Freytag's Technique of the Drama
Working Notes, by Zach Tomaszewski
for ICS 699, Spring 2005, directed by Dr. Kim Binsted
Freytag, Gustav. Technique of the Drama Translated: Elias J. MacEwan. 6th German ed. Chicago: S.C. Griggs & Company, 1895.
- A distinction between unbelievable action/progression and the inital premise/setting. Whether an action is unbelievable (and unsatisfactory) depends on the context--whether we are ready to accept magic, time-travel, acts of gods, etc.
- The use (or prohibition) of using foreign material vs. using foreign types/roles/genres. Example: Chinese "annoying attractive girl" stock character, or why British shows rarely work when redone as American.
- Stock characters and other "choiceless" and 2D roles--traditional angels, the Devil, the trusty sidekick, etc. Yet can be very interesting to see traditional stock character displayed with choice, depth, and complexity.
- Freytag: social ills should not be the central action. Maybe they could be part of the setting or message, but, true, overly preachy dramas are generally not appreciated.
- When did humans start making up stories without reference to previous facts or historical material? Were previous "fantasies" just stuck under Comedy? Even Freytag in the mid-1800s stress the importance of starting with historical material.
- Clarification/reformulation: play = "acts of the protagonist". counter-play = "protagonish subject to actions of the world".