The Mad Woman of Chaillot is a play written by Jean Giraudoux during the Nazi occupation of France.
This play is an account of the manner in which Aurelia, a lady living in Paris, with the cooperation of the poor, gets rid of the mafia plotting to destroy their town. Thus far, this work has often been interpreted as a burlesque, depicting a conflict between materialism and the human imagination. It is believed that this Countess Aurelia and her associates' fantasy is an allegory that aims to expose the ugly aspects of capitalism, and idolize the supreme power of the human dream.
However, this play does not merely criticize the contemporary materialism. It can be read as a text that insists on an ideal nexus between art and politics. At first, I argue that this play lays a structure that foregrounds an inseparable relationship between the human imagination and human community, by analyzing the representation of the mafia. Furthermore, by discussing the theatrical imagination that Aurelia represents, I attempt to prove that this play idolizes the power that the medium of the theater possesses in reforming the world.
Samuel Beckett's television play ...but the clouds... (1977) is a portrayal of the protagonist's inner images. This paper attempts to reveal that the intratextual structure of his recollection depicts the author's attitude towards his creative activities and life.
First, I verify the possibility that the play can be regarded as the protagonist's memory play; the voice (V) of the narrator is a representation of his inner monologue. Assuming the role of a theatre director, he manipulates several images, particularly a woman's vague figure (W), the appearance of which he longs for.
The protagonist's behaviour is a reflection of the notion that each individual is enclosed in his/her own cocoon; he identifies her otherness with his inner projection. This identification which is an extension of his self-consciousness hinders W's actual arrival in his subconscious, except when the subject is totally ‘exhausted’ from repetitive recollection; however, the end of this repetition is not delineated clearly in the play.
The continuity through the play and ambiguity in the end mirrors the author's awareness of his senescence. This idea is reinforced in the title of this play which is a quote from W. B. Yeats' poem ‘The Tower’ which is an allegory for senescence. This play illustrates that the approaching of the point of exhaustion paradoxically signifies the dynamism of life, following the protagonist's will to affirm senescence.
This paper examines certain conditions that led to the establishment of that uniquely American theatrical form —the musical— by placing its development within the dynamics of the emergence of a cultural hierarchy at the turn of the century.
Theatrical forms with music had long been at the centre of popular culture, widely enjoyed by all classes. This situation changed in the latter half of 19th century, when distinctions between high/low culture, and the American/the non-American were forged. By propagating high culture to the lower classes, the elite intended to redefine American-ness and restore order in a changing society. The birth of the musical is one aspect of such a movement. While opera became high art, all theatrical forms in English with music and based on ordinary stories were disvalued because of their familiarity. Yet, it was this familiarity as part of popular culture that made the lower classes go to theatres and gain a sense of American identity by watching performances with patriotic themes. In addition, only the musical achieved a complete integration of music and story. These elements seem crucial in order to decide when and how the musical first emerged in America.
This paper focuses on works and ideas of Otojiro Kawakami. It seems to me the meanings of Kawakami's contribution have been misunderstood for a long time. Kawakami was famous for his political demonstration and after that as a singer of Oppekepe song. And needless to say he was a first founder of Shoshi Theatre or Shosei Theatre. And today Kawakami is regarded as a founder of Shinpa Theatre in general. In fact, Kawakami's status has been changing in Japanese modern theatre history.
However, analyzing newly appeared documents and materials, it is realized that Kawakami should be regarded not as a founder of old styled Shinpa theatre, but that of new modern theatre. It is needed today to describe a real figure of Kawakami along with his works and detailed documents. It was Kawakami that provided contemporary problematic of society and modern life on the stage.