Meaning of drama terms?
March 22, 2015 8:40 PM   Subscribe

In Somerset Maugham's memoir, The Summing Up, he writes: "Only idolatry can refuse to see the great shortcomings in the conduct and sometimes in the characterization of Shakespeare's plays; and this is very comprehensible since, as we know, he sacrificed everything to effective situation." What do "conduct" and "effective situation" mean in this context in this book published in 1938 by this sometime-playwright?
posted by shivohum to Writing & Language (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"conduct" = plot, narrative, the route from start to finish; "effective situation" = the play as performance.

In short: if you're paying close attention to the plot, then you'll notice the holes, but you won't be paying close attention to the plot because Shakespeare keeps you focused on what's happening in the present moment on the stage.

As critical analysis goes, it's very much of its time.
posted by holgate at 9:05 PM on March 22, 2015 [8 favorites]

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