Bedford Introduction to Drama / Edition 5

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Offering a broad survey of drama from the ancient Greeks to the present — including many new contemporary prize-winners — The Bedford Introduction to Drama has the plays you want to teach in a collection flexible enough to serve your needs in a variety of courses. Fifty-four chronologically arranged plays are illuminated by insightful commentaries and casebooks that enrich students’ contextual understanding and encourage critical thinking. Concise introductions for each historical period and play emphasize theater design, staging, and acting style, and a wealth of photographs and illustrations help students visualize plays in performance. A fresh new design highlights the rich contextual features and additional help for students including a guide to writing about drama, a glossary, and new cross-references to a robust companion Web site.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312445768
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 2/21/2005
  • Edition description: Fifth Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 1872
  • Product dimensions: 8.14 (w) x 9.88 (h) x 1.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee A. Jacobus is professor emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut and the author/editor of popular English and drama textbooks, among them the full and compact versions of The Bedford Introduction to Drama, Sixth Edition (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009); and The Longman Anthology of American Drama. He has written scholarly books on Paradise Lost, on the works of John Cleveland, and on the works of Shakespeare, including Shakespeare and the Dialectic of Certainty. He is also a playwright and author of fiction. Two of his plays — Fair Warning and Long Division — were produced in New York by the American Theater of Actors, and Dance Therapy, three one-act plays, was produced in New York at Where Eagles Dare Theatre.  He has recently written a book of short stories, Volcanic Jesus, which is set in Hawaii.

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Table of Contents

*New to this edition


Preface for Instructors


What Is Drama?

Drama and Ritual

Drama: The Illusion of Reality

Seeing a Play Onstage

Theaters and Their Effect

Reading a Play

The Great Ages of Drama

  Egyptian Drama

  Greek Drama

  Roman Drama

  Medieval Drama

  Renaissance Drama

  Late Seventeeth- and Eighteenth-Century Drama

  Nineteenth-Century Drama through the Turn of the Twentieth Century

  Drama in the Early and Mid-Twentieth Century

  Contemporary Drama

Genres of Drama




Elements of Drama



  Setting Dialogue




Lady Gregory, The Rising of the Moon


The Development of Greek Drama

The Greeks and Their Gods

The Greek Stage

The Greek Actor

Genres of Greek Drama


  Satyr Plays


The Great Age of Greek Drama

Greek Drama Timeline

Aeschylus, Agamemnon

  Agamemnon in Performance


    Lois Spatz, Oresteia: Trilogy Preserved

Sophocles, Oedipus Rex

  Oedipus Rex in Performance


    Aristotle, Poetics: Comedy and Epic and Tragedy

    Sigmund Freud, The Oedipus Complex

    Claude Lévi-Strauss, From The Structural Study of Myth

Sophocles, Antigone

  Antigone in Performance


    Oliver Taplin, Emotion and Meaning in Greek Tragedy

*Euripides, The Bacchae

  *The Bacchae in Performance


    Albrecht Dihle, The Bacchae

Aristophanes, Lysistrata


Indigenous Sources

The Greek Influence

The Roman Stage

The Roman Actor

Roman Drama Timeline

Roman Dramatists

  Plautus, Excerpt from The Twin Menaechmi (Act III)

  Terence, Excerpt from The Brothers (Act V)

  Seneca, Excerpt from Thyestes (Act V, Scene ii)


The Role of the Church

Miracle Plays

Mystery Plays

Morality Plays

Japanese Drama

The Medieval Stage

The Medieval Actor

Medieval Drama Timeline

Hrosvitha, Dulcitius

  Dulcitius in Performance


    Sue-Ellen Case, Re-viewing Hrotsvit

Anonymous, Second Shepherd's Pageant

  The Second Shepherd’s Pageant in Performance

Anonymous, Everyman

  Everyman in Performance


The Italian Theater

Commedia dell’Arte

Elizabethan Drama

  The Elizabethan Theater

  The Elizabethan Actor

  The Elizabethan Audience

  Female Characters on the English Stage

  The Masque

Spanish Drama

Renaissance Drama Timeline

Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus

  Doctor Faustus in Performance

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

  A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Performance


    Linda Bamber, On A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    Peter Brook, The Play Is the Message…

