What's Happening

Troperville

Tools

collapse/expand topics back to OlderThanTheyThink/Theatre

 

Hodor
topic
02:40:54 PM Nov 22nd 2013
Wanted to bring this up for Discussion:

  • Most plays created from the Renaissance until the end of the Neoclassical period were based on pre-existing plays or histories, usually by Greek or Latin authors. Exceptions were only acceptable in comedies; for instance, Niccolò Machiavelli's comedy, La Mandragola, is set in modern Florence and is not based on any historical event or classical play.

What I wonder about, is the comment that comedies were the only exceptions. While I kind of feel like this does sound like something I've read, I'd like to see a source.

I mean for example, Marlowe's The Jew of Malta is an original work as far as I know, and is a tragedy, and in the genre of "Revenge Tragedy", you would find woks that were derivative of each other, but didn't necessarily have a historical source (although yes, it does seem like tragedies did seem to recount "historical" events).

As for comedies, a lot of them from that time period are adaptations of classical plays, so I'm not sure about the idea that they were more original- and in fact, from my reading of Moliere, it seems like the rules for comedy (the "classical unities" from Aristotle) could be even stricter than for tragedies.

Now in terms of that Machiavelli play example, AFAIK, it isn't based on an earlier classical work, but it does seem pretty similar to the kind of bawdy story you'd find in The Decameron or other tale collections.

So, tl; dr, plays were generally derivative during that time period, but I'm not sure about the idea that there was more originality in comedy than tragedy.

LordGro
03:10:48 PM Nov 22nd 2013
edited by 178.2.78.250
Before I cleaned up the page, the entry was:
  • ALL plays created from the Renaissance until the end of the Neoclassical period were based on pre-existing play or histories, usually Greco-Roman. There were actually rules that playwrights HAD to do this.
    • That's not exactly true for comedy. An examples is Niccolò Machiavelli's comedy, La Mandragola, set in modern Florence and were not based on any historical event or classical play.
I tried to condense it without changing the content, but I didn't check the factuality. Of course, any claim that "all" works in a given period fulfill a certain requirement is almost surely false. I think you have done right in deleting it, as it violates our "no generic examples" rule.
Hodor
03:30:51 PM Nov 22nd 2013
Thanks for the reply. I understood what you were doing- it was more that having seen your edit, I wanted to comment on the point being made by the original poster.

Thanks for the agreement. I will say looking it up, Aristotle's idea of classical unities was written in terms of tragedies (his writing on comedy is lost), so that could be part of what the OP was thinking of. Although, as I alluded to with Moliere, later European writers also applied those rules to comedies (and as The Other Wiki notes, the later rules were a lot stricter than those Aristotle had thought up).
back to OlderThanTheyThink/Theatre

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy