A playwright or dramatist is a person who writes plays. The word "play" is from Middle English pleye, from Old English plæġ, pleġa, plæġa ("play, exercise; the word "wright" is an archaic English term for a builder. The words combine to indicate a person who has "wrought" words and other elements into a dramatic form—a play; the first recorded use of the term "playwright" is from 1605, 73 years before the first written record of the term "dramatist". It appears to have been first used in a pejorative sense by Ben Jonson to suggest a mere tradesman fashioning works for the theatre. Jonson uses the word in his Epigram 49, thought to refer to John Marston: Epigram LXVIII — On Playwright PLAYWRIGHT me reads, still my verses damns, He says I want the tongue of epigrams. Playwright, I loath to have thy manners known In my chaste book. Jonson described himself as a poet, not a playwright, since plays during that time were written in meter and so were regarded as the province of poets; this view was held as late as the early 19th century.
The term "playwright" again lost this negative connotation. The earliest playwright in Western literature with surviving works are the Ancient Greeks; these early plays were for annual Athenian competitions among play writers held around the 5th century BC. Such notables as Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristophanes established forms still relied on by their modern counterparts. For the ancient Greeks, playwriting involved poïesis, "the act of making"; this is the source of the English word poet. In the 4th century BCE, Aristotle wrote his Poetics, in which he analyzed the principle of action or praxis as the basis for tragedy, he considered elements of drama: plot, thought, diction and spectacle. Since the myths, on which Greek tragedy were based, were known, plot had to do with the arrangement and selection of existing material. Character was determined by action. Tragedy is mimesis—"the imitation of an action, serious", he developed his notion of hamartia, or tragic flaw, an error in judgment by the main character or protagonist, which provides the basis for the "conflict-driven" play.
The Italian Renaissance brought about a stricter interpretation of Aristotle, as this long-lost work came to light in the late 15th century. The neoclassical ideal, to reach its apogee in France during the 17th century, dwelled upon the unities, of action and time; this meant that the playwright had to construct the play so that its "virtual" time would not exceed 24 hours, that it would be restricted to a single setting, that there would be no subplots. Other terms, such as verisimilitude and decorum, circumscribed the subject matter significantly. For example, verisimilitude limits of the unities. Decorum fitted proper protocols for language on stage. In France, contained too many events and actions, violating the 24-hour restriction of the unity of time. Neoclassicism never had as much traction in England, Shakespeare's plays are directly opposed to these models, while in Italy and bawdy commedia dell'arte and opera were more popular forms. In England, after the Interregnum, restoration of the monarchy in 1660, there was a move toward neoclassical dramaturgy.
One structural unit, still useful to playwrights today, is the "French scene", a scene in a play where the beginning and end are marked by a change in the makeup of the group of characters onstage, rather than by the lights going up or down or the set being changed. Popularized in the nineteenth century by the French playwrights Eugène Scribe and Victorien Sardou, the most schematic of all formats, the "well-made play" relies on a series of coincidences that determined the action; this plot driven format is reliant on a prop device, such as a glass of water, or letter that reveals some secret information. In most cases, the character receiving the secret information misinterprets its contents, thus setting off a chain of events. Well-made plays are thus motivated by various plot devices which lead to "discoveries" and "reversals of action," rather than being character motivated. Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House is an example of a well-made structure that began to integrate a more realistic approach to character.
The character Nora's leaving is as much motivated by "the letter" and disclosure of a "past secret" as it is by her own determination to strike out on her own. The well-made play infiltrated other forms of writing and is still seen in popular formats such as the mystery, or "whodunit." Full-length play: Generally, two or three acts with an act break that marks some kind of scene change or time shift. These acts are divided into scenes, which are defined by shifts in time and place; this type of structure is called episodic. Episodic plays contain scene changes and require careful attention to transitions, so as to maintain entails a more causal relationship between units and is defined by the unity of time, and/or action. Short play: A more popular format the short play does not have an intermission and runs over an hour, but less than an hour-and-a-half. One-act play: A useful form for experimental work with less reliance on character development and arc; these remain under an hour in length.
