The Bedford Introduction to Drama

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-09-14
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $3.15
    Check/Direct Deposit: $3.00
List Price: $141.30


Offering a broad survey of drama from the ancient Greeks to the present — including many new contemporary prize-winners — The Bedford Introduction to Drama has the plays you want to teach in a collection flexible enough to serve your needs in a variety of courses. Fifty-four chronologically arranged plays are illuminated by insightful commentaries and casebooks that enrich students’ contextual understanding and encourage critical thinking. Concise introductions for each historical period and play emphasize theater design, staging, and acting style, and a wealth of photographs and illustrations help students visualize plays in performance. A fresh new design highlights the rich contextual features and additional help for students including a guide to writing about drama, a glossary, and new cross-references to a robust companion Web site.

Author Biography

Lee A. Jacobus is professor emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut and the author/editor of popular English and drama textbooks, among them the full and compact versions of The Bedford Introduction to Drama, Sixth Edition (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009); and The Longman Anthology of American Drama. He has written scholarly books on Paradise Lost, on the works of John Cleveland, and on the works of Shakespeare, including Shakespeare and the Dialectic of Certainty. He is also a playwright and author of fiction. Two of his plays — Fair Warning and Long Division — were produced in New York by the American Theater of Actors, and Dance Therapy, three one-act plays, was produced in New York at Where Eagles Dare Theatre.  He has recently written a book of short stories, Volcanic Jesus, which is set in Hawaii.

Table of Contents

*New to this edition


Preface for Instructors


What Is Drama?

Drama and Ritual

Drama: The Illusion of Reality

Seeing a Play Onstage

Theaters and Their Effect

Reading a Play

The Great Ages of Drama

     Egyptian Drama

     Greek Drama

     Roman Drama

     Medieval Drama

     Renaissance Drama

     Late Seventeeth- and Eighteenth-Century Drama

     Nineteenth-Century Drama through the Turn of the Twentieth Century

     Drama in the Early and Mid-Twentieth Century

     Contemporary Drama

Genres of Drama




Elements of Drama



     Setting Dialogue




Lady Gregory, The Rising of the Moon


The Development of Greek Drama

The Greeks and Their Gods

The Greek Stage

The Greek Actor

Genres of Greek Drama


     Satyr Plays


The Great Age of Greek Drama

Greek Drama Timeline

Aeschylus, Agamemnon

     Agamemnon in Performance


          Lois Spatz, Oresteia: Trilogy Preserved

Sophocles, Oedipus Rex

     Oedipus Rex in Performance


          Aristotle, Poetics: Comedy and Epic and Tragedy

          Sigmund Freud, The Oedipus Complex

          Claude Lévi-Strauss, From The Structural Study of Myth

Sophocles, Antigone

     Antigone in Performance


          Oliver Taplin, Emotion and Meaning in Greek Tragedy

*Euripides, The Bacchae

     *The Bacchae in Performance


          Albrecht Dihle, The Bacchae

Aristophanes, Lysistrata


Indigenous Sources

The Greek Influence

The Roman Stage

The Roman Actor

Roman Drama Timeline

Roman Dramatists

     Plautus, Excerpt from The Twin Menaechmi (Act III)

     Terence, Excerpt from The Brothers (Act V)

     Seneca, Excerpt from Thyestes (Act V, Scene ii)


The Role of the Church

Miracle Plays

Mystery Plays

Morality Plays

Japanese Drama

The Medieval Stage

The Medieval Actor

Medieval Drama Timeline

Hrosvitha, Dulcitius

     Dulcitius in Performance


          Sue-Ellen Case, Re-viewing Hrotsvit

Anonymous, Second Shepherd's Pageant

     The Second Shepherd’s Pageant in Performance

Anonymous, Everyman

     Everyman in Performance


The Italian Theater

Commedia dell’Arte

Elizabethan Drama

     The Elizabethan Theater

     The Elizabethan Actor

     The Elizabethan Audience

     Female Characters on the English Stage

     The Masque

Spanish Drama

Renaissance Drama Timeline

Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus

     Doctor Faustus in Performance

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

     A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Performance


          Linda Bamber, On A Midsummer Night’s Dream

          Peter Brook, The Play Is the Message…

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

     Hamlet in Performance


          *A. C. Bradley, Hamlet’s Melancholy

          T. S. Eliot, Hamlet and His Problems

*William Shakespeare, The Tempest

     *The Tempest in Performance

*A Critical Casebook: The Tempest

     *William Strachey, from True Repertory of the Wreck, 1610

     *Michel de Montaigne, from Of Cannibals, 1580

     *Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Ariel and Caliban, from The Lectures of 1811-1812, Lecture IX

