This volume includes major theoretical writings on drama from the Greeks, through the Renaissance up to the late seventeenth century, compiled and edited for students of drama and theater. There are substantial extracts from twenty-eight writers including Plato, Aristotle, Horace, Scaliger, Castelvetro, Guarini, Sidney, Jonson, Corneille, Racine, Dryden and Congreve. The compilers have chosen writers who present detailed arguments about issues that are still relevant to our understanding of drama and theater. Many of the texts have been freshly translated and all have been newly annotated and introduced by the compilers, who draw attention to recurrent themes by a system of cross-references. Michael Sidnell's useful introduction explores the issues that frequently concern these writers and practitioners: the nature of imitation, the relation of dramatic text to live performance, the effect of stage action on audience emotion and behavior--issues that still concern critics and theorists of drama today. Later volumes will cover the period from Diderot to Victor Hugo, modern dramatic theory, and performance theory.
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