In the US the 10-minute play
Macbeth, King of Scotland
Macbeth was King of Scots from 1040 until his death. He was titled King of Alba during his life, ruled over only a portion of present-day Scotland. Little is known about Macbeth's early life, although he was the son of Findláech of Moray and may have been a grandson of Malcolm II, he became Mormaer of Moray – a semi-autonomous lordship – in 1032, was responsible for the death of the previous mormaer, Gille Coemgáin. He subsequently married Gille Coemgáin's widow, although they had no children together. In 1040, Duncan I was killed in action by Macbeth's troops. Macbeth succeeded him as King of Alba with little opposition, his 17-year reign was peaceful, although in 1054 he was faced with an English invasion, led by Siward, Earl of Northumbria, on behalf of Edward the Confessor. Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan in 1057 by forces loyal to the future Malcolm III, he was buried on the traditional resting place of Scottish kings. Macbeth was succeeded by his stepson Lulach, but Lulach ruled for only a few months before being killed by Malcolm III, whose descendants would rule Scotland until the late 13th century.
Macbeth is today best known as the main character of William Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth and the many works it has inspired. However, Shakespeare's Macbeth is based on Holinshed's Chronicles and is not accurate. Macbeth's full name in Medieval Gaelic was Mac Bethad mac Findlaích; this is realised as MacBheatha mac Fhionnlaigh in Modern Gaelic, anglicised as Macbeth MacFinlay. The name Mac Bethad, from which the anglicised "MacBeth" is derived, means "son of life". Although it has the appearance of a Gaelic patronymic it does not have any meaning of filiation but instead carries an implication of "righteous man" or "religious man". An alternative proposed derivation is that it is a corruption of macc-bethad meaning "one of the elect"; some sources make Macbeth a grandson of King Malcolm II and thus a cousin to Duncan I, whom he succeeded. He was also a cousin to Thorfinn the Mighty, Earl of Orkney and Caithness. Nigel Tranter, in his novel Macbeth the King, went so far as to portray Macbeth as Thorfinn's half-brother.
However, this is speculation arising from the lack of historical certainty regarding the number of daughters Malcolm had. When Cnut the Great came north in 1031 to accept the submission of King Malcolm II, Macbeth too submitted to him:... Malcolm, king of the Scots, submitted to him, became his man, with two other kings and Iehmarc... Some have seen this as a sign of Macbeth's power. Whatever the true state of affairs in the early 1030s, it seems more probable that Macbeth was subject to the king of Alba, Malcolm II, who died at Glamis, on 25 November 1034; the Prophecy of Berchán alone in near-contemporary sources, says Malcolm died a violent death, calling it a "kinslaying" without naming his killers. Tigernach's chronicle says only: Máel Coluim son of Cináed, king of Alba, the honour of western Europe, died. Malcolm II's grandson Duncan King Duncan I, was acclaimed as king of Alba on 30 November 1034 without opposition. Duncan appears to have been tánaise ríg, the king in waiting, so that far from being an abandonment of tanistry, as has sometimes been argued, his kingship was a vindication of the practice.
Previous successions had involved strife between various rígdomna – men of royal blood. Far from being the aged King Duncan of Shakespeare's play, the real King Duncan was a young man in 1034, at his death in 1040 his youthfulness is remarked upon. Duncan's early reign was uneventful, his reign, in line with his description as "the man of many sorrows" in the Prophecy of Berchán, was not successful. In 1039, Strathclyde was attacked by the Northumbrians, a retaliatory raid led by Duncan against Durham turned into a disaster. Duncan survived the defeat, but the following year he led an army north into Moray, Macbeth's domain on a punitive expedition against Moray. There he was killed in action, at Bothnagowan, now Pitgaveny, near Elgin, by the men of Moray led by Macbeth on 14 August 1040. On Duncan's death, Macbeth became king. No resistance is known at that time, but it would have been normal if his reign were not universally accepted. In 1045, Duncan's father Crínán of Dunkeld was killed in a battle between two Scottish armies.
John of Fordun wrote that Duncan's wife fled Scotland, taking her children, including the future kings Malcolm III and Donald III with her. On the basis of the author's beliefs as to whom Duncan married, various places of exile and Orkney among them, have been proposed. However, E. William Robertson proposes the safest place for Duncan's widow and her children would be with her or Duncan's kin and supporters in Atholl. After the defeat of Crínán, Macbeth was evidently unchallenged. Marianus Scotus tells how the king made a pilgrimage to Rome in 1050, Marianus says, he gave money to the poor as if it were seed; the Orkneyinga Saga says that a dispute between Thorfinn Sigurdsson, Earl of Orkney, Karl Hundason began when Karl Hundason became "King of Scots" and claimed Caithness. The identity of Karl Hundason, unknow
An idiom is a phrase or an expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal, meaning. Categorized as formulaic language, an idiom's figurative meaning is different from the literal meaning. There are thousands of idioms, occurring in all languages, it is estimated that there are at least twenty-five thousand idiomatic expressions in the English language. Many idiomatic expressions, in their original use, had literal meaning. Sometimes the attribution of a literal meaning can change as the phrase becomes disconnected from its original roots, leading to a folk etymology. For instance, spill the beans has been said to originate from an ancient method of democratic voting, wherein a voter would put a bean into one of several cups to indicate which candidate he wanted to cast his vote for. If the jars were spilled before the counting of votes was complete, anyone would be able to see which jar had more beans, therefore which candidate was the winner. Over time, the practice was discontinued and the idiom became figurative.
