News ID: 385034
Publish Date: 30 October 2016 - 10:17
Despite passing more than two decades since resistance theatre started and in spite of making lots of efforts, holding different festivals and efforts made by thinkers in this fields, public welcome to this genre of theatre and quantity of works in this field are not satisfactory. In this article (Research), I intend to find the reason for this pathology. In order to achieve this goal, I will study signs of these works. By considering the accepted theory of “Allegory”? and “Metaphor”? presented by “Roman Jacobson”?, we will reach to two groups of “Figurative Drama”? and “Metaphorical Drama”?. These groups include four types of “Metaphor of Basic Poetry”?, “Metaphor of Basic Prose”?, “Allegory of Basic Poetry”? and “Allegory of Basic Prose”?. By conducting comparative study on resistance theatre and resistance cinema, we have reached to “Figurative Drama of Resistance Cinema”? and “Metaphorical Drama of Resistance Theatre”? as accepted models. Lack of knowledge about these two types of dramas and mixing them with them resulted in making lots of efforts in picturing war on theatre stage (With a metaphorical view). It is while it is in contrary with nature of theatre as a medium. And this lack of knowledge has been recognized as the root of this pathology. In our studies, we also came to the result that cliché subjects and limited plots are other weaknesses and damages in this field.

Despite passing more than two decades since resistance theatre started and in spite of making lots of efforts, holding different festivals and efforts made by thinkers in this fields, public welcome to this genre of theatre and quantity of works in this field are not satisfactory. In this article (Research), I intend to find the reason for this pathology. In order to achieve this goal, I will study signs of these works. By considering the accepted theory of "Allegory”? and "Metaphor”? presented by "Roman Jacobson”?, we will reach to two groups of "Figurative Drama”? and "Metaphorical Drama”?. These groups include four types of "Metaphor of Basic Poetry”?, "Metaphor of Basic Prose”?, "Allegory of Basic Poetry”? and "Allegory of Basic Prose”?. By conducting comparative study on resistance theatre and resistance cinema, we have reached to "Figurative Drama of Resistance Cinema”? and "Metaphorical Drama of Resistance Theatre”? as accepted models. Lack of knowledge about these two types of dramas and mixing them with them resulted in making lots of efforts in picturing war on theatre stage (With a metaphorical view). It is while it is in contrary with nature of theatre as a medium. And this lack of knowledge has been recognized as the root of this pathology. In our studies, we also came to the result that cliché subjects and limited plots are other weaknesses and damages in this field.


