The term “metatheatre” now so casually bandied about, and sometimes with little acknowledgement of its origins, was first coined by Lionel Abel in “Metatheatre” is a convenient name for the quality or force in a play which These remarks by Lionel Abel seek to establish “metatheatre” as a dramatic. Julian Markels; Lionel Abel: Metatheatre, Shakespeare Quarterly, Volume 15, Issue 4, 1 October , Pages –,

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A fine little achievement that I hope is still in print. If the only significance of this exchange lay in its reference to characters within another play, it might be called a metadramatic or ” intertextual ” moment. Metatheatre has in modern times involved into the term “meta acting”, usually in reference to movies, whereas the character gives an indication that he realizes he is in a movie, also called “breaking the fourth wall.

Amazon Restaurants Food mstatheatre from local restaurants. Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. It may even lead more people to want to experience the theatre at least, as long as it stays away from musicals. The troupe of actors who play the roles of fictional actors are perfectly aware of the presence of the spectators, and they engage in discussions that range from the awful taste of contemporary audiences to the existence of a censorship of an economic and moral nature.

And what did you enact? In the first three decades of the twentieth century, the ideal of a total dissolution of the barrier between stage and audience wbel progressively substituted by a critical approach to the fourth wall, as dramatists and directors reflected on the ideological implications of this physical separation.

Metatheatricality of this kind is found in most plays of that period.

Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Historians assume that Hamlet and Polonius were played by the same actors who had played the roles mentioned in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar a year or two earlier on the same stage.


Lionel Abel’s original Metatheatre, now published in the company of new essays, has inspired a whole generation of playwrights and critics since it first appeared in How the World Became a Stage. This dichotomy of signs and objects is central to my argumentation, as I will show later, but there are other aspects of the poetic function that deserve special attention now. Write a customer review. This function, by promoting the palpability of signs, deepens the fundamental dichotomy of signs and objects.

If you believe Abel, Hamlet is, simply, the finest drama in the history of the form, and I’m not inclined to disagree.

Lionel Abel: Metatheatre | Shakespeare Quarterly | Oxford Academic

In fact, “it is almost impossible for theatre not to become metatheatre. Retrieved from ” https: As Abel surveys two millennia of great dramatic works, a number of metatheater but fragmented ideas are generated, but remain tantalizingly undeveloped and unconnected. Ancient Greek comedy in particular made frequent use of it though examples can also be found in tragedy.

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My lord, you played once i’th’university, you say. Any theatrical device can work metatheatrically if we sense in it a certain deliberate reflexiveness, a tendency to refer to itself or to its context in a more general mode: The John Hopkins UP, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The poetic function is not the sole function of verbal art but only its dominant, determining function, whereas in all other verbal activities it acts as a subsidiary, accessory constituent. Krystyna Pomorska and Stephen Rudy. But rather than bemoan plays like Hamlet and Life is a Dream as failed tragedies, Abel grouped them into the new-minted form of metatheatre. There was a problem filtering reviews right now.

On the one hand, we continually find ourselves attempting to consider the aesthetic function as something secondary which may exist but is not necessary; on the other hand, the aesthetic function compels our attention outside of art so frequently, turns up in so many of the most varied manifestations of life, and even appears as an essential component of habitation, dress, social intercourse, and so forth, that we must think about its role in the overall organization of the world.


The goal of his system of acting is, precisely, the correction of this anomalous situation.

Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Myth, legend, past literature, they themselves. In more recent times, With the People from the Bridge by Dimitris Lyacos employs metatheatrical techniques whereby a makeshift play centered on the vampire legend is viewed from the angle of a spectator who records in his diary the setting and preparations as well as the sequence of the actors’ soliloquies interspersed with personal notes on the development of the performance.

Sebeok, and any further commentary about its influence on twentieth-century literary theory would be redundant here. This mwtatheatre by the American artist Roy Lichtenstein is entitled “Masterpiece.

Tragedy and Metatheatre aims “to reconnect metatheatre to its originator and thus to use Abel’s work as a point of departure for rethinking the term metatheatre as a powerful tool for understanding the history of theatre” 1.

Metatheatre; a new view of dramatic form

The term “metatheatre” was coined by Lionel Abel in and has since entered common critical usage. Holmes and Meier, Essays on Dramatic Form. Metatheatreand the closely related term metadramadescribes the aspects of a play that draw attention to its nature as drama or theatreor to the circumstances of its performance. State University of New York P, Account Options Sign in. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Or consider this potential meta-joke: These remarks by Lionel Abel seek to establish “metatheatre” as a dramatic category or kind.