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date: 28 May 2020

pastoral drama 

Source:
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance
Author(s):
Adrienne ScullionAdrienne Scullion

A form of drama evolved from poetry—particularly the idyll, eclogue, or bucolic—which idealizes nature and the rural life. Ostensibly the pastoral tells stories of shepherds but at root the form problematizes social relationships and ideas of modernization: the purity and simplicity of shepherd life is contrasted with the corruption and artificiality of the court, the town, or the city. The pastoral sometimes uses the device of ‘singing matches’ between two or more shepherds, and it often presents the poet and his friends in the personae of shepherds and shepherdesses. Classical models are drawn from Theocritus and Virgil and from the idea of a lost golden age, imagined by both Hesiod and Ovid, in which humans lived close to and at one with nature. In Theocritus' idylls the convention and ... ...

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