Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.290057
Title: Theme and expression in the plays of George Chapman
Author: Spring, J. R.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3475 6357
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 1980
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Abstract:
George Chapman's reputation as a dramatist has long suffered as a result of the widely-held view that his imaginative powers and dramatic skills are impeded by his didacticism. Of late, admirers have argued that he is not a didacticist and that a fresh and unprejudiced review of his plays as works of the imagination would lead to the recognition of their dramatic and theatrical effectiveness. This dissertation argues that it is vain to deny the centrality of a didactic purpose to the plays which are plays of ideas rather than of character and action. It argues that Chapman should be recognised as a didactic dramatist whose purposes and methods are essentially different from those of his contemporaries who are mimetic dramatists of various kinds, and as a psychological dramatist whose aim is to apply and to teach moral and psychological theory. When his plays are assessed in the context of mimetic drama, their didacticism can only seem an impediment and Chapman can only seem to fail in what his contemporaries readily achieved in the way of creating characters and narratives. Assessed on their own terms and in the light of the theatrical success this century of didactic dramas by writers such as Shaw and Brecht, they show that their author understood and valued the dramatic and theatrical medium and knew how to use it to teach ideas. This study reviews critical opinion of Chapman and examines his theory of drama. It also surveys the psychological theory of his day and his moral interpretation of it. It then discusses his work as a didactic and psychological dramatist in the tragedies and the comedies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.290057  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature Literature Mass media Performing arts
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