chapter  4
Pages 34

Traditionally, the purpose of the elaborate codes and conventions on which the theatrical frame is founded is to permit the spectator to ‘read’ the performance appropriately as a dramatic representation. He derives from the conventionalized onstage happenings a range of dramatic information which enables him to translate what he sees and hears into something quite different: a fictional dramatic world characterized by a set of physical properties, a set of agents and a course of time-bound events. There are, of course, theatrical performances-especially contemporary offerings-which more or less refuse this representational status. In this chapter, however, we shall be concerned only with the drama proper (the specific mode of fiction represented in performance) and its peculiar logic.