Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Aristotle Blog Post- The Beauty of Language

I really enjoyed the discussion (not to say lecture) on the importance of language in playwriting. It's amazing the difference choices in language techniques can make in a play and the way the form illustrates the content. Shakespeare was a master of this-- a study of his use of blank verse in some places, verse (occasionally full sonnets) in others, and prose in yet others as indications of character and setting could fill several volumes. Oscar Wilde's delightful cynicism and constant use of epigrams make him one of our most quotable playwrights. On the other hand, Harold Pinter and his famous "Pinter pauses", together with his spare style, bring to mind an entirely different school of playwright, where the really important things are the unspoken things (I'm specifically thinking of "The Homecoming".) So much can be communicated just by the language we use, by what we don't say as much as by what we do, by the simple grammar or punctuation of a sentence; and that is power not to be taken lightly.

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