The instinct to impersonate produces the actor; the desire to provide pleasure by impersonations produces the playwright; the desire to provide this pleasure with adequate characterization and dialogue memorable in itself produces dramatic literature.
Back through the ages of barbarism and civilization, in all tongues, we find this instinctive pleasure in the imitative action that is the very essence of all drama.
Out of the past come the standards for judging the present; standards in turn to be shaped by the practice of present-day dramatists into broader standards for the next generation.
Farce treats the improbable as probable, the impossible as possible.
The drama is a great revealer of life.
In the best farce today we start with some absurd premise as to character or situation, but if the premises be once granted we move logically enough to the ending.
We do not kill the drama, we do not really limit its appeal by failing to encourage the best in it; but we do thereby foster the weakest and poorest elements.
What then is tragedy? In the Elizabethan period it was assumed that a play ending in death was a tragedy, but in recent years we have come to understand that to live on is sometimes far more tragic than death.
Acted drama requires surrender of one’s self, sympathetic absorption in the play as it develops.
When the drama attains a characterization which makes the play a revelation of human conduct and a dialogue which characterizes yet pleases for itself, we reach dramatic literature.