Irony and theatre share intimate kinships, not only regarding dramatic conflict, dialectic or wittiness, but also scenic structure and the verbal or situational ironies that typically mark theatrical speech and action. Yet irony today, in aesthetic, literary and philosophical contexts especially, is often regarded with skepticism - as ungraspable, or elusive to the point of confounding. Countering this tendency, William Storm advocates a wide-angle view of this master trope, exploring the ironic in major works by playwrights including Chekhov, Pirandello and Brecht, and in notable relation to well-known representative characters in drama from Ibsen's Halvard Solness to Stoppard's Septimus Hodge and Wasserstein's Heidi Holland. To the degree that irony is existential, its presence in the theatre relates directly to the circumstances and the expressiveness of the characters on stage. This study investigates how these key figures enact, embody, represent and personify the ironic in myriad situations in the modern and contemporary theatre.Read more
- Presents a comprehensive treatment of irony in relation to modern theatre and drama
- Focuses on irony in a carefully chosen selection of major plays and playwrights including Chekhov and Brecht, with emphasis on well-known representative characters to provide specific examples
- Looks at irony inclusively, with a wide angle rather than a restrictive or esoteric view, avoiding specialized terminology
Reviews & endorsements
'… a discerning commentary … William Storm's Irony and the Modern Theatre revisits some well-mapped territory, surveying as it does the nature and purpose of irony in selected dramatic texts from Ibsen to Tony Kushner.' Modern Philology
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- Date Published: February 2017
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781316632413
- length: 268 pages
- dimensions: 230 x 153 x 15 mm
- weight: 0.4kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Irony personified: Ibsen and The Master Builder
2. The character of irony in Chekhov
3. Irony and dialectic: Shaw's Candida
4. Pirandello's 'father' - and Brecht's 'mother'
5. Absurdist irony: Ionesco's 'anti-play'
6. 'Ironist first-class': Stoppard's Arcadia
7. American ironies: Wasserstein and Kushner
8. Irony's theatre
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