Expressionism Essay

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One question that has exercised the minds of critics is how far back one has to go to find the sources of that modernism in form and content associated with the theater of Expressionism. Medieval mystery plays have often been mentioned in this context, not merely because so many Expressionist plays share the religious striving of such early forms of theatrical production, but also because one of the features of Expressionism seems to have been a highly intellectual longing for a return to simpler forms. Hence, such obvious delight in tableaux as the "gothic" setting of Kaiser's Die Bürger von Calais (The Burghers of Calais) reveals, while the striking conclusion to Kaiser's play not only deliberately stresses the religious parallels to a secular situation, but also abandons language completely for a mode of expression relying on the visual impact of light, grouping, and gesture. Similarly, the...

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Literary Movements for Students
Expressionism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.