Download Alan Bennett: Plays 2 by Alan Bennett PDF

By Alan Bennett

This moment quantity of performs by means of Alan Bennett comprises his Kafka performs, one an hilarious comedy, the opposite a profound and looking out drama. additionally incorporated is An Englishman overseas and a query of Attribution. The fascination of those performs lies within the manner they query our accredited notions of treachery and, in numerous methods, make a sympathetic case for man Burgess and Anthony Blunt.

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Extra resources for Alan Bennett: Plays 2

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54 Decorum in this view, it seems, is more important than "comic effect"; whereas Horace is willing to let comic characters rant in tragic tones, presumably for the humor it produces. But most theorists of comedy never discuss humor or mention it as one of the features or goals of comedy. 56 This, of course, is a criterion specifically mentioned by Donatus—Evanthius, but it is one that is implicitly underplayed, since the Odyssey is taken as a stellar example of comic form. It seems that some criteria are more important than others, and that the happy ending is the most important of all, since in other respects the Odyssey has the characteristics of tragedy.

But the plot structure is not further described or defined, whether in terms of the generality of tragedies, or in terms of quality or effectiveness. We may perhaps infer that good tragedy should aim at its proper effect, sadness; but we are not told what kind of sadness is most proper, or how it is best achieved, or what further effect the sadness is meant to have on the audience — that is, what reaction beyond compassion the sadness of the characters is meant to provoke. The remarks of Horace and Placidus may also reflect the teaching of Theophrastus, but they differ from Diomedes and Donatus in stressing the importance of style.

Augustine confirms that the tragic theater of his day dealt with much the same subjects. 67 He deals with pantomime tragedy earlier in the Confessions, when he attempts to analyze why people enjoy going to the theater and sorrowing over mournful and tragic events that they would clearly not wish to experience themselves. The subjects of these productions are characterized most generally as disasters that have befallen people {calamitates hominum). 68 It is easy to see from Augustine's analysis of pantomime tragedy how the 63 65 66 See chap, i above, for stilus as denoting style.

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