A sociosemiotic theory of theatre by Jean Alter PDF

By Jean Alter

ISBN-10: 081223054X

ISBN-13: 9780812230543

Analyzes the fundamental duality of theatre (the play is occurring on a level, however the tale is going on at some place else and time), exploring how the 2 facets either compete and supplement one another, and suggesting the social elements that impression the whole method.

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Extra resources for A sociosemiotic theory of theatre

Example text

In that sense, they are as problematic as psychoanalytical explanations of deep personal problems. But they have one great advantage: they can be checked against our knowledge of past or Page 18 present social conditions. Similarly, in contrast with unconscious personal problems, many social problems that could not be consciously identified in the past can be identified and verified today, thanks to historical hindsight. Not all fiction lends itself to sociocritical analysis carried out in this spirit.

Our individual notions about ourselves, society, and the world are largely formed by the ideology of our group: normative beliefs about metaphysical issues, human nature, social reality, values, and so forth. We must expect that, as a result of obscure ideological tensions between these beliefs, unconscious conflicts will develop in individuals who share these group notions, creating problems that are not perceived consciously. The creation of a fictional world, like a dream, will serve in that case to express these problems in unconscious disguises, unconsciously seeking to solve them.

I shall provide a number of illustrations, either to justify a theoretical statement or to demonstrate its practical consequences. But theory will remain my central concern, and illustrations will be largely limited to a clarifying function. From such a theoretical perspective, the first question that must be Page 14 answered is: Why am I focusing on social determination of theatre signs? At least two other sources of influence should be acknowledged: individual inspiration and formal interaction.

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A sociosemiotic theory of theatre by Jean Alter


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