The opening scenes of a drama are crucial in determining the responses of a theatre audience to the events that are to be enacted. They must catch the attention of the spectators — a much more difficult task in a Renaissance playhouse than a modern one, where no dipping of the lights helped to create an expectant hush prior to the entrance of the characters — and they must acquaint the members of the audience with any information necessary for an understanding of what is to follow. Over and above these more obvious functions, however, the exposition also determines the mode of the ensuing action, and it is this aspect of the opening scene that is most readily overlooked by the reader or spectator when caught up in the onward flow of events.
KeywordsCoherence Ghost Egypt Lost Verse
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