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The Drama of IdeasPlatonic Provocations in Theater and Philosophy$
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Martin Puchner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199730322

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199730322.001.0001

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The Drama of Ideas

The Drama of Ideas

(p.73) 3: The Drama of Ideas
The Drama of Ideas

Martin Puchner

Oxford University Press

The emergence of a newly ambitious drama, first called “new drama” and then “modern drama” endowed theater with a new sense of intellectual ambition, and this is described in this chapter. Modern drama is usually characterized as non-Aristotelian and it is in this account that the chapter argues it to be seen more as Platonic. Though the ideas of Plato are often dismissed as a resource on how to look on modern drama, the most significant features of it can be found in Plato's own dramatic practice. In addition, modern drama could be called Platonic due to the persistence of the idea that theater should be an intellectually serious undertaking—a theater of ideas. The chapter also discusses the extent to which modern drama is a Platonic drama by examining the relation between two authors of modern Socratic plays that have had a particular influence on modern drama.

Keywords:   Plato, modern drama, Platonic, Socratic plays, theater

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