What Is Realism

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W HAT IS REALISM? WAS ITS ARRIVAL GOOD FOR THEATRE? Realism is the movement toward representing reality as it is, in art. Realistic drama is an attempt to portray life on stage, a movement away from the conventional melodramas and sentimental comedies of the 1700s. It is expressed in theatre through the use of symbolism, character development, stage setting and storyline and is exemplified in plays such as Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House and Anton …

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…it promoted greater audience involvement. While the portrayal of realistic issues may have been contentious in some cases, such as in A Doll's House, it nevertheless stirred reaction, which encouraged moral thought. However, one could argue that its arrival has lead to less use of the imagination. In either case, realism has raised awareness of social and moral issues and the playwright's views serve to challenge the audience ultimately making theatre more interactive and interesting.