     *E. K. Chambers, The Tempest

     *Robert Browning, Caliban Upon Setebos

     *Aimé Césaire, from A Tempest

     *Ania Loomba, Sycorax

     *Marjorie Garber, The Tempest and Colonialism

Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Life Is a Dream

     Life Is a Dream in Performance


          Ed Morales, Review of José Revera’s Production of Sueño


Theater on the Continent: Neoclassicism

     French Tragedy

     French Comedy: Molière

Theater in England: The Restoration

     Restoration Comedy

Eighteenth-Century Drama

The Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Actor

Drama in Japan

Late Seventeenth- and Eighteenth Century Drama Timeline

Molière, Tartuffe

     Tartuffe in Performance


          Mel Gussow, Review of Tartuffe

Aphra Behn, The Rover; Or, The Banished Cavaliers

     The Rover in Performance


          Elaine Hobby, Courtship and Marriage in The Rover

Chikamatsu Monzaemon, The Love Suicides at Sonezaki

     The Love Suicides at Sonezaki in Performance


          Donald H. Shively, The Development of Theater Buildings

William Congreve, The Way of the World

     The Way of the World in Performance


          Arnold Aronson, Comedy, Manners, and Brickbats

*John Gay, The Beggar’s Opera

     *The Beggar’s Opera in Performance


The Nineteenth-Century Theater

The Nineteenth-Century Actor

Romantic Drama


The Well-Made Play

The Rise of Realism

Nineteenth-Century Drama Timeline

Henrik Ibsen, A Doll House

     A Doll House in Performance


          Henrik Ibsen, Notes for the Modern Tragedy

          Muriel C. Bradbrook, A Doll’s House: Ibsen the Moralist

August Strindberg, Miss Julie

     Miss Julie in Performance


          August Strindberg, From the Preface to Miss Julie

     A Stylistic Casebook: American Melodrama

     Anna Cora Mowatt, Fashion, Act V

     George Aiken, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Act VI

     Bronson Howard, Shenandoah, Act III

     Dion Boucicault, Notes on Acting

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

     The Importance of Being Earnest in Performance


          Joseph Donohue, Interview with Sir Peter Hall, Director of The Importance of Being Earnest

Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard

     The Cherry Orchard in Performance


          Anton Chekhov, From Letters of Anton Chekhov

Peter Brook, On Chekhov

Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren's Profession

     Mrs. Warren’s Profession in Performance


          Bernard Shaw, Plays Unpleasant: Mrs. Warren’s Profession

          Bernard Shaw, From the Preface to Mrs. Warren’s Profession

     A Cultural Casebook: The "Woman Question" in the Late Nineteenth Century

     John Stuart Mill, On the Subjection of Women

     August Strindberg, The Woman Question: Women’s Rights

     Johan Thorsten Sellin, Marriage and Divorce in Sweden

     Richard Panofsky, A Nineteenth-Century Husband’s Letter to His Wife

     Helen Watterson Moody, What It Means to Be a Wife

     Flora Tristan, London Journal: Prostitutes in London ...All the Streets Are Full of Them

     A Letter to the Times (London) from a Prostitute

     Barbara Meil Hobson, Successful Madams


The Heritage of Realism

Realism and Myth

Myth and Culture

Poetic Realism

Social Realism

Realism and Expressionism


Epic Theater

Absurdist Drama

The Early- and Mid-Twentieth-Century Stage

The Early- and Mid-Twentieth-Century Actor

Early- and Mid-Twentieth-Century Drama Timeline

John Millington Synge, Riders to the Sea

     Riders to the Sea in Performance

Susan Glaspell, Trifles

     Trifles in Performance


          Christine Dymkowski, On the Edge: The Plays of Susan Glaspell

Luigi Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author

     Six Characters in Search of an Author in Performance

Federico García Lorca, The House of Bernarda Alba

     The House of Bernarda Alba in Performance

Eugene O'Neill, Desire Under the Elms

     Desire Under the Elms in Performance


          *Roger Asselineau, "The Quest for God in Desire Under the Elms"

