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Title: 'Drama within the limitations of art' : a study of some plays by Maeterlinck, Yeats, Beckett, and Pinter
Author: Painter, Susan Gay
ISNI:       0000 0001 3464 1971
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1978
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The purpose is to elucidate one of the most important types of play written in rejection of late nineteenth-century secular realism. The theory of the form was most forcefully expressed by T.S. Eliot and G.B. Shaw. Although in many ways antithetical, Shaw and Eliot, in terms often curiously similar and with a crucial model in common, demanded a drama which would reject the secular ethos of realism, its formal amorphousness, and its preoccupation with the portrayal of personalities. Quite independently, in looking for an exemplary play in the whole English tradition, each fixed on the medieval Everyman. In "Four Elizabethan Dramatists" Eliot puts the point with force in a phrase pellucid yet richly suggestive: "In one play, Everyman, and perhaps in that one play only, we have a drama within the limitations of art." Shaw used Everyman as the clearest example in English of the work of the artist-philosophers. In both Shaw's and Eliot's admiration for the medieval play lies a horror of chaos, and a demand for philosophical order. Some plays by Maeterlinck, Yeats, Beckett and Pinter are assessed according to their success or failure as 'drama within the limitations of art', drama that imposes order on actuality in order to elicit a sense of order in actuality Yeats's successful creation of a complex private mythology provided him with what the other three dramatists so cripplingly lacked - what Yeats called his "defense against the chaos of the world".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English Literature