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Irony and the Modern Theatre by William Storm

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By William Storm

Irony and theater percentage intimate kinships, not just concerning dramatic clash, dialectic, or wittiness, but in addition scenic constitution and the verbal or situational ironies that usually mark theatrical speech and motion. but irony at the present time, in aesthetic, literary, and philosophical contexts specifically, is frequently looked with skepticism - as ungraspable, or elusive to the purpose of confounding. Countering this tendency, hurricane advocates a wide-angle view of this grasp trope, exploring the ironic in significant works through playwrights together with Chekhov, Pirandello, and Brecht, and in striking relation to famous consultant characters in drama from Ibsen's Halvard Solness to Stoppard's Septimus Hodge and Wasserstein's Heidi Holland. To the measure that irony is existential, its presence within the theater relates on to the situations and the expressiveness of the characters on level. This research investigates how those key figures enact, embrace, symbolize, and personify the ironic in myriad occasions within the sleek and modern theater.

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The import of this type of irony, in the stage image as well as dialogue, issues in part from the brevity and visual clarity of the enactment itself. Lopakhin is an ironist in terms of intellect, dryly aware of his circumstances, but he is also a performative ironist who defines a standpoint in physical, gestural, and behavioral vocabularies. Along these lines, a patently comical intrusion – “moo” – modestly crude and mocking, delivers the multilayered content of the sequence in terms more succinct than an elaborated verbal irony might accomplish.

As David Grene argues: “The love affair with Emilie Bardach and the later relationship to the Norwegian pianist [Hildur] Andersen, both women very much younger than himself, and Ibsen’s intense emotional involvement with both, are certainly echoed in The Master Builder and When We Dead Awaken” (2). The effect that Hilda has upon Solness is felt most strongly as a psychic affinity, an experience that he has not, presumably, encountered in this way before. Solness suspects that he is prescient, able perhaps to prompt events through an exertion of will.

Act two begins with a confrontation between Solness and Aline –“You can build as much as you ever want, Halvard – but for me you can never build up a real home again” (816) – that culminates in his confession of “debt” to her and, again, an exquisitely timed arrival by Hilda Wangel: MRS. SOLNESS (rising slowly): What’s back of all this? Might as well tell me right now. SOLNESS: But nothing’s back of it. I’ve never done anything against you – not that I’ve ever known. And yet – there’s this 22 Irony personified: Ibsen and The Master Builder sense of some enormous guilt hanging over me, crushing me down.

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