셰익스피어 극에서 본 코러스의 기능과 역할 - <페리클레스>와<헨리5세>를 중심으로 -
- 셰익스피어 극에서 본 코러스의 기능과 역할 - <페리클레스>와<헨리5세>를 중심으로 -
- Other Titles
- The Function of Chorus in Shakespeare's Plays - Centering on Pericles and Henry Ⅴ -
- Issue Date
- Shakespeare Review, v. 37, no. 1, page. 143-163
- This paper suggests that, in spite of the radical differences between the traditional function of the chorus in drama, Shakespeare's chorus seems to retain several aspects inherited from the ancient Greek and Roman tragedies. The form of the chorus differs from each other, and the number of the chorus-character is reduced from twelve or fifteen to almost single or two. However, the essential functions of the chorus are still found in Shakespeare's dramatic works as well as his contemporary playwrights' works.
In Shakespeare's plays, the chorus appears in various names: Prologue and Epilogue in Henry V, and Prologue in Romeo and Juliet, Henry Vlll, and Troilus and Cressida; a medieval poet Gower in Pericles, and Time in The Winter Tale. Christopher Marlowe uses the chorus in his Dr. Faustus, not to mention Thomas Kyd's Spanish Tragedy and Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville's Gorboduc. In these respects, the use of the chorus in Renaissance drama seems to be one of important traditional features of drama handed down from ancient Greco-Roman dramas.
Traditionally the chorus in tragedy serves several functions. It is a character or an actor in the play who gives advices, expresses opinions, asks questions, and often takes an active part in the action. The chorus often establishes the ethical or social framework of the events and sets up a standard against which the action may be judged. It frequently serves as an ideal spectator, reacting to the events and character as the dramatist might hope that the audience would. The chorus helps to set the overall mood of the play and of individual scenes and to heighten dramatic effects. It adds movement, spectacle. song and dance, and thus contributes much to theatrical effectiveness. Finally it serves an important rhythmical function, creating pauses or retardations during which the audience may reflect upon what has happened and what is to come.
Shakespeare's chorus serves most of the basic traditional functions of the chorus mentioned above except singing and dancing which give audio-visual and rhythmical effectiveness in Greek drama. However, Shakespeare's chorus is a single actor or character in a play, not twelve or fifteen members of group seen in Greek drama In Pericles, Shakespeare uses an ancient poet Gower as Chorus who informs the audience about the progress of events and the lapse of time. In Henry V, Chorus apologizes to the audience for the limitation of the stage and the actors which cannot do justice to the great historical events depicted in the play. The tone of Chorus in Henry V sounds like patriotic or jingoistic, sometimes criticizing ethical and political issues. In Greek tragedy, the chorus does not apologize to the audience for the limitation of the theatre, but Shakespeare's does. But Shakespeare does not use the chorus as a singer or dancer who can control the gaps or the intervals of acting time as in Greek drama. Another peculiar difference between the traditional chorus and Shakespeare's is that Shakespeare uses the chorus in history plays and tragicomedies or romances, not in tragedies.
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