However, this etymology for spill the beans has been questioned by linguists. The earliest known written accounts come from the USA and involve horse racing around 1902–1903, the one who "spilled the beans" was an unlikely horse who won a race, thus causing the favorites to lose. By 1907 the term was being used in baseball, but the subject who "spilled the beans" shifted to players who made mistakes, allowing the other team to win. By 1908 the term was starting to be applied to politics, in the sense that crossing the floor in a vote was "spilling the beans". However, in all these early usages the term "spill" was used in the sense of "upset" rather than "divulge". A Stack Exchange discussion provided a large number of links to historic newspapers covering the usage of the term from 1902 onwards. Other idioms are deliberately figurative. Break a leg, used as an ironic way of wishing good luck in a performance or presentation, may have arisen from the belief that one ought not to utter the words "good luck" to an actor.
By wishing someone bad luck, it is supposed. In linguistics, idioms are presumed to be figures of speech contradicting the principle of compositionality; that compositionality is the key notion for the analysis of idioms is emphasized in most accounts of idioms. This principle states that the meaning of a whole should be constructed from the meanings of the parts that make up the whole. In other words, one should be in a position to understand the whole if one understands the meanings of each of the parts that make up the whole; the following example is employed to illustrate the point: Fred kicked the bucket. Understood compositionally, Fred has kicked an actual, physical bucket; the much more idiomatic reading, however, is non-compositional: Fred is understood to have died. Arriving at the idiomatic reading from the literal reading is unlikely for most speakers. What this means is that the idiomatic reading is, stored as a single lexical item, now independent of the literal reading. In phraseology, idioms are defined as a sub-type of phraseme, the meaning of, not the regular sum of the meanings of its component parts.
John Saeed defines an idiom as collocated words that became affixed to each other until metamorphosing into a fossilised term. This collocation of words redefines each component word in the word-group and becomes an idiomatic expression. Idioms do not translate well; when two or three words are used together in a particular sequence, the words are said to be irreversible binomials, or Siamese twins. Usage will prevent the words from being rearranged. For example, a person may be left "high and dry" but never "dry and high"; this idiom in turn means that the person is left in their former condition rather than being assisted so that their condition improves. Not all Siamese twins are idioms, however. "Chips and dip" is an irreversible binomial, but it refers to literal food items, not idiomatic ones. Idioms possess varying degrees of mobility. While some idioms are used only in a routine form, others can undergo syntactic modifications such as passivization, raising constructions, clefting, demonstrating separable constituencies within the idiom.
Mobile idioms, allowing such movement, maintain their idiomatic meaning where fixed idioms do not: Mobile I spilled the beans on our project. → The beans were spilled on our project. Fixed The old man kicked the bucket. → The bucket was kicked. Many fixed idioms lack semantic composition, meaning that the idiom contains the semantic role of a verb, but not of any object; this is true of kick the bucket. By contrast, the semantically composite idiom spill the beans, meaning reveal a secret, contains both a semantic verb and object and secret. Semantically composite idioms have a syntactic similarity between their semantic forms; the types of movement allowed for certain idiom relate to the degree to which the literal reading of the idiom has a connection to its idiomatic meaning. This is referred to as transparency. While most idioms that do not display semantic composition do not allow non-adjectival modification, those that are motivated allow lexical substitution. For example, oil the wheels and grease the wheels allow variation for nouns that elicit a similar literal meaning.
These types of changes can occur only when speakers c
Tragedy is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in audiences. While many cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, the term tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role in the self-definition of Western civilisation; that tradition has been multiple and discontinuous, yet the term has been used to invoke a powerful effect of cultural identity and historical continuity—"the Greeks and the Elizabethans, in one cultural form. From its origins in the theatre of ancient Greece 2500 years ago, from which there survives only a fraction of the work of Aeschylus and Euripides, as well as a large number of fragments from other poets. A long line of philosophers—which includes Plato, Saint Augustine, Hume, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Freud, Camus and Deleuze—have analysed, speculated upon, criticised the genre. In the wake of Aristotle's Poetics, tragedy has been used to make genre distinctions, whether at the scale of poetry in general or at the scale of the drama.