Abstract of the Article:
Despite passing more than two decades since resistance theatre started and in spite of making lots of efforts, holding different festivals and efforts made by thinkers in this fields, public welcome to this genre of theatre and quantity of works in this field are not satisfactory. In this article (Research), I intend to find the reason for this pathology. In order to achieve this goal, I will study signs of these works. By considering the accepted theory of "Allegory”? and "Metaphor”? presented by "Roman Jacobson”?, we will reach to two groups of "Figurative Drama”? and "Metaphorical Drama”?. These groups include four types of "Metaphor of Basic Poetry”?, "Metaphor of Basic Prose”?, "Allegory of Basic Poetry”? and "Allegory of Basic Prose”?. By conducting comparative study on resistance theatre and resistance cinema, we have reached to "Figurative Drama of Resistance Cinema”? and "Metaphorical Drama of Resistance Theatre”? as accepted models.
Lack of knowledge about these two types of dramas and mixing them with them resulted in making lots of efforts in picturing war on theatre stage (With a metaphorical view). It is while it is in contrary with nature of theatre as a medium. And this lack of knowledge has been recognized as the root of this pathology. In our studies, we also came to the result that cliché subjects and limited plots are other weaknesses and damages in this field.
Introductory:
Despite decentralized supports, resistance theatre is not yet welcomed by public and more professional performance groups. Generally, this article has been written to discuss this problem and pathology of this problem. We know that the number of theatres of resistance is considerable; but still, there are few considerable and noticeable works which are usually directed and presented by a limited number of artists. And it shows power of such artists in the field of resistance theatre. It also reminds us lack of basic and fundamental researches conducted in this field.
In this article and to reply to this main question, I have got help from "Symbology of Drama”?. As a matter of fact, it will be possible to re-define position of resistance theatre by expressing "Figurative Drama”? and "Metaphorical Drama”?. Therefore, we will explain why enough media communication has not been established. The theoretical part of this subject – despite trying to present them in brief – is still too long to be mentioned in this article. This article actually focuses more on defining "Figurative Drama”? and "Metaphorical Drama”?.
A Review on Decoding Dramatic Signs
Before any other thing, "Symbology”? is an approach that is adopted to analyze the text. Therefore, it is severely related to constructive analyses. Structure means system. And in every system, all parts are related to each other such that the function of every part is related to the whole system. We should never imagine that "Structure”? of some thing is separated from "Plot”? or "Action”?.
In other words, structuralist semiologist analysis or re-knowing units that form a system of symbols and defining relations between these units deals with conceptual and logical relations.
Saussure exclusively searched for these relations too. Saussure stresses that meaning is rooted in difference between signs. And these differences are two kinds of "Interaction”? and "Replacement”?.
From the point of view of the structuralists, text is a structure that is finally pictured based on relations of "Interaction”?. And a cinematic text is an obvious example of information [message] dissemination in "Interaction”? relations. And its nature is formed in the whole of "Interaction”?. And a theatre text is vice versa. A theatre text is an obvious example of receiving message in "Replacement”? relations.
Alam believes that during the recent years, many of semiologists of theatre have emphasized on the belief that the main subject of their studies is individual performance in two aspects of "Interaction”? or "Horizontal”? and "Replacement”? concept relations or "Vertical”?. But considerable progresses have not been observed in this field due to existence of big practical and methodological problems that this field of study faces with.
Meaning is multi dimensional; because symbols are multi dimensional in theatre. Therefore, in order to decode and find meanings in theatre, we require a new method of decoding. And if such method is identified it can be also the preliminary step for method of expression of this art.
Considering the fact that theatre is considered as one of the multi - media arts; therefore, it has multi media expression means inside it. And we can usually observe that few codes from different media are simultaneously used in this art.
Alam has said: "The fact that phenomena are symbolized in theatre it connects it with the groups of causes not directly to the dramatic world; because in this case unreal reasons can play the role of real reasons.
Since the beginning of the history, human believed in fundamental dual contradictions. As an example, Aristotle has mentioned contradictions such as form, material, being natural or unnatural, being active or neutral, being the whole or part of some thing, being similar or different, before or after and existence and non existence in metaphysics.
M Lions believes that dual contradiction is one of the important bases of supervisor on the structure of language. And Saussure emphasizes on the differences that exist between symbols rather than similarities between them.
And according to the approach of Saussure, Roman Jacobson believes that lingual units have been mixed into each other in the systematic form of dual contradictions.
Metz believes that we can find out the apparent meaning of movie to a large extent through decoding based on similarities. That is while the meaning of spoken language is almost completely understandable through decoding based on agreements. Metz could not how ever find a way for this decoding considering lack of attention of film units and transferring meaning through consistency not separated elements.

Graph of Decoding Theatre Signs

Considering the dual contradictions that were noticed and focused by Saussure and Jacobson and considering the opinion of Metz based on which Metz believes that system of cinematic expression is based on the rule of similarity in understanding, similarity in vision and hearing and also by considering "Reality”? and "Nature”? - around any artist and audience - as the criteria which are tangible and understandable phenomena that are bases for explanation and comment, I have suggested a method as the following: (Golestan, 157, 2007)

Decoding Theatre Signs (Suggestion of the Article Writer):


We should look for codes in surface part of the work. And we should also seek for codes beyond the surface of the work. The materialistic level is formed of elements which are not connected to each other. Single acts form the action. And every action has lots of single moments. By using this method, we can express and elaborate on every single part of the whole separately and all together. Being meaningful is the most important and outstanding characteristic of theatre. Before any thing, if this art was not meaningful in its totality, there was no reason for us to make this much effort. Even when we want to criticize and analyze the fact that drama is natural theatre, I will explain the means that cause such effect. Considering the reality of "Meaning”? is undeniable. Movies are the same way too. Film is not the precise copy of the reality. And it can not be; but it is mostly like a multi dimensional speech. But how can we picture the imagination of reality without understanding the reality of this imagination.
The materialistic level is formed of elements which are not connected to each other. Single acts form the action. And every action has lots of single moments. By using this method, we can express and elaborate on every single part of the whole separately and all together. Being meaningful is the most important and outstanding characteristic of theatre. Before any thing, if this art was not meaningful in its totality, there was no reason for us to make this much effort. Even when we want to criticize and analyze the fact that drama is natural theatre, I will explain the means that cause such effect. Considering the reality of "Meaning”? is undeniable. Movies are the same way too. Film is not the precise copy of the reality. And it can not be; but it is mostly like a multi dimensional speech. But how can we picture the imagination of reality without understanding the reality of this imagination.
In the basic comparison of the above mentioned table, it is obvious what metaphoric theatre is. In this regard, Jacobson has reminded it too. In this table, theatre with its general meaning is located on a replacement axis which is in contradiction with the tangible reality out of drama. And we face with metaphor only in the nuclear of it.

