LET us be quite clear at the outset as to the meaning of the common terms used about the Theatre. The Theatre itself is a place for viewing or seeing things. The thing it presents to our vision is the Drama. Drama consists of people doing things. It takes the form of a play, which is a method of passing time when there is nothing better to do. This play may be a comedy, a tragedy, a farce or a melodrama. A comedy gets its name from komos, a binge, and ode, a song. It is a composition intended to be part and parcel of a binge. The word tragedy is tragos, a goat, and ode, a song. Some fool says that a tragedy is so called because a he‐goat was presented to the winners in a competition for sad and elevating choral performances. There is not the slightest evidence for this. A “goat song” is as plain a piece of description as a “swan song.” It is a song, delivered with a peculiar bleating intonation, about a certain human quality shared by mankind with the goat—that of butting furiously and hopelessly against the facts of life. Farce comes from the Italian farcio, I stuff. It means a haggis. It means an hour or two filled with anything that comes into the heads of the author or the actors.
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