In the modern era, tragedy has been defined against drama, the tragicomic, epic theatre. Drama, in the narrow sense, cuts across the traditional division between comedy and tragedy in an anti- or a-generic deterritorialisation from the mid-19th century onwards. Both Bertolt Brecht and Augusto Boal define their epic theatre projects against models of tragedy. Taxidou, reads epic theatre as an incorporation of tragic functions and its treatments of mourning and speculation; the word "tragedy" appears to have been used to describe different phenomena at different times. It derives from Classical Greek τραγῳδία, contracted from trag-aoidiā = "goat song", which comes from tragos = "he-goat" and aeidein = "to sing". Scholars suspect this may be traced to a time when a goat was either the prize in a competition of choral dancing or was that around which a chorus danced prior to the animal's ritual sacrifice. In another view on the etymology, Athenaeus of Naucratis says that the original form of the word was trygodia from trygos and ode, because those events were first introduced during grape harvest.
Writing in 335 BCE, Aristotle provides the earliest-surviving explanation for the origin of the dramatic art form in his Poetics, in which he argues that tragedy developed from the improvisations of the leader of choral dithyrambs: Anyway, arising from an improvisatory beginning, grew little by little, as developed whatever of it had appeared. In the same work, Aristotle attempts to provide a scholastic definition of what tragedy is: Tragedy is an enactment of a deed, important and complete, of magnitude, by means of language enriched, each used separately in the different parts: it is enacted, not recited, through pity and fear it effects relief to such emotions. There is some dissent to the dithyrambic origins of tragedy based on the differences between the shapes of their choruses and styles of dancing. A common descent from pre-Hellenic fertility and burial rites has been suggested. Friedrich Nietzsche discussed the origins of Greek tragedy in his early book The Birth of Tragedy. Here, he suggests the name originates in the use of a chorus of goat-like satyrs in the original dithyrambs from which the tragic genre developed.
Scott Scullion writes: There is abundant evidence for tragoidia understood as "song for the prize goat". The best-known evidence is Horace, Ars poetica 220-24. Athenian tragedy—the oldest surviving form of tragedy—is a type of dance-drama that formed an important part of the theatrical culture of the city-state. Having emerged sometime during the 6th century BCE, it flowered during the 5th century BCE, continued to be popular until the beginning of the Hellenistic period. No tragedies from the 6th century and only 32 of the more than a thousand that were performed in the 5th century have survived. We have complete texts extant by Aeschylus and Euripides. Athenian tragedies
Macbeth (1971 film)
Macbeth is a 1971 British-American historical period drama film directed by Roman Polanski and co-written by Polanski and Kenneth Tynan. A film adaptation of William Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name, it retells the story of the Highland lord who becomes King of Scotland through treachery and murder; the film stars Jon Finch as the title character and Francesca Annis as Lady Macbeth, noted for their relative youth as actors. Themes of historic recurrence, greater pessimism and internal ugliness in physically beautiful characters are added to Shakespeare's story of moral decline, presented in a more realistic style. Polanski opted to begin an adaptation of Macbeth following the publicized Manson Family murder of his wife, Sharon Tate. Finding difficulty obtaining sponsorship from major studios, the production was funded by Playboy Enterprises. Filming was troubled by poor weather around the British Isles. Macbeth was screened out of competition at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival, was a commercial failure in the United States.
The film was controversial for its depictions of graphic violence and nudity, but has received positive reviews, was named Best Film by the National Board of Review. In the Middle Ages, a Norwegian invasion of Scotland is suppressed by Macbeth, Thane of Glamis, Banquo. A rebel, the Thane of Cawdor, is captured, King Duncan decrees Macbeth shall be awarded the title of Cawdor. Macbeth and Banquo do not hear of this news. At their camp, nobles arrive and inform Macbeth he has been named the Thane of Cawdor, with Macbeth awed and frightened at the prospect of usurping Duncan, in further fulfilment of the prophecy, he writes a letter to Lady Macbeth, delighted at the news. However, she fears her husband has too much good nature, vows to be cruel for him. Duncan names his eldest son, Prince of Cumberland, thus heir apparent, to the displeasure of Macbeth and Malcolm's brother Donalbain; the royal family and nobles spend the night at Macbeth's castle, with Lady Macbeth greeting the King and dancing with him with duplicity.
