|Thanks for the kind comments IMR! Isn't it surprising how it's the short books that say the most? In addition to Aristotle's Poetics, Abel's Metatheatre and Austin's How to do Things with Words were also short and influential works. I think there was a response from Edd to my Jul 7th post that seems to have disappeared. I was thinking about a reply and now it doesn't seem to show up anymore. From what I remember, he was talking about the Original Sin. I can do a reading of the biblical story through an Aristotelian lens and a risk theatre lens to highlight the differences. First, a caveat: the story of Adam and Eve may not really be a tragedy, so both readings might be forced. But here we go. In the Aristotelian reading, Adam and Eve are tempted by the serpent. They make a mistake. And then they pay the price by being expelled from the Garden of Eden. There is a degree of moral culpability. They get their 'comeuppance', to use your colourful term. In the risk theatre reading, Adam and Eve are making a bet. It's a good bet. They will be wiser than the gods (I think the biblical text does have gods in the plural here, but I'm on the road). And their bet is 'foolproof'--they just have to have a bite of that other apple and they will live forever. What could go wrong? But then the unexpected happens. They eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and they become aware of their nakedness. This was entirely unexpected. Trying to clothe themselves, they lose valuable time and forget to eat the apple that will make them immortal. The Lord happens to be strolling through the garden. They're caught. And then they pay the price by being expelled. What I want to show is that these two readings illuminate different aspects of the same story. And, by illuminating different aspects, both are valuable. As for your comment that nothing in life is foolproof, yes, I would have to agree. But, I would add that in the world of theatre, the plan doesn't actually have to be foolproof, it just has to be made that the audience believes that it is foolproof. Then, when the unexpected low-probability, high-consequence event occurs, the audience is entertained, because they realize that the playwright has pulled a quick one over their expectations!
Last edited on Thu Jul 11th, 2019 12:38 am by edwinwong