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Title: Applying the anthropological model, 'cultural bias' to the drama, using tragedy as an example
Author: Turner, Elaine
ISNI:       0000 0001 3538 257X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1991
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Dr Mary Douglas' anthropological modal of Cultural Bias offers an opportunity to examine social artefacts in terms of both their active social function and their own internal structure, promising to offer a fresh perspective on old dilemmas. This study applies the Cultural Bias model to several classical Tragedies in an attempt to assess the viability of the model as a basis for a structural Poetics and an interpretive model. Elaborative analysis is concentrated on the two major Tragedies of Christopher Marlowe. The model encouragingly casts new light on areas in the plays conventionally considered "problematic" while offering a positive reassessment of Marlowe's capacities and intentions. Further issues implied by the model are examined in the context of Shakespeare's Macbeth and two representative Greek Tragedies. Questions of structural definition and categorisation demand relative comparison. Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, representatives of modern dramas whose definition has often been linked with classical Tragedy are examined and compared with the classical form through the criteria of the model. The modern plays are revealed to have a distinctly different form and implicit social function than the classical plays, highlighting the advantages, if not the necessity for a significant process of categorisation and confirming the viability of the model as a delineating source. The final part of this study examines four plays from the 20th century which have presented critical and interpretive problems. Detailed analysis through the model provides a coherent interpretation as well as solutions to their problematic elements and suggests that these plays, despite their stylistic differences, share a formal structure with classical Tragedy. This analysis implies a possible reassessment of contemporary plays in a more extensive, formal context. In the process of this investigation, the model of Cultural Bias has proved a stimulating and revealing interpretive tool. Its interpretations work as both intellectual and performance models, are capable of resolving textual problems, and offer fresh perspectives. It also offers evidence of a coherent active social function inherent in the Arts. Numerous further avenues of study have also been uncovered and are suggested here.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater