What’s up, everybody? Now I know what I’m going to talk to you about probably has pretty much nothing to do with the show tonight, but I think it’s worthwhile stuff for you to think about. Hey, it might even help some of the bands here. So what I’m going to tell you about are the ideals of neoclassical theatre. That basically means what people thought about drama during the Italian renaissance. Basically, the critics of this time were really about following what the Romans and Greeks said about theatre, although they ended up being a lot more rigid with their rules than the people they were inspired by. To be totally honest, they wanted to give mandates to the playwrights who wrote around this time.
There were two main critics during this time, Julius Caesar Scaliger and Lodovico Castelvetro, and while I know we all hate critics it might be worthwhile to think about what they theorized about. They agreed on the big stuff, but they varied when it came down to the details. Scaliger was all about the ideas of decorum and verisimilitude, which basically just meant being truthful. The biggest thing he talked about was the fact that theatre was supposed to teach people, move them, and also delight them. Also, everything that the characters in plays did absolutely had to be within the social norm of the time or they would seem ridiculous.
Castelverto was a bit more radical than Scaliger, and he argued a lot that theatre was created specifically to, as he said, “please the ignorant multitude”. He also really wanted people to enjoy the theatre for the experience rather than how good the play’s writing was. That’s not such a bad idea, is it? This was a bit weird for the time, though. Also, he was really big on the idea that the needs and demands of the audience were what should rule the plays. Like, if the play changed locations it would be stupid because the audience knew that they were still in the same place, and he was really adamant about the face that the plays written should be set in the time of one day and shouldn’t change location at all.
Wilson, Edwin, Alvin Goldfarb. Living Theatre: History of Theatre Sixth Edition. New York: McGraw Hill, 2012. 151-153. Print.