The term ‘poetic drama’ became popular during the middle of the twentieth century. It was T.S. Eliot who revived this drama/term as a reaction to the drama of ideas popularized by Galsworthy and G. B. Shaw under the influence of Ibsen. Even Shaw has written ‘The Quintessence of Ibsenism’, in which he gave his manifesto and showed the influence of Ibsen. As a critic T. S. Eliot has written essays like ‘Poetry and Drama’ and ‘Possibility of Poetic Drama’ and so on. In ‘Poetry and Drama’ he points out that poetry and drama are inseparable from each other. Poetry mirrors the heart of the person which the reader cannot conceal. Poetic Drama, according to T. S. Eliot, has far reaching effects as it affects the emotions of person directly., as a practitioner of poetic drama, Eliot has written plays like ‘Murder in the Cathedral’, ‘The Cocktail Party’, ‘Elder Statesman’ etc. He has solved the problem of language, diction and dialogue. In ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ the subject is religious and it was written for the Canterbury Festival (1935). Even poets like W.B. Yeats, W. H. Auden have tried their hands at writing poetic drama.
In the next post I’ll be discussing Eliot’s ‘Murder in the Cathedral’.