Urged on by his wife, Macbeth steps into King Duncan's chambers. Duncan wakes and utters Macbeth's name, he murders the guards. Fearing a conspiracy and Donalbain flee to England and Ireland, the Thane of Ross realises Macbeth will be king. An opportunistic courtier, he hails Macbeth at Scone, while the noble Macduff heads back to his home in Fife; when Macbeth begins to fear possible usurpation by Banquo and his son Fleance, he sends two murderers to kill them, sends Ross as the mysterious Third Murderer. Banquo is killed. After Banquo appears at a banquet as a ghost, Macbeth seeks out the witches, who are performing a nude ritual; the witches and the spirits they summon deceive Macbeth into thinking he is invincible, as he cannot be killed except by a man not born of woman, will not be defeated until "Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane." After Macduff flees to England, Ross leaves Fife's castle doors open, so Macbeth's murderers can kill Lady Macduff and the rest of the family and servants. With nobles fleeing Scotland, Macbeth chooses a new Thane of Cawdor, bestowing the title on Seyton over Ross.
Disappointed, Ross joins Malcolm and Macduff in England, where the English King has committed forces led by Siward to overthrowing Macbeth and installing Malcolm on the Scottish throne. The English forces invade, covering themselves by cutting down branches from Birnam Wood and holding them in front of their army to hide their numbers as they march on Macbeth in Dunsinane; when the forces storm the castle, Macduff confronts Macbeth, during the sword fight, Macduff reveals he was delivered by Caesarean section. Macduff beheads Macbeth, Ross presents the crown to Malcolm. Meanwhile, out riding, encounters the witches. Director Roman Polanski had been interested in adapting a Shakespeare play since he was a student in Kraków, but he did not begin until after the murder of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, several of his friends by members of the Manson Family at his house in Beverly Hills on the night of 9 August 1969. Following the murders, Polanski sank into deep depression, was unhappy with the way the incident was depicted in the media, in which his films seemed to be blamed.
At the time, he was working on the film The Day of the Dolphin, a project that collapsed and was turned over to another director, Mike Nichols. While in Gstaad, Switzerland during the start of 1970, Polanski envisioned an adaptation of Macbeth and sought out his friend, British theatre critic Kenneth Tynan, for his "encyclopedic knowledge of Shakespeare". In turn, Tynan was interested in working with Polanski because the director demonstrated what Tynan considered "exactly the right combination of fantasy and violence". Tynan and Polanski found it challenging to adapt the text to suit the feel of the film. Tynan wrote Polanski, saying, "the number one Macbeth problem is to see the events of the film from his point of view". During the writing process and Tynan acted out their scenes in a Belgravia, London apartment, with Tynan as Duncan and Polanski as Macbeth; as with the 1948 film version of Hamlet, the soliloquies are presented naturalistically as voiceover narration. In one scene Polanski and Tynan wrote, Lady Macbeth delivers her sleepwalking soliloquy in the nude.
Their decision was motivated by the fact. Consultations of academic research of the Middle Ages led to the depiction of the nobles, staying at Macbeth's castle, going
Macbeth (2010 film)
Macbeth is a 2010 television film based on William Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name. It was broadcast on BBC Four on 12 December 2010. In the United States, it aired on PBS' Great Performances, it was directed by Rupert Goold from his stage adaptation for the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2007. Patrick Stewart is featured with Kate Fleetwood as Lady Macbeth; the film evokes the atmosphere of the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, with subtle parallels between Stalin and Macbeth in their brutal quests for power. The Three Witches receive an update in keeping with the 20th century aesthetics, appearing as hospital nurses, their presence is pervasive throughout the film, punctuating the horror of Macbeth's murderous reign. The film was filmed on location at Welbeck Abbey. Principal cast: Macbeth – Sir Patrick Stewart Lady Macbeth – Kate Fleetwood Banquo – Martin Turner Macduff – Michael Feast Malcolm – Scott Handy Donalbain – Ben Carpenter Duncan / Doctor – Paul Shelley Lady Macduff – Suzanne Burden Lennox – Mark Rawlings Ross – Tim Treloar Angus – Bill Nash Old Seyward / Murderer – Christopher Knott Porter – Christopher Patrick Nolan Fleance – Bertie Gilbert Director- Rupert Goold The film won a Peabody Award for 2010.
In addition, Patrick Stewart was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries. Macbeth on IMDb Macbeth: About the Film and Preview https://web.archive.org/web/20100719100552/http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/theatre/review-23413999-the-macbeth-of-a-lifetime.do https://web.archive.org/web/20101211161127/http://cft.org.uk/cft-productions_details.asp?pid=71 https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/patrick-stewart-how-we-filmed-macbeth-in-18-days-2152271.html https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8194438/Terrifying-Macbeth-shows-Shakespeare-works-on-the-small-screen.html http://video.pbs.org/video/1604122998