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BEGE-107: Understanding Drama (Formerly EEG-7)

BEGE-107: Understanding Drama (Formerly EEG-7)

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

If you are looking for BEGE-107 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Understanding Drama (Formerly EEG-7), you have come to the right place. BEGE-107 solution on this page applies to 2023-24 session students studying in BDP courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BEGE-107/TMA/2023-24

Course Code: BEGE-107

Assignment Name: Understanding Drama

Year: 2023-2024

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Max. Marks: 100

Attempt all questions.

Q1) Write short notes on:

Q1a) greek theatre

Ans) Greek theatre, dating back to the 5th century BC, is a foundational and influential form of theatre that has significantly shaped the history of drama and performance. Here are some key points about Greek theatre:

  • Origin and History: Greek theatre evolved from religious festivals and ceremonies, particularly the worship of Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility. The earliest known Greek theatre performances were held in outdoor amphitheatres, such as the Theatre of Dionysus in Athens.

  • Structure and Architecture: The theatres in ancient Greece were impressive architectural feats. They typically consisted of a semi-circular orchestra, where the chorus performed, and a raised stage or skene building for actors. The seating areas, divided into sections, accommodated thousands of spectators.

  • Chorus: The chorus was an integral part of Greek theatre. Comprising masked performers who sang and danced in unison, the chorus provided commentary, context, and emotional depth to the play. They often represented the collective voice of the community.

  • Playwrights: Three prominent playwrights from this era are still celebrated today: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. They wrote tragedies and comedies that explored complex themes, including morality, fate, and the human condition. Aristophanes was a famous Greek comedic playwright known for his satirical works.

  • Masks and Costumes: Actors in Greek theatre wore masks to signify different characters and emotions. These masks, along with elaborate costumes, allowed a small number of actors to portray multiple roles in a single play.

  • Catharsis: Greek tragedies often aimed to evoke catharsis, a purging of emotions and pity and fear in the audience. This emotional release was believed to have a cleansing and therapeutic effect on the viewers.

  • Themes and Influence: Greek theatre explored themes such as hubris, fate, moral dilemmas, and the consequences of human actions. Its storytelling and dramatic techniques have left a lasting impact on Western theatre and literature.

  • Performance and Music: Performances incorporated music and rhythm, with the use of instruments like the aulos (double-reeded flute). The combination of music, dance, and spoken word created a rich and engaging theatrical experience.

  • Decline: Greek theatre began to decline in the 4th century BC with changes in political and cultural dynamics. The Roman Empire later adopted and adapted Greek theatre traditions, contributing to its preservation, and spread.

Q1b) plot

Ans) Plot is a fundamental element in storytelling, whether in literature, film, theatre, or any form of narrative. It refers to the sequence of events that make up the storyline, outlining how a story unfolds from beginning to end. The plot serves as the skeleton of a narrative, providing structure and direction to the story's development.

Key aspects of a plot include:

  • Introduction/Exposition: The plot begins with an introduction that sets the stage for the story. It introduces the main characters, the setting, and the initial situation or conflict. This phase provides essential background information to engage the audience.

  • Inciting Incident: This is the event or circumstance that triggers the central conflict of the story. It sets the story in motion and drives the characters to take action. The inciting incident often occurs early in the narrative.

  • Rising Action: The rising action is the series of events that build tension and complexity in the story. It includes obstacles, challenges, and conflicts that the characters must overcome. This section keeps the audience engaged and invested in the outcome.

  • Climax: The climax is the narrative's turning point, the moment of highest tension and drama. It's when the central conflict reaches its peak, and the main characters must make critical decisions or face their most significant challenges.

  • Falling Action: After the climax, the story begins to wind down. The falling action shows the consequences of the climax and how the characters deal with them. Loose ends are tied up, and the story starts moving toward resolution.

  • Resolution/Denouement: The resolution is where the plot reaches its conclusion. It answers any remaining questions, resolves conflicts, and provides closure for the audience. It shows the characters' development and the aftermath of their actions.

  • Subplots: In addition to the main plot, many stories feature subplots that run alongside the central narrative. Subplots add depth to the story, provide character development, and often intersect with the main plot, contributing to its resolution.

The effectiveness of a plot depends on its ability to engage the audience, create tension and suspense, and lead to a satisfying resolution. A well-constructed plot keeps readers or viewers invested in the story's outcome and emotionally connected to the characters. It also allows for the exploration of themes, character growth, and the conveyance of messages or lessons within the narrative.

