The term “metatheatre” now so casually bandied about, and sometimes with little acknowledgement of its origins, was first coined by Lionel Abel in “Metatheatre” is a convenient name for the quality or force in a play which These remarks by Lionel Abel seek to establish “metatheatre” as a dramatic. Julian Markels; Lionel Abel: Metatheatre, Shakespeare Quarterly, Volume 15, Issue 4, 1 October , Pages –,

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The device of the play within a play, so important in the Baroque, is present in works such as Hamlet or Life is a Dreamyet Abel indicates that the concept of metatheatre goes beyond the use of this specific device:. My library Help Advanced Book Search.

Tragedy and metatheatre: essays on dramatic form – Lionel Abel – Google Books

Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. The existence of an aesthetic rather than a linguistically determined poetic function, however, does not totally resolve the question of how aesthetic and non-aesthetic elements interact in the history of art. Then, when he returns to literary studies inhe is convinced of the existence of an empirical criterion that demonstrates the existence of the poetic function. They represent to the playwright the effect of dramatic imagination before he has begun to exercise his own; on the other hand, unlike figures in tragedy, they are aware of their own theatricality.

It may, on the other hand, break the frame of the “fourth wall” of conventional theatre, reaching out to assault the audience zbel to draw it into the realm of the play. Literary concepts Metafictional techniques Self-reflexive plays. An absolute restriction to the practical attitude, of course, would unmistakably lead eventually to total automatization, to a restriction of attention to already obtained and exploited aspects.

However, the conclusions drawn from this observation ultimately stall around the idea that Hamlet ‘s world is lionl stage and therefore metahteatre not a tragedy. It not only contained this mechanism– given free rein by letting the other actors in the play think Hamlet was mad, leaving Hamlet to essentially do what he liked– but was also metaphorized by the play-within-a-play Hamlet stages to uncover metatheahre treachery of his stepfather.


Only certain plays tell us at once that the happenings and characters in them are of the playwright’s invention, and that insofar as they were discovered. Greek meta-beside, after.

Showing of 3 reviews. This function, by promoting the palpability of signs, deepens the fundamental dichotomy of signs and objects. I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle?

In the first three decades of the twentieth century, the ideal metatheatrd a total dissolution of the barrier between stage and audience was progressively substituted by a critical approach to the fourth wall, as dramatists and directors reflected on the ideological implications of this physical separation.

Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. Metatheatricality has been a dimension of drama ever since its invention in the theatre of classical Greece 2, years ago.

Abel applies it to the self-reflexive dramaturgies of such modern playwrights as Pirandello, Megatheatre, and Brecht.

Metatheatre; a new view of dramatic form

The ideas are thoroughly analyzed and clearly presented. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. The appeal to the audience is usually made through the laying bare of the artistic devices, an operation that breaks the illusion of reality and demands a critical involvement on the part of spectators who are not treated as simple voyeurs.

Liondl consider this potential meta-joke: The distinction between self-referential and mimetic dramaturgies is, in the final instance, a question of theatrical levels rather than an absolute separation of two irreconcilable essences.

The words “metatheatre” and “metadrama” combine theatre or drama with the Greek prefix “meta—”, which implies “a level beyond” the subject that it qualifies.


Historians assume that Hamlet and Polonius were played by the same actors who had played the roles mentioned in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar a year or two abell on the same stage. Abel’s basic premise is that “tragedy is difficult if not altogether impossible for the modern dramatist. In fact, “it is almost impossible for theatre not to become metatheatre. These remarks by Lionel Abel seek to establish “metatheatre” as a dramatic category or kind.

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Through the reissue of this historical artifact, Abel’s conception of metatheatre is restored to our collective attention with an invitation to assess its continuing impact.

By this I mean that the persons appearing on the stage in these plays are there not simply because they were caught by the playwright in dramatic postures as a camera might catch them, but because they themselves knew they were dramatic before the playwright took note of them. Any theatrical device can work metatheatrically if we sense in it a certain deliberate reflexiveness, a tendency to refer to itself or to its context in a more general mode: Theatre Art Books, Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals.

A New View of Dramatic Form. Neither of the two new contributions, “What is Tragedy? Discover Prime Book Box for Kids. Metatheatre begins by sharpening our awareness of the unlikeness of life to dramatic art; it may end by making us aware of life’s uncanny likeness to art or illusion.

Metatheatre: A New View of Dramatic Form – Lionel Abel – Google Books

One of the great advantages of the concept of metatheatre is the fact that, once it has been liberated from historical constraints, it becomes a valid analytic tool for the able of historical series. I was killed i’th’Capitol. John Burbank and Peter Steiner.

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