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How drama and theater affect sociology: Case studies on Bertholt Brechts’ “The Good woman of Setzuan” and Bernard Shaw’s “Mrs. Warrens Profession”

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Aims and objectives.
  3. Theoretical framework of study.
  4. Background summary and explanation of case study plays.
  5. Theater represents and effects sociology: A deeper analysis.
  6. Significance of study and conclusions.

It has been said that Shakespeare was a master at using the dramatics of theater to not only deconstruct society, taking it apart to show it again to the viewer, but also that through his works, society in turn was forced to take a critical look at traditional societal roles. In this sense, one can begin to look to the role of dramatics in theater as a playground for the important recursive relationships that it maintains with the society that both creates it and is affected by it.The following document will deal with the recursive nature of drama in regard to society, using two case study examples to highlight the argument that dramatic representations have a powerful effect on social roles. Furthermore, the paper will expound upon the role of the sociological imagination as the precursor for change and understanding, and the role of dramatics in providing a ?stage? on which the viewer may develop and grow their own sociological imagination.

[...] Warren is able to reconcile this fact by explaining the social situations of the impoverished youth that led her into the disdained profession. Ultimately, Vivie is able to forgive her mother, and yet this forgiveness is short-lived, as the daughter learns that the profitable business is still in operation. The women of this play are highly complex. Vivi, having lived an eloquent lifestyle, due to the successes of her mother, is imbued with a work ethos as she earns her living as an actuary, and maintains a disregard and disinterest to culture and the arts. Mr . [...]


[...] Both plays highlight these issues to great extents, so much so that they shocked the societies of that time, and represent a shocking whole-hearted attack on what could be considered the ?domestic imprisonment? of the female gender by the completely male-dominated culture of that time. In the example of Shen Te, from The Good Woman of Setzuan, we are presented with this paradigm through her character as a kind, charitable woman who has not learned how to say Despite her goodness, as well as the blessing from the gods, Shen Te still finds herself in a state of destitution when the news of her good fortune begins to bring about societal vultures who take advantage of her. [...]


[...] At a level of social interaction, the theater allows us to focus on the social relations behind economics, gender, race and class. Inequality is questioned, as we begin to see how it is organized in the labor market in accordance with one's gender, race or social status. It is important to also mention that Mrs. Warren's Profession was censored for eight years in England, due to the content of the play. When it finally was shown in London, some years later, the public was appalled by its controversial content, claiming that it was immoral and reproachable. [...]

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