The Art of Dramatic Writing : Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives, Paperback

The Art of Dramatic Writing : Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Lajos Egri examines a play from the inside out, starting with the heart of any drama: its characters.

For it is people - their private natures and their inter-relationships - that move a story and give it life.

All good dramatic writing depends upon an understanding of human motives.

Why do people act as they do? What forces transform a coward into a hero, a hero into a coward?

What is it that Romeo does early in Shakespeare's play that makes his later suicide seem inevitable?

Why must Nora leave her husband at the end of A Doll's House?

These are a few of the fascinating problems which Egri analyzes.

He shows how it is essential for the author to have a basic premise - a thesis, demonstrated in terms of human behaviour - and to develop his dramatic conflict on the basis of that behaviour.

Premise, character, conflict: this is Egri's ABC. His book is a direct, jargon-free approach to the problem of achieving truth in a literary creation.




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Explores motive as the driver of character and so of the plot

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Egri describes premise, character, and conflict as the essential elements - and the heart - of any play. He espouses an approach to play-writing “based on the natural law of dialectics” rather than instinct.Using several examples, Egri analyzes what makes plays “good” or “bad.” There’s a lot of good material here toward writing a truthful, character-driven play that’s honest to its characters, actors, and the audience.

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seed of drama = conflict<br/><br/><br/><br/>[ this was the textbook at both ucla &amp; sc when spielberg, copolla, lucas, etc. were at film school ]