Theatre

Bajazet by Jean Racine

By Jean Racine

Du siège de Babylone, où il est parti combattre les Persans, le sultan Amurat ordonne à Roxane, los angeles favourite à qui il a confié les rênes du pouvoir, de mettre à mort Bajazet, frère dont il suspecte les targets. Mais Roxane aime Bajazet et entend faire de lui le nouveau sultan : s'il refuse de l'épouser, il périra. Avec Bajazet, Racine nous plonge au coeur des intrigues de sérail, lieu tragique d'une lutte à mort entre amour et pouvoir.

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Below him in rank are the secondary actors who play the important roles of male characters such as heroes and kings. The bhagavata also speaks short prose passages found in the prasangas. In a live performance the long sections of prose dialogue between the bhagavata and the actors and between and among the actors are improvisations created by the actors. Since these sections were not composed by the creator of the prasangas they are not published in existing palm leaf and paper manuscripts that have come down to us from the past.

My sins have perished, this house is sanctified. Son of the lotus-born lord, where is your arrival from? Is it from the abode of Hari, or from the palace of devas? My mind reveals when I behold your form like a water lily at the sight of the full moon. What shall I do now, at your command? (Uṇṇ¯ayiva¯riyar 2001: 2–3) The vocalists sing in a vocal style known as sopana. Throughout the show they narrate the dramatic action and assume the dialogue of all the characters. The dancers perform the stylized gestures (literally the language of the text in gesture), facial expressions (the emotions or bhava associated with the character at any given moment), and subtle eye movements needed to convey the thoughts and feelings suggested by the words.

The third kind of drama is samavakara. It is to have only three acts. The story is to deal with gods and asuras (demons); the hero is to be well known. The dominant rasa is heroism 11 Farley Richmond (vira). In Chapter 1 of the Natyasastra, Bharata describes Samudra Mathanam (Churning of the Ocean), the first play to be performed, which celebrated the defeat of the demons by the gods. The work is a samavakara. Like the samavakara, the other types of drama mentioned by the Natyasastra are far less significant and there are relatively few surviving examples.

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