Date of Award
Master of Arts
Domestic drama is the most popular genre employed by the modern dramatist. The question may arise as to whether or not tragedy is any longer desired by the playgoer. In these representative plays, taken from many countries and written on a variety of themes all centered around domestic life, as judged by the criteria established in the first chapter, few of these dramas succeed as tragedies. This is not to be interpreted to mean that the so-called "tragic impulse" is dead. Those plays which are classed as tragedy are pure tragedy-- dramas at the peak of intensity demanded by the best of dramatic art.
In England, Pinero demonstrated the potentialities of domestic drama as tragedy, and Masefield fulfilled these potentialities. In America, modern domestic drama begins with O'Neill. However, all of this points to what John Mason Brown speaks of when he says that the theatre now aims at spiritual release rather than detailed information. One becomes transported from the mundane everyday life, to "that special world of meaning and suggestion, of rapture and beauty which lie within the theatre's province to evoke." But then, has that not always been the case with tragedy? The men mentioned above merely showed that such a thing is possible with domestic drama. Since drama is not dead, the art of writing tragedy cannot be considered to be dead. Furthermore, it is probably not wrong to suggest that in the future tragedies--and great tragedies may be expected--will be written as domestic dramas.
Turney, Charles, "Serious domestic drama as tragedy : a study of the protagonist" (1959). Master's Theses. 1352.