Greek Drama and the Invention of Rhetoric by David Sansone

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By David Sansone

* Asserts a unique and arguable conception at the origins of rhetoric that differs greatly from the normal view
* Argues that it used to be the theatre of old Greece, first showing round 500 BC, that prompted
* the advance of formalized rhetoric, which advanced quickly thereafter
* offers a cogent remodeling of current evidence
* unearths the prejudice and inconsistency of Aristotle

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Sample text

Before Yeats and his contemporaries established their theater in the 1890s there was no indigenous Irish drama as such. There was, however, another ancient, histrionic art in traditional Irish life – that of the oral storyteller. A storyteller before an audience, this is a very particular kind of theatre indeed. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of the storytelling mode in Irish drama because it is so pervasive. The classic example is Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World (1907), a play about a told story and the extraordinary impact it has upon its listeners.

And the fixer is the Fox himself. This sly chancer has managed to pull off the remarkable trick of catching himself in his own trap. His yelps of pain do not go unnoticed. They do go unpitied. This lack of pity makes Crystal and Fox the stark, unsympathetic 22 Surviving the 1960s: three plays play it is. To borrow a description from the ally-enemy, Peter Brook, this is rough theatre, at its roughest. Friel displays an uncompromising bleakness at the core of Crystal and Fox. His next play, The Mundy Scheme (1969), has an alternative title: May We Write Your Epitaph Now, Mr.

Fox and Crystal. To hell with everything else” (60). Fox will take that reference to hell seriously. It is all now he can take seriously, for he has one more dramatic act to perform. He asks Crystal would she go to hell with him. “There and back” (61), she blithely replies. He takes her to hell and leaves her there, saying it was he who informed on Gabriel for a reward of one hundred pounds – a reward that will be their infernal salvation. It is as if he has taken a gun to her head, killing her sexually, spiritually.

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