Types of Theatre Allegories and Metaphors (Suggestion of the Article Writer)

By saying the Word "Reality”?; we mean the reality that exists in the world out of drama; the reality that existed in the world before the mental imagination of the artist - as a coder - was formed. In this field, concept includes meaning as well as inner and not tangible signs. In order to find out about the depth and essence of its special language, we find a unified system of similarities and differences that eases observation of a kind of language as a social phenomenon in the language of theatre. The mechanism of similarity and differences identifies the structure of language and the dramatic narration. We mean the reality that exists in the world out of drama; the reality that existed in the world before the mental imagination of the artist - as a coder - was formed. In this field, concept includes meaning as well as inner and not tangible signs. In order to find out about the depth and essence of its special language, we find a unified system of similarities and differences that eases observation of a kind of language as a social phenomenon in the language of theatre. The mechanism of similarity and differences identifies the structure of language and the dramatic narration.

Poetry - Based Metaphor
This type of sign in theatre has been observed most frequently. The theater of the ancient Greece was formed and started by this type of coding in signs. Characters, adventures, story, narration and the subject of the play were formed with the approach of replacement and far from the tangible reality. Theatre is formed with an replacement approach in general. Therefore, decoding metaphoric sings of the basic poem in theater is easier than this type of metaphor in cinema. As for one of its reasons; I can refer to the fact that theatre is live and the structure of decoding the performance in theatre is more effective compared to cinema.
In metaphor, a known element expresses an element which is either unknown or is not introduced due to any reasons. In other words, in metaphor, we reach to not seen from seen. Goethe believes that this new form deserves to be noticed.