Bertolt Brecht, Mother Courage and Her Children

     Mother Courage and Her Children in Performance


          Bertolt Brecht, The Alienation Effect

          Bertolt Brecht, Notes for Mother Courage, Scene 12

*Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

     *Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in Performance


          *Tennessee Williams, Memoirs

          *Brenda Murphy, Tennessee Williams and Elia Kazan Collaborate on Cat

Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

     Death of a Salesman in Performance


          Arthur Miller, Tragedy and the Common Man

     A Production Casebook: Death of a Salesman

     Jo Mielziner, Designing a Play: Death of a Salesman

     Elia Kazan, Directing Death of a Salesman

     Arthur Miller, From "The American Theater"

     Brenda Murphy, Racial Consciousness in Casting Death of a Salesman    

     June Schluetter and James K. Flanagan, Memorable Willy

     Catherine Diamond, Death of a Salesman in Taipei

Eugène Ionesco, The Bald Soprano

     The Bald Soprano in Performance


          Eugène Ionesco, The Tragedy of Language: How an English Primer Became My First Play

*Samuel Beckett, Endgame

     *Endgame in Performance


          Martin Esslin, The Theater of the Absurd

Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

     A Raisin in the Sun in Performance

Wole Soyinka, The Strong Breed

     The Strong Breed in Performance


          Lewis Nkosi, Interview with Wole Soyinka



     Theater of Cruelty

     Environmental Theater

     "Poor Theater"

     Theater of Images

     Gay and Lesbian Theater and Other New Ensembles

Experimentation within the Tradition

     *Drama in the United States

     *Drama in Europe: England, Ireland, and France

     *Drama in Asia and Africa

The Contemporary Theater

The Contemporary Actor

Contemporary Drama Timeline

Harold Pinter, The Homecoming

     The Homecoming in Performance

*María Irene Fornés, Fefu and Her Friends

     *Fefu and Her Friends in Performance


          *Ruby Cohn, Fornés and Fefu

Sam Shepard, Buried Child

     Buried Child in Performance

*Caryl Churchill, Cloud Nine

     *Cloud Nine in Performance

Athol Fugard, "MASTER HAROLD" . . . and the Boys

     "MASTER HAROLD"…and the Boys in Performance


          Athol Fugard, From Notebooks 1960-1977

David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross

     Glengarry Glen Ross in Performance

August Wilson, Fences

     Fences in Performance


          Joan Herrington, The Development of Fences

Tony Kushner, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches

     Angels in America in Performance


          Andrea Bernstein, Interview with Tony Kushner

*Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

     *Arcadia in Performance

Paula Vogel, How I Learned to Drive

     How I Learned to Drive in Performance


          Christopher Bigsby, Paula Vogel

Moises Kaufman, The Laramie Project

     The Laramie Project in Performance

*Suzan-Lori Parks, Topdog / Underdog

     *Topdog/Underdog in Performance

*Sarah Ruhl, Eurydice

     *Eurydice in Performance

*John Patrick Shanley, Doubt

     *Doubt in Performance

*Conor McPherson, The Seafarer

     *The Seafarer in Performance

*Yasmina Reza, God of Carnage

     *God of Carnage in Performance

*Tracy Letts, August: Osage County

     *August: Osage County in Performance

*Lynn Nottage, Ruined

     *Ruined in Performance


          *Randy Gener, In Defense of Ruined

Writing about Drama

Writing Criticism about Drama

Approaches to Criticism

     Reader Response Criticism

     Close Reading

From Prewriting to Final Draft: A Sample Essay on The Rising of the Moon

Writing a Review

     What Is the Purpose of a Review?

     What You Need to Write a Good Review

     Preparing to Review a Classic Play

     Preparing to Review a New Play

     Guidelines for Writing Reviews

     Sample Review

Glossary of Dramatic Terms

Rewards Program

Write a Review