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Rethinking Aristotelian Drama Today: Complicite’s A Disappearing Number

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2009, 22(3), pp.193-212
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

손원정 1

1Royal Holloway, University of London

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the dramaturgical strategies of Complicite’s A Disappearing Number. Although the work is widely considered to be constructed beyond the dramatic principles of Aristotle’s Poetics, I question how far this view is valid. I do not argue that it is a strictly Aristotelian play; indeed, the work, in so many aspects, does not fall within the boundaries of the tradition and looking at it through this frame obviously has its limits. However, I believe that the attempt to read a non-Aristotelian performance through the Aristotelian frame is an effective way of tracing how contemporary theatre and drama have diverged from its predecessors, precisely due to its limitations. Whereas dramatists and theatre practitioners have endeavoured to create works that challenge Aristotle’s dramatic theory, theoretical analyses thereof have very much relied on Aristotle. By using Poetics as the main device to look at A Disappearing Number I hope to reinstate how exclusive this can be. At the same time, this paper will question whether the Aristotelian roots have been truly severed, as many practitioners argue.

Citation status

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