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metadrama


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Drama about drama, or any moment of self‐consciousness by which a play draws attention to its own fictional status as a theatrical pretence. Normally, direct addresses to the audience in prologues, epilogues, and inductions are metadramatic in that they refer to the play itself and acknowledge the theatrical situation; a similar effect may be achieved in asides. In a more extended sense, the use of a play‐within‐the‐play, as in Hamlet, allows a further metadramatic exploration of the nature of theatre, which is taken still further in plays about plays, such as Luigi Pirandello's Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore (Six Characters in Search of an Author, 1921). See also foregrounding, self‐reflexive.

Subjects: Literature


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