Anatomy of a Drama Author:Martin Esslin Few critics of the theatre combine a wide and deep knowledge of international drama with a close involvement in the day-by-day production of plays. Martin Esslin, an internationally recognized scholar and critic, draws on his many years as head of the Radio Drama Department at the BBC, where he produced (and sometimes translated) plays for a nat... more »ional radio audience. His approach in "An Anatomy of Drama" is, deliberately, pragmatic.
This clear and concise book deals with the question: What can drama express better than any other medium? It defines the nature of drama and shows how deeply rooted it is in the society from which it springs. It explores the connection between the playwright's style and the actor's performance and the relationship between drama and the other media.
Mr. Esslin demonstrates that, in our time, the means of dramatic expression have proliferated, creating a major revolution in human communication. He examines the essential features common to all drama-whether stage, television, cinematic, or radio-and shows how they differ.
"An Anatomy of Drama" lays a foundation for a new way of developing a critical appreciation of the floods of drama-ranging from Shakespeare to television commercials-to which the citizens of developed societies are exposed. In compact form, it provides a highly stimulating view of drama, both as an art and as a function of our society, and therefore is an ideal introduction to the subject and a significant contribution to dramatic criticism.