Essay on Theatrical Realism

1714 Words Dec 17th, 2014 7 Pages
Theatrical Realism Theatrical Realism is the attempt of playwrights to mirror reality on the stage. That is to say, these playwrights intend for the audience to see themselves on the stage without fanfare – a stripped-down form of theatrical arts. Realistic theatre does not possess the magical elements of theatre that preceded it, but this is the strength of realism. Anton Chekhov echoes this point, “I wanted to tell people honestly: ‘Look at yourselves. See how badly you live and how tiresome you are.’ The main thing is that people should understand this. When they do, they will surely create a new and better life for themselves”. Realistic playwrights stood on the shoulders of the giants of theatre who preceded them by continuing …show more content…
Ibsen is often referred to as the father of modern drama. His realistic plays introduced us to a critical eye and unrestricted examination of life and the issues of morality. The middle class was the focus of realism and they are omnipresent on the realist stage. In A Doll’s House, Ibsen takes on the subject of duty and domestic relations. The play follows the awakening of Nora Helmer, an average wife and stay at home mother, from her unexamined life of servitude. All of her life, she has been ruled by a man – her father and then her husband, Torvald. Nora slowly begins to question the foundations on which she has built her reality. She slowly evolves from being a childlike play doll to a woman who is determined to know not only what her place in the world is but also what it could be. The play ends with Nora leaving her dollhouse for the uncertainties of the real world. The characters of A Doll’s House are everyday folks and their speech is just like our own. There are no soliloquies, no exaggerated rapid-fire dialog or anything else that would disrupt the feeling of the audience that they are eavesdropping in on people’s lives. This trend toward a greater fidelity in the text can also be attributed to the Russian director Constantin Stanislavski. Stanislavski developed the system that bears his name around the idea of the actor living a part. Stanislavski’s system focused on the actor connecting with a part.

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