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Category: Miscellaneous

Autor: anton 16 July 2011

Words: 517 | Pages: 3

Plot,Character and Thought: Master Harold and the Boys

Aristotles Poetics have been used as a guide for understanding theater for many years, they have survived the test of time and change. Aristotle argued in his Poetics that a play wasn’t just a lie which was what his teacher Plato had oversimplified. A play was not just a lie, it was an imitation of life which we as humans get pleasure from.

This Vicarious Experince as stated from John Dolman Jr. gives us a satisfaction because we see someone else experiencing something we are curious about. Aristotle used his analytical skills to identify six elements of a play of which 3 will be discussed here and applied to the play Master Harold and the Boys. These elements enhance many aspects of the play, from its structure to its aesthetics.

The plot of the play is the soul of the play it is not to be confused with the story line which is chronological, plot is the rearrangements of these events for maximum effect. Aristotle stated that there are 3 types of plot. Climactic plot which is the most common, it builds on a series of events to the climax and then follows with its resolution. Episodic plot which has many small episodes which are related, the best examples of episodic plots can be found in novels. Cyclic plot this type of plot typically has no definite resolution, it instead end much where it began. In each of these types of plots there are smaller elements which make up the plot as a whole, they may be arranged in different ways but each play has these elements. The background of the play, the setting, the time, the history of the character all those small elements make up the exposition, this isnt always just in the beginning of the play it is seen thoughout. The beginning of the conflict between the antagonist and the protagonist is the point of attack also known as the “point of no return” (Longman 27). The struggle between the antagonist and the protagonist is known as the complication also known as the rising action, this moves the play though into the climax which is the moment in which the conflict is “won” or the final confrontation of the two is seen. The final part of the play is the denouement the falling action, which is basically the conclusion it “ties up the loose ends of the plot” (Longman 28)

The Character, the “human element” is what keeps us going back to the theater, it is what makes this type of art so unique. You can watch a movie up on the silver screen but what makes the experience much more intimate is knowing that up on the stage is a living breathing human. There are two categories of characters in theater. Stock characters are the easiest to define, they are “servants to the plot” (Longman) they drive the plot forward, some plays rely on these characters they are defined by culture and the influences around them. The Archetypal characters can exist within themselves they are universal

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