Drama as Literature (EL 250)


29 Aug 2005

Conflict

[Dramatic conflict is] the spectacle of the will striving toward a goal, and conscious of the means which it employs. -- Ferdinand Brunetière

Conflict is the heart of drama.

The Greek word agon means "contest" or "struggle," and could be applied to a sporting event or a debate. (Compare protagonist and antagonist.)

Brunetière describes several different kinds of conflict:

  • the individual vs. fatality (that is, a fight for survival)
  • the individual vs. social law (justice, morality, etc.)
  • the individual vs. another person
  • the individual vs. himself
  • the individual vs. "the ambitions, the interests, the prejudices, the folly, the malevolence of those who surround him"

See also: "Crisis vs. Conflict"

  • Ferdinand Brunetière. The Law of the Drama. Trans. Philip M. Hayden. New York: Columbia University, 1914.
  • Lawson, John Howard. Theory and Technique of Playwrighting. New York: Hill and Wang, 1969. Reprint. Putnam, 1936.
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Comments

Good Day, i'm reading my M.A. in Theatre and my thesis title is "The emergence and resolution of conflict in 20th century Maltese Playwrights". i know that there is barely anything written on Maltese playwrights but do you know of any study on this topic on other playwrights. can you suggest any books please.
Thanks
Martha

Posted by: Martha-Marie Gauci at November 16, 2005 06:52 AM

Besides the two books I did mention?

I confess I don't know anything about Maltese theater, so I'm afraid I'm not going to be of much help.

If I were you, I might look at studies of well-known authors who examine some of the same themes that you are finding in Maltese playwrights. Are there Shavian, Brechtian, Chekovian, Ibsenian, etc. influences on Maltese theatre of the early 20th C?

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at November 16, 2005 07:30 AM
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