System - Based Metaphor

The system - based metaphor is formed when two dual signs are not realistic in the field of similarities in concept. And the system - based metaphor is formed when these two dual signs are realistic in the field of visual and listening similarities.
Syntactics is the branch of semiotics that deals with the formal properties of signs and symbols. More precisely, syntactics deals with the rules that govern how words are combined to form phrases and sentences. Charles Morris adds that semantics deals with the relation of signs to their designata and the objects which they may or do denote; and, pragmatics deals with the biotic aspects of semiosis, that is, with all the psychological, biological, and sociological phenomena which occur in the functioning of signs.
Therefore, by saying "Sign”?, we mean that particular thing that is absent. Visual and listening similarities are considered as keys for decoding. In the neo - classic theatre of the renaissance, this poetry - based metaphor approach is observed.
Poetry - Based Metaphor
When the concept similarity is near to the axis of interaction and horizontal, it means that it has a realistic approach and the visual and listening similarity was not realistic, the poetry based metaphor is formed.
The signs of the modern theatre are mostly observed towards this tendency. In this type, the appearance of the work is close to simplicity.
Prose - Based Metaphor
This metaphor is interaction with two semiology fields. When the concept similarity is in the horizontal form and is realistic and the visual and listening similarities are realistic and horizontal, the prose based metaphor is formed. This metaphor occurs in theatre less frequently. And the type of coding theatre lessens frequency of this sign. But in the street theater we can observe occurrence of these prose - based metaphor of theatre.
We have drawn this graph for cinema too. It requires more time to elaborate on it. But I should just mention the fact that forming metaphoric and allegoric drama in cinema is just vice versa of theatre.
Semioticians classify signs or sign systems in relation to the way they are transmitted (see modality). This process of carrying meaning depends on the use of codes that may be the individual sounds or letters that humans use to form words, the body movements they make to show attitude or emotion, or even something as general as the clothes they wear. To coin a word to refer to a thing, the community must agree on a simple meaning (a denotative meaning) within their language. But that word can transmit that meaning only within the language’s grammatical structures and codes and also represent the values of the culture, and are able to add new shades of connotation to every aspect of life.
To explain the relationship between semiotics and communication studies, communication is defined as the process of transferring data from a source to a receiver. Hence, communication theorists construct models based on codes, media, and contexts to explain the biology, psychology, and mechanics involved. Both disciplines also recognize that the technical process cannot be separated from the fact that the receiver must decode the data, i.e., be able to distinguish the data as salient and make meaning out of it. This implies that there is a necessary overlap between semiotics and communication. Indeed, many of the concepts are shared, although in each field the emphasis is different.
We observe these four types of frequency; but the priority of forming metaphoric drama in cinema is more frequently both considering it historically and considering its frequency. And the total of cinematic drama is metaphoric. And merely the nuclear of the graph is metaphoric. The reason of this paradox can be found din the differences between communication and narration of these two arts compared to each other. Lack of knowledge about its sufficiency has been the root of many communicative deviations in theatre too.
Comparison of Resistance Theatre with Metaphoric and Allegorical Drama
The language of art is changed into an artistic and outstanding language when the form of expressing the artistic work is connected to the world of meanings and concepts by the artist. By classifying different types of dramas into two metaphoric and allegorical groups, we can now compare its relation with the theatre of resistance. But we face with the obstacle of "Cliché”? as the first obstacle. It is repetition of subjects and cliché concepts and subjects. As a matter of fact, the certain concept of this group of works - that can be how ever a strange issue in the theatre - related experiences - causes that we lose the function of concept similarities in this type of theatre from two mentioned aspects of visual and listening similarities and concept similarities. Semiotics differs from linguistics in that it generalizes the definition of a sign to encompass signs in any medium or sensory modality. Thus it broadens the range of sign systems and sign relations, and extends the definition of language in what amounts to its widest analogical or metaphorical sense. The definition presented about the term "semiotic" as the study of necessary features of signs also has the effect of distinguishing the discipline from linguistics as the study of contingent features that the world's languages happen to have acquired in the course of human evolution.
Perhaps more difficult is the distinction between semiotics and the philosophy of language. In a sense, the difference is a difference of traditions more than a difference of subjects. Different authors have called themselves "Philosopher of language”? or "Semiotician”?. This difference does not match the separation between analytic and continental philosophy. On a closer look, there may be found some differences regarding subjects. Philosophy of language pays more attention to natural languages or to languages in general, while semiotics is deeply concerned about non-linguistic signification. Philosophy of language also bears a stronger connection to linguistics, while semiotics is closer to some of the humanities (including literary theory) and to cultural anthropology.
Semiosis or semeiosis is the process that forms meaning from any organism's apprehension of the world through signs.
Semiotics is only slowly establishing itself as a discipline to be respected. In some countries, its role is limited to literary criticism and an appreciation of audio and visual media, but this narrow focus can inhibit a more general study of the social and political forces shaping how different media are used and their dynamic status within modern culture. Issues of technological determinism in the choice of media and the design of communication strategies assume new importance in this age of mass media.
Pictorial Semiotics is intimately connected to art history and theory. It has gone beyond them both in at least one fundamental way, however. While art history has limited its visual analysis to a small number of pictures which qualify as "works of art," pictorial semiotics has focused on the properties of pictures more generally. This break from traditional art history and theory—as well as from other major streams of semiotic analysis—leaves open a wide variety of possibilities for pictorial semiotics. Some influences have been drawn from phenomenological analysis and cognitive psychology as well as visual anthropology and sociology.
By having even short review on these works, we observe much common elements including similar characters, very similar dialogues and we even observe similarity in the words and expressions that are used in dialogues. Common concepts and meanings are used. Special accents and way of speaking are used. And events happen in similar places. The most important element is reaching to the motives of a metaphysic main character while being developed in the main story.
