Metadramatic elements in "Titus Andronicus" and "King Richard II".

Essay by szenkriUniversity, Bachelor's January 2007

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In my essay I will examine how metadrama has effects on the audience. The metadramatic devices help Shakespeare to create layers of understandings, questioning whether singular truths exist. I will discuss Hornby's theory, and use his definiton of metadramatic types and I will apply some of them in Richard II. and Titus Andronicus to find explanations how metadramatic elements can possibly have effects on the audience.

My first character to be analysed will be Lavinia. I will continue the examination with King Richard II. and his role-play in connection with its metadramatic affect. I will write about Tamora and Aaron's role as revengers. I will talk about the ceremony-within-the-play in Richard II. and finish my essay with Tamora's masquerade-show. My goal will be, while analyzing the characters, to find out how metadramatic effects work on the audience.

In Shakespeare's time the task of creating an atmosphere for a play were the words of a "writer", the talent of an actor and the audience's imagination.

There was not rich scenery on stage, most roles were played by male actors, so Shakespeare had to fall back on using his wordplay to create his complex theatre and his language system had to be absorbable for his audience. To achieve this theatrical complexity Shakespeare uses for example metadramatic devices, situations, characters and language. Drama is a way of thinking about life, a way of organizing it, drama is a tool to interpret reality, a means of thinking about life. For Shakespeare the function of metardama, which is drama about drama, could have been a way of creating layers of understandings, a tool of alternating the way the audience interprets reality.

"No form of drama or theatre is any farther from real life than any other, in any way that truly matters. No play,