Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama / Edition 6

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Offering a carefully chosen selection of plays from the ancient Greeks to the present — including many new contemporary prize-winners — The Compact Bedford Introduction to Drama has the plays you want to teach and the features students need at a compact size and an affordable price. Twenty-eight 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 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: 9780312474898
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 9/12/2008
  • Edition description: Sixth Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 1088
  • Sales rank: 483,959
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.40 (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

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

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

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

*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


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

Chikamatsu Monzaemon, The Love Suicides at Sonezaki

     The Love Suicides at Sonezaki in Performance


          Donald H. Shively, The Development of Theater Buildings


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

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 


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

*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

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

*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 



     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

*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

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

*Suzan-Lori Parks, Topdog / Underdog

     *Topdog/Underdog in Performance

*Sarah Ruhl, Eurydice

     *Eurydice in Performance

*John Patrick Shanley, Doubt

     *Doubt 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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