Анализ текста What is a play? из учебника Аракина за 5 курс

The extract under the analysis is taken from the book “The Theory of the Theatre” written by Clayton Meeker Hamilton and it represents several thoughts and statements of the author. It is a piece of scientific prose, because the usage of several stylistic devices is omitted here instead we can find some features of scientific style such as the usage of passive voice and bookish words such as “devised, indeed, scarcely”. The key of the text is analytical. The central idea of the author is that the drama should be sharply distinguished from all other forms of narrative. His message is that drama should not be considered as a department of literature.
First the author asks: “What is a Play?”, he asks us, and he wants us to think over it at the very moment of reading the article. And after that he gives the answer – “A play is a story devised to be presented by actors on a stage be¬fore an audience.” That is the topical sentence of the whole text.
In the next paragraph he begins to begins to unfold the sentence word after word, making us understand the deep meaning of it. According to his hypothesis that “plain statement of fact presents an exceedingly simple def¬inition of the drama, — a definition so simple indeed as to seem at the first glance easily obvious and therefore scarcely worthy of ex¬pression” But using the adversative pronoun “But” he demonstrates that it is not so simple as it might look.
First he gives the definition of the word “story”. In addition, the detachment “each event exhibiting imagined characters performing imagined acts in an appropriate imagined setting” is used to underline the background meaning of the word.
Then the second step of the definition of the term “play” follows. According to the author “it must be noted that a play is not a story that is written to be read”, also he says that the play should be interfused with “multitude of means which the dramatist must employ to convey his story effectively to the audience”. He proves his words by giving the example of the great Greek dramatists who needed sculptures as well as the story in their plays, because they already found out that the ap¬peal of a play is primarily visual rather than auditory. And of course that statement is proved by his observations, he says that “On the contem¬porary stage, characters properly costumed must be exhibited within a carefully designed and painted setting illuminated with appropri¬ate effects of light and shadow; and the art of music is often called upon to render incidental aid to the general impression”. That is why the dramatist nowadays must master not only the art of literature but also art of graphic and plastic, a sense of rhythm and of music, and a thorough knowledge of the art of acting are to be wielded by him. Therefore, his aim is to combine these methods in one brilliant masterpiece.