Drama and characters involved are more concerned with the performance of the play than any other dramatic feature on stage. Characters in plays tend to policies the boundaries between performance and the real world. Characters reveal their ingenuity that is depicted when they are on stage performing. However, through their actions, the audience gets to know the truth that is revealed through the performance. Through the act of pretence reveals a lot when it comes to the real world of the human affair. This paper will examine the artifice in various plays and how it has helped to bring out the truth in the real world of human affairs. Amongst the plays that will be examined in this paper include, Hamlet, Tartuffe, Everyman, and Oedipus Rex.
What plays or Drama just like any other literary work act as the mirror of the society in which what happens in the society is reflected. Through the characters, the audience understands the human life through the various experiences that they go through. Although we know that the play is a pretence played on stage, we get to understand a lot when it comes to human experience. Hamlet, the main character in the play Hamlet, is a pretender right from the beginning of the play when he realized that his father is dead. After several encounter with the ghost of his father, he decides to pretend so as to find out the truth behind his fathers death. During the meeting with the ghost, Hamlet is not convinced with the claim that the ghost makes that it was a plot of his uncle that led to his fathers death. Therefore, to find out the truth, he decides to organize a play with the aim of finding the truth about what the ghost told him. In Act III, Scene II of the play, Hamlet prepares the players to perform for the king. Hamlet pretends to be mad, and people believe it, little did they know that he had the plan to execute. He succeeds in executing the plan by staging the play about a king who was poisoned by a chemical poured on he hears, and this triggers reactions from the accused perpetrator, King Claudius. The King feels that the play is not a comedy as was said and directs that it ends; Give me some light: away! (III. II. 19). Hamlet thinks that his plan has worked because the king has directed the play be stopped because he feels uncomfortable with it. This convinces Hamlet that the ghost was right about the hypocrisy of King Claudius. Hamlet then intends to take the action to avenge his fathers death by killing King Claudius in his room. Although, he does not succeed not because he could not kill him but because he thought that if he kills him while he was praying he will go to heaven, and he would not have avenged his father. Therefore, he let him go with the hope that he would get another chance some other time. The art of acting in the play that Hamlet organized for King Claudius helps us depict the truth about King Hamlets death. Although it was a play organized to entertain the audience, it reveals the truth that happened. Therefore, play or drama is one way to relate the human experience through artistic work.
In the play Oedipus Rex, the main character in the play, Oedipus is involved in crime, and he pretends that he is righteous in the eyes of the gods. When tragedies begin to befall the people of Thebes that followed the death of King Laius, Oedipus starts to accuse Creon of the murder of King Laius (I. II. 40-42). Oedipus is surprised when the truth comes out that he was the murder of the king of Thebes. Oedipus realizes that he fell into the trap of what he was trying to prevent from the beginning. Oedipus ran away from Corinth after receiving the news from the oracle that he would kill his father and marry his biological mother. Because he thought that the parents who raised him up in Corinth were his real parents, he decided to escape to Thebes so as to prevent the prophecy. Despite the attempt to prevent the prophecy, he realized that he was getting closer to the prophecy. Oedipus realizes that he was the one who killed the king after the blind seer; Tiresias breaks the news that Oedipus is the murder. Through, the play the audience gets to understand the relationship between reality and pretence.
Everyman is another play that depicts the relationship between the pretence and reality. The play depicts the relationship between God and the human beings. Through the character, Messenger the audience gets to understand the religious responsibilities of human beings to God. Additionally, the character God in the play depicts Gods expectations from God; for example, All I see, everywhere I look, there is not one creature who thinks of me (9-14). The play presents what is expected when the world ends. The play presents the hypocrisy in human beings to neglect their responsibility to God. However, when they run out of time, they start to feel remorseful and sorry for turning away from God. For example, the main character in the play, Everyman says its no fair! I deserve more time (65-72) after being informed by Death that he has not time left to live.
The play Tartuffe is another performance that tries to relate the human experience from the world of imaginary through the artistic work to that of the real world. Tartuffe is considered to be holy and a righteous man who has nothing to do with evil. Tartuffe uses religion as a hideout and object he can use to hide his real identity. Madame Pernelle is convinced that Tartuffe is a holy and a righteous man that everyone in the house of Orgon should embrace. Tartuffe pretends to be just; for example, he tells Orgon that Ah. Brother, let him speak: you're unjust (III. IV. 20). Tartuffe turns against the same people who have sheltered him and blackmails Orgon that he is the legal owner of the property. He claimed that Orgon had signed the property to him. This is not how to repay someone who has been good for you, but what Tartuffe did is depicted in play as evil and, in the end, he is arrested when he thought that he had succeeded in getting away with the properties that he had not worked for. The King is convinced that he is not who is pretends to be and sends him to prison; Come, you are off to join the other boarders; in the kings prison, according to his orders (IV. VII. 44-45)). Through the play, we try to relate the real human experience to that performed in the play.
In conclusion, based on the plays that we have examined, we have seen that the artifice of theater has helped to reveal the truth. Through the four plays that we have examined, Hamlet, Oedipus Rex, Everyman, and Tartuffe we can conclude that the performance in drama reflects what happens in the real life situation of human affairs. Literature is a reflection of what happens in our society. Therefore, most of the themes expressed during the performance of play significantly reflect what happens in the society.
Dawe, Roger D. Sophocles: Oedipus Rex. Cambridge University Press, 1982.Lindsay Price. Everyman. Theatrefolk Original Platscripts, 2011.
Moliere, Jean Baptiste, and Jean Serroy. Tartuffe. Gallimard, 1997.
(Accessed on March 14, 2016 http://theater.lafayette.edu/files/2015/12/Tartuffe-Script.pdf).
Shakespeare, William. The tragedy of Hamlet. University Press, 1904. (Accessed on March 14, 2016 https://www.w3.org/People/maxf/XSLideMaker/hamlet.pdf).
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