About This Chapter
Western Theatre from Renaissance to Realism - Chapter Summary
This comprehensive dramatic arts chapter examines Western theatre from the Renaissance to through modern drama. Follow along with our expert drama instructors to explore important plays, playwrights and themes from English Renaissance theatre, Shakespearean theatre, restoration comedy, Spanish Golden Age theatre, modern drama and modern melodrama. This chapter is available at any time that fits your schedule, and it also includes short quizzes to help you remember the information. If you have any questions, you can reach out to our instructors using the Ask the expert feature. Upon completion of the chapter, you should be able to:
- Recognize the qualities of Commedia Dell'Arte plays
- Describe the characteristics and significance of English Renaissance theatre
- Analyze the themes and characters from The Tragic History of the Life & Death of Dr. Faustus
- Evaluate the life and work of William Shakespeare
- Summarize the history of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
- Discuss the significance of restoration comedy from the 1700s, Spanish Golden Age theatre and modern drama
- Identify the elements of melodrama
- Interpret Chekhov's Uncle Vanya
- Assess the works of Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov and Constantin Stanislavski
1. Commedia Dell'Arte: Plays, Facts & Costumes
Commedia dell'Arte is a fascinating form of theater, often improvised around set scenarios. This lesson will introduce you to its basic characters, the costumes that distinguish them, and important facts about the development of the form.
2. English Renaissance Theatre: Characteristics & Significance
The English Renaissance was a time of great change, and the theater was in no way exempt from that change. From the theaters to the plays themselves, the renaissance saw great changes emerge in English theater.
3. The Tragic History of the Life & Death of Dr. Faustus: Characters & Themes
You probably recognize his name, but you might not know who the infamous Dr. Faustus really is. Keep reading to encounter the key characters and themes in Christopher Marlowe's most notable work!
4. Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works
This video provides a crash course introduction to William Shakespeare's life, plays, and poetry. From 'Two Gentlemen of Verona' to 'The Tempest', we'll give you a timeline of his works and quick descriptions of what you need to know to identify them.
5. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre: History & Facts
The Globe Theatre is one of the most popular theatres in the world. There have been a number of plays performed at The Globe Theatre, including many of the plays written by William Shakespeare. Learn more about the theatre, and test your knowledge with a quiz.
6. Restoration Comedy: Theatre of the 1700s
Despite their name, Restoration comedies have nothing to do with fixing up a theater. Rather, these were shockingly explicit works that were created after almost two decades of live performances being outlawed in England. Watch our video lesson to learn about this surprising and hilarious time in English theatrical history.
7. Spanish Golden Age Theatre: History & Significance
Spain's Renaissance came a little later than most of Europe's, but it was no less spectacular. In this lesson, we'll see how the Spanish Golden Age impacted theater both inside Spain and out.
8. Elements of Melodrama: From Early Theater to the Modern Soap Opera
Have you ever wondered where or when soap operas started? In this video, we will look at the history and transformation of the melodrama from the stage to the small (and big) screen.
9. Modern Drama: Definition & Examples
Modern drama, which developed around the turn of the twentieth century, focused on alienation and disconnection. These themes can be seen in some of the most famous plays of playwrights such as Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, and Eugene O'Neill.
10. Plays by Henrik Ibsen: Themes & Writing Style
The Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen wrote some of the world's most enduring, modern plays. However, his life was anything but easy. In this lesson, we will look at the life of Ibsen, his plays, and observe Ibsen's writing style.
11. Anton Chekhov: Plays & Short Stories
Anton Chekhov was a famous Russian playwright and writer. In this lesson we will learn about his life, plays, and short stories. A short quiz will test our knowledge.
12. Uncle Vanya by Chekhov: Summary & Characters
This lesson looks at the characters of Chekhov's 'Uncle Vanya.' In addition to a brief summary of the play and an overview of the characters, the lesson discusses the origin of 'Uncle Vanya.'
13. Constantin Stanislavski: Biography, Books & Facts
Learn about the style of acting developed by Russian theater director Constantin Stanislavski, who believed that an actor's performance should evolve from inner emotion. Discover the connections between the Stanislavsky system and nineteenth century theater and literature.
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