Q1c) three unities

Ans) The "three unities" is a concept that originated in ancient Greek drama and was later adopted and discussed by literary theorists. These unities refer to three principles that playwrights should adhere to in the construction of a dramatic work. They are:

  • Unity of Time: This principle suggests that the action of a play should unfold within a single, continuous time frame, ideally 24 hours. This means that the events portrayed on stage should occur in a relatively short and condensed period. The unity of time aims to create a sense of immediacy and intensity in the dramatic experience, as the audience follows the characters through a compact and intense sequence of events. This principle encourages a focused and tightly structured narrative.

  • Unity of Place: Unity of place dictates that the entirety of the play's action should occur within a single location or setting. The idea is to limit the spatial scope of the play to a specific and confined area, such as a room, a house, or a city. This constraint is intended to enhance the sense of realism and cohesiveness in the storytelling, as characters interact within a well-defined environment. Unity of place can also help in emphasizing the relationships and conflicts among characters in a confined space.

  • Unity of Action: Unity of action stipulates that a play should have a single, central plot with a clear and focused theme or subject matter. Subplots and secondary storylines should be kept to a minimum or should directly relate to the central plot. This principle encourages a coherent and tightly woven narrative structure, ensuring that every element of the play contributes to the main storyline. Unity of action aims to maintain the audience's attention and engagement by avoiding unnecessary diversions.

While these three unities were highly regarded in classical Greek drama, they have evolved over time, and contemporary playwrights often choose to deviate from these principles to create more complex and layered narratives. Modern drama and literature embrace a wider range of storytelling techniques and structures. Nonetheless, the concept of the three unities remains an important historical and theoretical framework for understanding the development of dramatic writing and theatrical conventions.

Q1d) tragedy

Ans) Tragedy is a genre in literature and dramatic arts that explores serious and often sombre themes, presenting a narrative that typically ends in sorrow, loss, or a catastrophic event for the central characters. It's a form of storytelling that aims to evoke powerful emotions, such as pity and fear, in the audience while examining complex aspects of human nature and society. Here are some key points about tragedy:

  • Origins: The concept of tragedy has ancient origins, dating back to Greek theatre in the works of playwrights like Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. These early Greek tragedies often centered around the downfall of noble characters due to their flaws or fate.

  • Protagonist's Flaw: Tragedy often revolves around a protagonist (the tragic hero) who possesses a character flaw or makes a fatal error in judgment, leading to their undoing. This flaw is referred to as "hamartia" in Greek tragedy.

  • Conflict: Tragedies are driven by conflicts, both external and internal. The central character usually faces challenges, obstacles, and dilemmas that intensify as the story progresses.

  • Catharsis: Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, believed that tragedy served a purgative or cathartic function. It allows the audience to experience strong emotions, such as pity and fear, which ultimately lead to emotional and intellectual enlightenment.

  • Themes: Tragedies often explore profound themes, including the consequences of human actions, the clash between free will and fate, the corrupting influence of power, the fragility of human existence, and the inherent flaws in human character.

  • Structure: Classical tragedies often followed a specific structure, including exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. This structure helps build tension and emotion throughout the narrative.

  • Prominent Works: Some famous tragic works from literature include William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" and "Hamlet," Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex," and Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman."

  • Modern Interpretations: Tragic themes are not limited to ancient or classical works. Contemporary literature, theatre, and film also explore tragedy in various ways, often reflecting the complexities of the modern world.

  • Impact: Tragedy resonates with audiences because it addresses universal human experiences and dilemmas. It encourages self-reflection and empathy while challenging societal norms and values.

Q2) Discuss the use of folk forms in the play Ghashiram Kotwal.

Ans) "Ghashiram Kotwal," a significant play in Indian theatre, was written by Vijay Tendulkar in 1972. It explores various socio-political themes, and one of its notable features is the incorporation of folk forms, particularly the Tamasha tradition, into the narrative. Here, we'll discuss the use of folk forms in "Ghashiram Kotwal."

  • Tamasha Influence: "Ghashiram Kotwal" draws heavily from the Tamasha folk theatre of Maharashtra, a vibrant and popular form of entertainment that combines music, dance, drama, and satire. The play incorporates the spirit, energy, and elements of Tamasha to create a unique theatrical experience.

  • Language and Diction: Tamasha is known for its colourful and colloquial language. Tendulkar infuses the play with this linguistic richness, with characters often speaking in a blend of Marathi and street slang. This language choice not only adds authenticity but also connects the play to its folk roots.

  • Songs and Music: Tamasha relies heavily on music and songs to convey emotions and narratives. "Ghashiram Kotwal" features several folk-inspired songs that enhance the storytelling. These songs provide insights into characters' emotions, societal critiques, and political commentary.

