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Stage Direction Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on March 18, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 568 words

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Below is an essay on "Stage Direction" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

For “a play in which nothing happens, twice”, Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” contains a great deal of significant action, all of it described through the stage directions Beckett included as part of the script (“The Uneventful Event”). “So painstakingly careful is Beckett of his balances that stage directions must be considered part of his text,” says Normand Berlin in his essay “Traffic of our stage: Why Waiting for Godot?” (Berlin 11). The stage directions that accompany the dialogue are extremely specific as to how actors should move, appear, and speak their parts, describing situations as well as mannerisms; Estragon, “restored to the horror of his situation”, is instructed to say “[d]espairingly”: “Why will you never let me sleep?” (Beckett, Act I). These stage directions provide the actor with both a mood and a motivation for his acting, essentially building the character pre-hand so all the actor needs to do is step into the role provided. This complex, layered description is very different from the loose description provided in a play like Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles”, where the action and intonation are provided, but clinically. Beckett’s stage directions are almost more important to the play than the dialogue is, because they provide as clear a picture of the scenes as a traditional prose-based story would to its readers.   One does not have to see the play performed to get a sense for it, and because “Beckett's text is so precise and economical that it does not allow for many variations,” most renditions of the performance will be nearly the same (“Tzookie” 3).

The minimalist setting is especially important to the play. At one point Beckett himself almost prohibited a production that wanted to change the setting of the play to the more modern, meaningful one of a New York subway after WWIII, because it would have destroyed the mystery that makes the play so significant (“Tzookie” 4). “’Less’ forces us to look for ‘more’,” says Normand Berlin. The...

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Stage Direction. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 19, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatchstavki7.com/free-essays/Stage-Direction-187280.html