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Professor Styan examines what a play is as well as understanding the dramatist's intentions towards this medium.
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Plays are, of course, meant to be seen, not read, but many people find it impossible to visit the theatre regularly and it is for them that Professor Styan intends this book, originally published in 1965, to promote better understanding of the dramatist's intentions and fuller enjoyment of the play. He defines what a play is and discusses such topics as the development of the theatre - its different stages, kinds of drama and types of character - the tone and tempo in which the play is written, the roles of actor and audience and the structure and interplay of plot and subplot. Charts of theatrical history, a glossary and reading lists, as well as drawings and diagrams by David Gentleman, provide further help for the reader.
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