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By Mark Kobernick
A semiotic research is made from the six significant performs by means of Eugene O'Neill and an try out is made to yield a scientific research in the direction of humanistic interpretations of texts. Theoretical interpretations are enriched with discussions of the performs. Technical issues equivalent to the segmentation of the textual content are laid out in appendices. Six semiotic dimensions were studied: motifs, theatrical semiotic structures, their use in communicational features, function functionality of the dramatis personae, their degrees of information, and aristotelian divisions.
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Additional info for Semiotics of the Drama and the Style of Eugene O'Neill
4. 5. Personae AWARENESS LEVEL Oppositional MOTIFS Theatrical SEMIOTIC SYSTEMS 6. The six COMMUNICATIVE FUNCTIONS 39 All of these six factors have already been touched on, the last two at some length. A specification in technical detail of the first four dimensions is available in Appendices A through D. Appendix Ε details the method of consistent segmentation into subscenes, which may or may not be con gruent with an Aristotelian Division. In Appendix F, the basis for the selec tion from each play of subscene segments for matrix analysis is outlined.
C. D. E. , curtain) (3) entrances and exits b. expression of body (1) facial mime (2) gesture (3) movement (incl. ensemble, dance) c. external appearance (1) make-up (2) hair style (3) costume 2. outside of actors a. accessories (= props) b. decor (= sets) c. lighting CONTEXTUAL (non-verbal, non-audible, non-visible: implicit or underly ing structures) Configurations of personae Narrative codes Motifs and theme Discourse functions (a la Jakobson-Ubersfeld) Others Figure 3. The elements of the dramatic and the theatrical texts The schema of Figure 3 casts a number of dramatic versus theatrical elements into relief with respect to O'Neill and more generally.
The plays were to be full-length (four acts or the equivalent). The most highly regarded plays from the respective periods were to be chosen — plays which are most often performed. 5 The word periods, above, presupposes that O'Neill's corpus falls into distinct phases along a chronological axis. These phases are confirmed by most critics, though they differ somewhat on which group certain plays fall into and even on how many periods there are (from three to four). Without entering into controvery on these matters, one may note simply that the 26 SEMIOTICS OF THE DRAMA dates of composition of the plays allow a chronologically consistent, or linear, tripartite grouping: the earlier period, with Anna Christie (1920) and Desire Under the Elms (1924: sometimes called O'Neill's naturalistic period); the middle period, with Strange Interlude (1927) and Mourning Becomes Electra (1931: sometimes called O'Neill's expressionistic-experimental period); and the late period, with Long Day's Journey into Night (1941) and A Touch of the Poet (1942: sometimes called O'Neill's realistic period).
Semiotics of the Drama and the Style of Eugene O'Neill by Mark Kobernick