Having discovered my new found interest to read really old literature which is mostly plays, being a fiction reader it hasn’t been easy. Unlike fiction which builds up a lot of story, theme, scenario and the complete outlook of what’s happening, plays give you limited vision. This at times can feel a little dull.
After struggling to get myself to read for more than a scene at once, I realized maybe I am reading it wrong. I’ve been reading plays as one reads fiction, which is continuous. Whereas in a play, if you keep reading on fast track you lose track of where you are. So here’s how I figured out a few things that would let me read with ease.
Reading the Prologue
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I do skip prologues at times,mostly. This can’t be done with the plays, it is very necessary to read and having to understand the few lines description given before the start of the scene. This not only clears up a lot of confusion, but also gives a great understanding of what is about to happen
Research about the history
Some plays have been majorly hit and have stuck through time. Characters from such stories have a history of their own, reading upfront about them helps give a overview of who the character is, which can be hard to figure out by self.
Looking it from a director’s perspective
I did get to read this way in Wilhelm Tell, but haven’t really stuck to it with the other reads. A reader’s perspective can be quite different from that of a director’s. The most important thing that differs is that a Director scrutinizes what ever that is happening, where as a reader just absorbs. Questioning about the scene, the character’s reaction and picturing the protagonist’s reason and rave does help you take the reading further than jus a mere exchange of dialogues.
Most of all it is really important to be completely involved before being absorbed by the play, at least in the beginnings. Once you get the hang of it you’ll love the literature probably a bit more than the Prose.
Till next time 🙂