The dramaturgy of Thomas Heywood 1594-1613
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This dissertation is an attempt to describe the characteristics of Thomas Heywood's dramatic style. The study is divided into three parts. The first deals with the playwright's theatrical career and discusses how his practical experience as actor and sharer might have affected his technique as a dramatic writer. The second part defines the scope of the investigation and contains the bulk of the analysis of Heywood's plays. My approach to the mechanics of playwriting is both practical and theoretical. I have attempted to come to an understanding of the technicalities of Heywood's craftsmanship by studying the changes he made in Sir Thomas Moore and in the sources he used for his plays. At the same time, I have tried to comprehend the aesthetic framework within which he worked by referring to the critical ideas of the period and especially to opinions expressed by Heywood himself in An Apology for Actors and elsewhere. The third part of the thesis is an application of the findings of Part Two to the problems of authorship in Fortune by Land and Sea. The thesis shows Heywood's emphasis on essentially theatrical qualities such as visual effects and effects which can be obtained by controlling the relationship of the actor to the audience. It also illustrates his rejection of "Aristotelian" principles of dramatic construction in favour of "rules" derived from the native morality and romance traditions'., and shaped by contemporary theatrical conditions. It concludes that Heywood is essentially a didactic artist but one interested in technical experimentation and audience response.
AuthorsCarson, R. Neil
- Theses