as, with the speaker subtly cognizant of the expansive nature of the audience. The physical dimensions of the stage space are also directly reminiscent of the ancient Greek stage with round stage platform with a backdrop outlining the screen. If there is any room to critique Hall’s production it would be in his firm reliance on this element of the Greek stage, but as the play advances one witnesses the implementation of modern methods of shot selection and editing that are melded into this otherwise authentic production. In these regards, Hall’s version of the Eumenides is not as entirely authentic in the classic Greek sense as he would have the audience believe, yet is perhaps more powerful for it, as his subtle re-workings emerge in aspects that open the play to broader contextual meaning and purpose. In great part the screen space is outlined in black and white. While it is a filmed stage production and one can argue that this is simply an aspect of its reproduction onto the screen space, it nevertheless takes on aesthetic meaning in the context of analysis. Without delving too far into literary critique the black and white simply functions as a means of bringing out the color that has possible symbolic implications; however this critique does not delve into these literary elements but rather considers how director Hall ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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