Play structure; prologues, & epilogues
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2131 Thursday, 6 November 2003
From: Thomas M. Lahey <
Date: Wednesday, 5 Nov 2003 12:36:02 -0800
Subject: Play structure; prologues, & epilogues
I'm hoping someone (s?) has this knowledge at their fingertips including
if there are no conventions, i.e., playwrights can do whatever they
want. In particular:
1) A play has so many acts (Macbeth: 5).
2) An Act has so many scenes (Lear, Act 5 has 3 Scenes).
3) A Play can have a Prologue; acts like Act 0, but there is only the
one "scene" (Troilus & Cressida has an actor play the Prologue; in Romeo
& Juliet it's the Chorus).
4) A Play can have an Induction (Taming of the Shrew), acts like Act 0,
can have Scenes.
5) A play can have an Epilogue following the last act, but there is
only the one "scene" (As You Like It).
Q1) Anyone aware of a reference for the rules/conventions for
structuring a play.
Q2) OED (Encyclopedic) definition allows a Prologue before any act.
Are there plays with a Prologue before any act but 1?
Q3) Any plays with a Prologue and an Induction?
Q4) Any other thoughts?
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