  • Dance and Movement: Dance sequences are integral to Tamasha, and they are incorporated into the play to create a dynamic visual and emotional impact. These dances often reflect the festive, celebratory, and ritualistic aspects of folk traditions.

  • Satire and Social Commentary: Like Tamasha, "Ghashiram Kotwal" uses satire as a powerful tool to comment on contemporary social and political issues. Through humour and irony, the play criticizes the abuse of power, political corruption, and the moral decay of society.

  • Masks and Disguises: In Tamasha, performers often use masks and disguises. Similarly, the play uses the theme of masks and disguises as a metaphor for the characters' hidden motives and duplicity. Ghashiram's transformation from a humble servant to a ruthless tyrant is emblematic of this.

  • Inclusivity: Folk theatre is known for its inclusivity, and "Ghashiram Kotwal" reflects this by incorporating a diverse cast of characters from various social strata, including the marginalized and the powerful. This diversity adds depth to the narrative and highlights the inequalities within society.

  • Audience Engagement: Just like in Tamasha, where audience interaction is common, "Ghashiram Kotwal" occasionally breaks the fourth wall, engaging the audience directly. This technique is used to provoke thought and evoke emotional responses.

  • Parallel Narratives: Tamasha often weaves multiple narratives into a single performance. In the play, Tendulkar skilfully integrates multiple storylines and character arcs, creating a rich and layered narrative that mirrors the complexity of real-life social and political dynamics.

  • Cultural Roots: The use of folk forms in "Ghashiram Kotwal" connects the play to its cultural and historical roots. It provides a sense of authenticity and allows the audience to engage with the play on multiple levels, appreciating its cultural significance.

Q3) Discuss the theme of the play Julius Caesar.

Ans) The theme of William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" is multifaceted and encompasses various elements of political ambition, power, loyalty, betrayal, and the consequences of one's actions. This historical tragedy explores the complex dynamics of leadership, the fragility of political alliances, and the ethical dilemmas faced by characters in a politically charged Roman Republic. Here are the key themes in "Julius Caesar":

  • Ambition and Power: Ambition is a central theme in the play. Characters like Caesar, Brutus, and Cassius are driven by their desires for power and influence. Caesar's ambition leads to his assassination, while Brutus and Cassius's ambition leads to their involvement in the conspiracy against Caesar.

  • Leadership and Tyranny: The play raises questions about the qualities of a good leader and the dangers of tyranny. Caesar's rise to power raises concerns about his potential to become a tyrant, leading to the conspirators' actions in the belief that they are saving Rome from tyranny.

  • Betrayal and Loyalty: The theme of betrayal is prominent in "Julius Caesar." Brutus, who is Caesar's close friend, betrays him in the name of loyalty to Rome. Cassius and other conspirators also betray Caesar, but their motivations vary. Loyalty to individuals versus loyalty to the state is a recurring conflict.

  • Fate and Free Will: The play suggests a tension between fate and free will. Characters often grapple with the idea that destiny may have already determined their actions, but they also make choices that lead to their ultimate fates. Cassius, for example, believes in fate, while Brutus believes in free will.

  • Conspiracy and Manipulation: The conspirators manipulate public opinion and one another to achieve their goals. They use rhetoric and persuasion to justify their actions, highlighting the power of words and manipulation in politics.

  • Rhetoric and Persuasion: The play showcases the art of persuasive speech and rhetoric. Characters like Brutus and Mark Antony deliver powerful speeches to sway public opinion. Antony's famous funeral oration is a prime example of the persuasive power of words.

  • Public versus Private Life: Several characters grapple with the tension between their public and private lives. Brutus, in particular, struggles with the conflict between his loyalty to Caesar as a friend and his loyalty to Rome as a senator.

  • The Role of the Mob: The play depicts the fickleness and malleability of the Roman populace. The mob's reactions and decisions are easily swayed by persuasive speeches, demonstrating the potential dangers of a volatile and easily influenced public.

  • Consequences of Actions: "Julius Caesar" underscores the idea that actions have consequences. The conspirators' assassination of Caesar leads to civil war, chaos, and their own tragic deaths. Each character's choices lead to personal and societal repercussions.

  • Moral Complexity: The play explores moral complexity and ethical dilemmas. Characters are torn between their sense of duty, loyalty, and their own moral convictions. Brutus, in particular, grapples with the moral consequences of his actions.

Q4) Discuss father- son relationship as theme of the play All My Sons.

Ans) "All My Sons" is a powerful play by Arthur Miller, first performed in 1947. At its core, the play explores the theme of the father-son relationship and its complexities. Through the characters of Joe Keller and his sons, Chris, and Larry, as well as their interconnected lives, Miller examines various aspects of this theme.

