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Based upon this week’s reading found in the



please respond to the following prompts/questions:

According to Aristotle, what are the two most important elements of drama? Why do you think he prioritized these two?

For Aristotle, what is


, and why is it important in drama?

What are


, and why are they important in drama?



of the twelve archetypes discussed in the



, and for each, provide an example of this archetype from theater, TV, or movies.

Use this template for your response to this question…copy and paste it or retype it into your document.

Template Assignment W9

PLEASE delete the writing that I have in this template before you submit! What I mean by this is just get down to business. Here is an example of a proper answer:

a) Creator

The movie “Pollock”

Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock exemplifies the Creator archetype because he X, Y, Z.

a) Archetype: _____________________

Name of Play, TV Show, or Movie: _____________________

Character Name: ___________________

Description of how this character exemplifies this archetype: _______________________

b) Archetype: _____________________

Name of Play, TV Show, or Movie: _____________________

Character Name: ___________________

Description of how this character exemplifies this archetype: _______________________

c) Archetype: _____________________

Name of Play, TV Show, or Movie: _____________________

Character Name: ___________________

Description of how this character exemplifies this archetype: ______________________

A Streetcar Named Desire
Angels in America
A Raisin in the Sun
This Is Our Youth
• Great plays such as Death of a
Salesman, A Streetcar Named
Desire, A Raisin in the
Sun, Long Day’s Journey into
Night, Stuff Happens, This Is
Our Youth, TopDog/UnderDog,
and Angels in America can
have the power to transform
our awareness of ourselves,
our circumstances, and our
• It is a mystery common to
much art: that the illusion of
reality can affect the reality of
our own lives.
Death of a Salesman
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Aristotle and the Elements of Drama
• According to the ancient Greek philosopher
Aristotle (384-322 BCE), these are the
elements of drama:
• Plot: a series of events leading to disaster for the
main characters who undergo reversals in fortune
and understanding but usually ending with a form
of enlightenment—sometimes of the characters,
sometimes of the audience, and sometimes of both
• Character: the presentation of a person or persons
whose actions and the reason for them are more or
less revealed to the audience
• Diction: the language of the drama, which should
be appropriate to the action
• Thought: the ideas that underlie the plot of the
drama, expressed in terms of dialogue and soliloquy
• Spectacle: the places of the action, the costumes,
set designs, and visual elements in the play
• Music: in Greek drama, the dialogue was
sometimes sung or chanted by a chorus, and often
this music was of considerable emotional
importance; in modern drama, music is rarely used
in serious plays, but it is of first importance in the
musical theater
Archetypal Patterns
• Theater originated from ancient rituals
with roots in religious patterns like
death and rebirth.
• Such a pattern is archetypal—a basic
psychological pattern that people
apparently react to on a more or less
subconscious level.
• These patterns, archetypes, are deep in
the myths that have permeated
• We feel their importance even if we do
not recognize them consciously.
Carl Jung (18751961)
• Carl Jung, a psychologist in the 20th century, believed
that universal characters (archetypes) reside within the
collective unconscious of people all around the world.
• Archetypes represent fundamental human motifs and
evoke deep emotions.
• He defined 12 types of archetypes that symbolize basic
human motivations. Each type has its own set of values,
meanings, and personality traits.
• The 12 types are divided into three sets of four – Ego,
Soul, and Self – and the traits in each of these categories
have similarities.
• Ego
o The Innocent (naive, romantic, dreamer)
o The Orphan (regular guy/girl, the everyman, the person
next door, the good neighbor)
o The Hero (warrior, crusader, superhero)
o The Caregiver (saintly, altruistic, the helper, the
• Soul
o The Explorer (the seeker, individualistic)
o The Outlaw (rebellious, revolutionary, the misfit)
o The Lover (the friend, intimate, the team-builder)
o The Creator (the artist, the writer, the innovator)
• Self
o The Jester (the fool, the trickster)
o The Sage (the scholar, the expert, academic,
o The Magician (the visionary, charismatic, the healer)
o The Ruler (the boss, aristocratic, the role model)
Hamlet: The Hero, The Jester, The Explorer
Romeo & Juliet: The Lover, The Innocent
Othello: The Ruler, The Hero
• Archetypal drama aims at symbolic or
mythic interpretations of experience.
• Search for photos of archetypal drama
representatives (plays).
• According to Aristotelian standards, great
tragedies must have strong and carefully
structured plot lines as well as “noble”
• When the protagonists are ordinary people,
Aristotle would classify them more as action
dramas, because the plot dominates the
• Modern drama tends to avoid the classical
Aristotelian tragic structure because our modern,
often religion and/or science-based concepts of
morality, fate, and death have changed so
• Some critics argue that there are no modern
dramas that are truly tragedies because there are
no characters “noble” enough to engage our full
sympathy, which is a necessity in tragic dramas.
• These critics contend that the tragic drama was
best exemplified in two eras: the Greek and the
Renaissance England eras.
Prometheus Unbound, Aeschylus
The Furies, Aeschylus
Antigone, Sophocles
Classic Greek
Medea, Euripides
King Lear
Renaissance England
Comedy: “Old” Style
• Ancient Western comedies were
performed at a time associated with
wine making, so the genre is linked with
the wine god Bacchus and his relative
Comus (that’s where we get the word
“comedy” from).
• “Old” Comedy usually has subject
matter centered around ridiculous
and/or highly exaggerated situations.
• Often raucous, mundane, and satirical.
The Frogs
• Exemplified by the plays of
Aristophanes (446-386 BCE).
• Old Comedy is associated with our
modern farce, burlesque, and the broad
humor and make-believe violence of
The Clouds
The Birds
Comedy: “New” Style
• “New” Comedy usually has
subject matter centered around
flaws or defects in character
where social manners and norms
are concerned.
• Often polished in style, sharp,
witty, and perceptive humor.
More subtle than Old Comedy.
• Exemplified by the plays of
Menander (342-291 BCE).
The Grouch (Menander’s only complete surviving play)
New Comedy and “Type
• New Comedy developed ”type characters” to
help us focus on some of the pitfalls of social
behavior: the grouchy person with a heart of
gold, the good cop/bad cop, the innocent, the
picky person, or the sloppy person.
• We can see many of these type characters
reflected in modern TV comedies.
Tragicomedy: The
Mixed Genre
• Term coined by the Roman
dramatist Plautus in the 2nd
century BCE.
• Tragicomedy, like the name
suggests, mixes elements
of both.
The Merchant of Venice; Shakespeare
Uncle Vanya; Chekhov
Ghosts; Ibsen
Heartbreak House; Shaw
• Often aims to capture the
ambiguities of the world
more accurately than
either of their components
can alone.
Experimental Theater
The Bus Stop; Xingjian
Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead; Stoppard
Waiting for Godot; Beckett
No Exit; Sartre
• Experimental theater
(sometimes known as avantgarde theater) began in the
late 19th century as a rejection
of the norms, structures, and
values of traditional or
bourgeois theater as well as
the era in general.
• Some of these radical
departures from traditional
theater include audience
participation and alterations of
space/time, movement,
language, and symbolism.
Is Theater Still Important? Theater
and Values
• Many question whether live theater
and plays are still relevant in our
modern technological era.
• However, equally as many argue that
theater is more relevant than ever
now, because it:
• Helps us to see a different perspective from
our own
• Helps to promote social discourse, dialogue
and potential social change
• Is live, and therefore immediate, evolving
and always different (like life itself).
Topics Covered
• Aristotle and the elements of drama
• Archetypal patterns/archetypes
• Genres of drama: Tragedy, Comedy, and
• Experimental theater
• Theater and values

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