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

  Hamlet in Performance


    *A. C. Bradley, Hamlet’s Melancholy

    T. S. Eliot, Hamlet and His Problems

*William Shakespeare, The Tempest

  *The Tempest in Performance

*A Critical Casebook: The Tempest

  *William Strachey, from True Repertory of the Wreck, 1610

  *Michel de Montaigne, from Of Cannibals, 1580

  *Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Ariel and Caliban, from The Lectures of 1811-1812, Lecture IX

  *E. K. Chambers, The Tempest

  *Robert Browning, Caliban Upon Setebos

  *Aimé Césaire, from A Tempest

  *Ania Loomba, Sycorax

  *Marjorie Garber, The Tempest and Colonialism

Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Life Is a Dream

  Life Is a Dream in Performance


    Ed Morales, Review of José Revera’s Production of Sueño


Theater on the Continent: Neoclassicism

  French Tragedy

  French Comedy: Molière

Theater in England: The Restoration

  Restoration Comedy

Eighteenth-Century Drama

The Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Actor

Drama in Japan

Late Seventeenth- and Eighteenth Century Drama Timeline

Molière, Tartuffe

  Tartuffe in Performance


    Mel Gussow, Review of Tartuffe

Aphra Behn, The Rover; Or, The Banished Cavaliers

  The Rover in Performance


    Elaine Hobby, Courtship and Marriage in The Rover

Chikamatsu Monzaemon, The Love Suicides at Sonezaki

  The Love Suicides at Sonezaki in Performance


    Donald H. Shively, The Development of Theater Buildings

William Congreve, The Way of the World

  The Way of the World in Performance


    Arnold Aronson, Comedy, Manners, and Brickbats

*John Gay, The Beggar’s Opera

  *The Beggar’s Opera in Performance


The Nineteenth-Century Theater

The Nineteenth-Century Actor

Romantic Drama


The Well-Made Play

The Rise of Realism

Nineteenth-Century Drama Timeline

Henrik Ibsen, A Doll House

  A Doll House in Performance


    Henrik Ibsen, Notes for the Modern Tragedy

    Muriel C. Bradbrook, A Doll’s House: Ibsen the Moralist

August Strindberg, Miss Julie

  Miss Julie in Performance


    August Strindberg, From the Preface to Miss Julie

  A Stylistic Casebook: American Melodrama

  Anna Cora Mowatt, Fashion, Act V

  George Aiken, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Act VI

  Bronson Howard, Shenandoah, Act III

  Dion Boucicault, Notes on Acting

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

  The Importance of Being Earnest in Performance


    Joseph Donohue, Interview with Sir Peter Hall, Director of The Importance of Being Earnest

Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard

  The Cherry Orchard in Performance


    Anton Chekhov, From Letters of Anton Chekhov

Peter Brook, On Chekhov

Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren's Profession

  Mrs. Warren’s Profession in Performance


    Bernard Shaw, Plays Unpleasant: Mrs. Warren’s Profession

    Bernard Shaw, From the Preface to Mrs. Warren’s Profession

  A Cultural Casebook: The "Woman Question" in the Late Nineteenth Century

  John Stuart Mill, On the Subjection of Women

  August Strindberg, The Woman Question: Women’s Rights

  Johan Thorsten Sellin, Marriage and Divorce in Sweden

  Richard Panofsky, A Nineteenth-Century Husband’s Letter to His Wife

  Helen Watterson Moody, What It Means to Be a Wife

  Flora Tristan, London Journal: Prostitutes in London ...All the Streets Are Full of Them

  A Letter to the Times (London) from a Prostitute

  Barbara Meil Hobson, Successful Madams


The Heritage of Realism

Realism and Myth

Myth and Culture

Poetic Realism

Social Realism

Realism and Expressionism


Epic Theater

Absurdist Drama

The Early- and Mid-Twentieth-Century Stage

The Early- and Mid-Twentieth-Century Actor

Early- and Mid-Twentieth-Century Drama Timeline

John Millington Synge, Riders to the Sea

  Riders to the Sea in Performance

Susan Glaspell, Trifles

  Trifles in Performance


    Christine Dymkowski, On the Edge: The Plays of Susan Glaspell

Luigi Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author

  Six Characters in Search of an Author in Performance

Federico García Lorca, The House of Bernarda Alba

  The House of Bernarda Alba in Performance

Eugene O'Neill, Desire Under the Elms

  Desire Under the Elms in Performance


    *Roger Asselineau, "The Quest for God in Desire Under the Elms"

Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage and Her Children

  Mother Courage and Her Children in Performance


    Bertolt Brecht, The Alienation Effect

    Bertolt Brecht, Notes for Mother Courage, Scene 12

*Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

  *Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in Performance


    *Tennessee Williams, Memoirs

    *Brenda Murphy, Tennessee Williams and Elia Kazan Collaborate on Cat

Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

  Death of a Salesman in Performance


    Arthur Miller, Tragedy and the Common Man

  A Production Casebook: Death of a Salesman

  Jo Mielziner, Designing a Play: Death of a Salesman

  Elia Kazan, Directing Death of a Salesman

  Arthur Miller, From "The American Theater"

  Brenda Murphy, Racial Consciousness in Casting Death of a Salesman 

  June Schluetter and James K. Flanagan, Memorable Willy

  Catherine Diamond, Death of a Salesman in Taipei

Eugène Ionesco, The Bald Soprano

  The Bald Soprano in Performance


    Eugène Ionesco, The Tragedy of Language: How an English Primer Became My First Play

*Samuel Beckett, Endgame

  *Endgame in Performance


    Martin Esslin, The Theater of the Absurd

Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

  A Raisin in the Sun in Performance

Wole Soyinka, The Strong Breed

  The Strong Breed in Performance


    Lewis Nkosi, Interview with Wole Soyinka



  Theater of Cruelty

  Environmental Theater

  "Poor Theater"

  Theater of Images

  Gay and Lesbian Theater and Other New Ensembles

Experimentation within the Tradition

  *Drama in the United States

  *Drama in Europe: England, Ireland, and France

  *Drama in Asia and Africa

The Contemporary Theater

The Contemporary Actor

Contemporary Drama Timeline

Harold Pinter, The Homecoming

  The Homecoming in Performance

*María Irene Fornés, Fefu and Her Friends

  *Fefu and Her Friends in Performance


    *Ruby Cohn, Fornés and Fefu

Sam Shepard, Buried Child

  Buried Child in Performance

*Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine

  *Cloud Nine in Performance

Athol Fugard, "MASTER HAROLD" . . . and the Boys

  "MASTER HAROLD"…and the Boys in Performance


    Athol Fugard, From Notebooks 1960-1977

David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross

  Glengarry Glen Ross in Performance

August Wilson, Fences

  Fences in Performance


    Joan Herrington, The Development of Fences

Tony Kushner, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches

  Angels in America in Performance


    Andrea Bernstein, Interview with Tony Kushner

*Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

  *Arcadia in Performance

Paula Vogel, How I Learned to Drive

  How I Learned to Drive in Performance


    Christopher Bigsby, Paula Vogel

Moises Kaufman, The Laramie Project

  The Laramie Project in Performance

*Suzan-Lori Parks, Topdog / Underdog

  *Topdog/Underdog in Performance

*Sarah Ruhl, Eurydice

  *Eurydice in Performance

*John Patrick Shanley, Doubt

  *Doubt in Performance

*Conor McPherson, The Seafarer

  *The Seafarer in Performance

*Yasmina Reza, God of Carnage

  *God of Carnage in Performance

*Tracy Letts, August: Osage County

  *August: Osage County in Performance

*Lynn Nottage, Ruined

  *Ruined in Performance


    *Randy Gener, In Defense of Ruined

Writing about Drama

Writing Criticism about Drama

Approaches to Criticism

  Reader Response Criticism

  Close Reading

From Prewriting to Final Draft: A Sample Essay on The Rising of the Moon

Writing a Review

  What Is the Purpose of a Review?

  What You Need to Write a Good Review

  Preparing to Review a Classic Play

  Preparing to Review a New Play

  Guidelines for Writing Reviews

  Sample Review

Glossary of Dramatic Terms

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