  • Joe Keller and Chris Keller: The play primarily revolves around the strained relationship between Joe Keller, a successful businessman, and his son Chris, who has returned from World War II. At first glance, Joe seems to be a loving father, but as the plot unfolds, it becomes evident that his actions during the war had a profound impact on their relationship. Joe sold faulty airplane parts to the military, which led to the deaths of numerous pilots, including Chris's brother Larry. This act, which Joe had justified as providing for his family, becomes the source of tension and conflict between him and Chris.

  • Conflict of Values: The father-son relationship is further complicated by a conflict of values. Chris has a strong sense of moral duty and wants to move away from the shadow of his father's unethical actions. He aspires to marry Larry's former girlfriend, Ann Deever, and seeks to create a life based on honesty and integrity. Joe, on the other hand, values financial success and the well-being of his family above all else, even if it means compromising his principles. This clash of values creates a profound rift between father and son.

  • Idealization and Betrayal: Chris initially idealizes his father and sees him as a hero who provided for the family during his absence. However, as he learns the truth about Joe's wartime actions, Chris feels betrayed by the person he looked up to the most. This sense of betrayal deeply affects their relationship, causing Chris to question his father's values and integrity.

  • Responsibility and Guilt: Joe grapples with guilt over the deaths caused by his actions. His inability to accept responsibility for the tragedy creates tension in his relationship with Chris. Chris believes that his father should have taken responsibility for the faulty parts, and this disagreement highlights the generational divide in their views on ethics and accountability.

  • Resolution and Redemption: As the play progresses, the father-son relationship undergoes a significant transformation. Chris confronts Joe about his responsibility for the deaths of the pilots, leading to a dramatic climax. The resolution of the play sees Chris rejecting his father's values and taking a stand for justice and accountability. Joe, in turn, acknowledges his wrongdoing and faces the consequences of his actions.

  • Legacy and Lessons: "All My Sons" ultimately explores the idea of legacy and the lessons that parents pass down to their children. While Joe's actions have tragic consequences, they serve as a cautionary tale for Chris. The play highlights the importance of facing one's moral responsibilities and the potential for redemption, even in the face of grave mistakes.

Q5) How is the man-woman question presented in Halfway House? Discuss.

Ans) "Halfway House" is a novel written by Mohan Rakesh, one of the prominent figures in Hindi literature. Published in 1969, the novel is a significant work that delves into various facets of human relationships, including the exploration of the man-woman question. In the story, Rakesh portrays the complex dynamics of gender roles, expectations, and societal norms prevalent in the Indian context of the time.

Depiction of Gender Roles:

"Halfway House" reflects the traditional gender roles deeply ingrained in Indian society during the mid-20th century. The novel portrays men as the primary breadwinners and women as homemakers. Characters like Sudhir and Maya represent these traditional roles, with Sudhir as the provider and Maya as the nurturer of the family. This dynamic is evident in the power structure within their relationship.

Conflict between Tradition and Modernity:

The novel highlights the clash between traditional values and the modern aspirations of the characters. Sudhir, the male protagonist, grapples with his desire for a more progressive and equal partnership with Maya, but he also struggles with societal expectations that pressure him to conform to traditional male roles. This internal conflict reflects the changing dynamics of gender relations in a society in transition.

Maya's Ambitions:

Maya, the female protagonist, represents a woman who aspires to assert her independence and individuality in a society that primarily defines her through her roles as a wife and mother. Her desire to pursue a career in acting and her struggle for self-fulfilment highlight the challenges women faced in pursuing their ambitions during that era.

The Institution of Marriage:

"Halfway House" raises questions about the institution of marriage and its impact on gender roles. Sudhir and Maya's marriage is presented as a typical Indian middle-class marriage, marked by societal expectations and family pressures. The novel underscores how traditional marriages can limit the personal growth and aspirations of individuals, particularly women.

Marital Discord and Misunderstandings:

The novel depicts the growing marital discord between Sudhir and Maya due to their conflicting desires and aspirations. Their inability to communicate openly and understand each other's perspectives reflects the challenges couples faced in navigating changing gender dynamics.

Maya's Character Development:

As the story progresses, Maya's character undergoes significant development. She becomes more assertive and determined to pursue her acting career, despite societal disapproval and Sudhir's initial resistance. This transformation illustrates the evolving role of women in Indian society and their determination to break free from traditional constraints.

Societal Critique:

"Halfway House" serves as a critique of the patriarchal norms and societal constraints that restrict women's freedom and personal growth. The novel suggests that the man-woman question is not merely a matter of individual relationships but also a reflection of broader societal attitudes and expectations.

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