An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

By J.B. Priestley

The Heinemann performs sequence deals modern drama and vintage performs in sturdy lecture room versions. during this play an inspector interrupts a celebration to enquire a girl's suicide, and implicates all the party-makers in her demise.

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1] ― 64 ― As I now continue to search for the reasons that set Senecan drama apart from other theatrical traditions, and as I begin to focus more narrowly than before on a possible Stoic legacy, I turn to a topic that will, I suggest, bring us closer to our quarry, though the route will be slow and circuitous. I start with a quote from a recent study of genre theory. "To interpret a work as dramatic is to interpret the relation [sc. between mind and world in the work] in terms of causality," observes William E.

1). The answer acquires a much stronger appropriateness in a dramatic setting whose outcome is largely fixed in the tradition. Hercules, in Hercules Furens, is hardly a Stoic saint, but the world in which he is a player, and the challenges to which he responds, are most easily understood against a background of Stoic discussions of Necessity and Fate. The same is true of the many references to Fortune in the plays. If the fourth chorus of Phaedra (1123–53) pictures Fortune striking those most highly placed and sparing the lowly, Raros patitur fulminis ictus umida vallis The verdant valley rarely attracts The thunder's stroke (1132–33) the topos is not only a hoary property of the tragic idiom.

30] Even the inner conflicts, the protracted demonstrations ― 53 ― of instability and lack of center, prominent in Agamemnon, but evident in all the dramas, are in the end folded into the dynamics of dramatic careers poised toward self-revelation. "Zerrissenheit " joins with obsession to shape a furious spectacle. The character starts ab ovo and hesitatingly or impetuously grows into what his public mission (and, in the case of Senecan drama, the bettering of his sources) demands. The process becomes particularly effective on the Senecan stage when it informs the climax of a heroic life drawing toward its close.

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