As for the harmful effects of this cliché concept, we can refer to elimination of characters in the story. They lose their originality in the story. As a matter of fact, the ideology of the character, his choices, objectives and concerns are influenced by these cliché subjects. This character could be an attractive and new character for the audiences of theatre. When we study the main plot of a large number of these works and when we study the main character and the main problem as the cells of angles of drama, we find out very common points in the main characters of these works and also similarity in dramatic demand of the champion and consequently, similarity in method of making selection and decision in the way that problems are solved. And it has metaphysic nature, not a cause and effect nature.
By recognizing this big gap in the plot of the story, it is obvious that developing these works will be consequently in a weak way.
When we take a look at the graph of metaphor and allegory in theatre again, we find out the fact that in analyzing signs of resistance theatre the audience has to keep the concept element almost fixed in his analysis.
It is how ever interesting that considering what was mentioned in this article, the concept approach is metaphysical in these works. And we should consider it as a non - realistic approach. But due to our beyond - theatre knowledge about war people, we see that it is a realistic element. This difference in form in contrast with concept function has deviated many of critics of resistance theatre when analyzing this type of theatre. And it has resulted in lack of precise and structuralist analysis. We how ever consider maximum two types of metaphor for the above graph: poetry - based metaphor and prose - based metaphor.
The language of art is changed into an artistic and outstanding language when the form of expressing the artistic work is connected to the world of meanings and concepts by the artist. By classifying different types of dramas into two metaphoric and allegorical groups, we can now compare its relation with the theatre of resistance. But we face with the obstacle of "Cliché”? as the first obstacle. It is repetition of subjects and cliché concepts and subjects. As a matter of fact, the certain concept of this group of works - that can be how ever a strange issue in the theatre - related experiences - causes that we lose the function of concept similarities in this type of theatre from two mentioned aspects of visual and listening similarities and concept similarities. Semiotics differs from linguistics in that it generalizes the definition of a sign to encompass signs in any medium or sensory modality. Thus it broadens the range of sign systems and sign relations, and extends the definition of language in what amounts to its widest analogical or metaphorical sense. The definition presented about the term "semiotic" as the study of necessary features of signs also has the effect of distinguishing the discipline from linguistics as the study of contingent features that the world's languages happen to have acquired in the course of human evolution.
Perhaps more difficult is the distinction between semiotics and the philosophy of language. In a sense, the difference is a difference of traditions more than a difference of subjects. Different authors have called themselves "philosopher of language" or "semiotician". This difference does not match the separation between analytic and continental philosophy. On a closer look, there may be found some differences regarding subjects. Philosophy of language pays more attention to natural languages or to languages in general, while semiotics is deeply concerned about non-linguistic signification. Philosophy of language also bears a stronger connection to linguistics, while semiotics is closer to some of the humanities (including literary theory) and to cultural anthropology.
Semiosis or semeiosis is the process that forms meaning from any organism's apprehension of the world through signs.
Semiotics is only slowly establishing itself as a discipline to be respected. In some countries, its role is limited to literary criticism and an appreciation of audio and visual media, but this narrow focus can inhibit a more general study of the social and political forces shaping how different media are used and their dynamic status within modern culture. Issues of technological determinism in the choice of media and the design of communication strategies assume new importance in this age of mass media.
Pictorial Semiotics is intimately connected to art history and theory. It has gone beyond them both in at least one fundamental way, however. While art history has limited its visual analysis to a small number of pictures which qualify as "works of art," pictorial semiotics has focused on the properties of pictures more generally. This break from traditional art history and theory—as well as from other major streams of semiotic analysis—leaves open a wide variety of possibilities for pictorial semiotics. Some influences have been drawn from phenomenological analysis and cognitive psychology as well as visual anthropology and sociology.
By having even short review on these works, we observe much common elements including similar characters, very similar dialogues and we even observe similarity in the words and expressions that are used in dialogues. Common concepts and meanings are used. Special accents and way of speaking are used. And events happen in similar places. The most important element is reaching to the motives of a metaphysic main character while being developed in the main story.
As for the harmful effects of this cliché concept, we can refer to elimination of characters in the story. They lose their originality in the story. As a matter of fact, the ideology of the character, his choices, objectives and concerns are influenced by these cliché subjects. This character could be an attractive and new character for the audiences of theatre. When we study the main plot of a large number of these works and when we study the main character and the main problem as the cells of angles of drama, we find out very common points in the main characters of these works and also similarity in dramatic demand of the champion and consequently, similarity in method of making selection and decision in the way that problems are solved. And it has metaphysic nature, not a cause and effect nature.
By recognizing this big gap in the plot of the story, it is obvious that developing these works will be consequently in a weak way.
When we take a look at the graph of metaphor and allegory in theatre again, we find out the fact that in analyzing signs of resistance theatre the audience has to keep the concept element almost fixed in his analysis.
It is how ever interesting that considering what was mentioned in this article, the concept approach is metaphysical in these works. And we should consider it as a non - realistic approach. But due to our beyond - theatre knowledge about war people, we see that it is a realistic element. This difference in form in contrast with concept function has deviated many of critics of resistance theatre when analyzing this type of theatre. And it has resulted in lack of precise and structuralist analysis. We how ever consider maximum two types of metaphor for the above graph: poetry - based metaphor and prose - based metaphor.
The artist of theatre has always tendency to replacement in signs. And the artist of cinema has always tendency to interaction. Therefore, great enthusiasm and interest of these artists in the cinema of resistance and efforts for picturing war in the realest way faces with palm trees, smog and fire on the stage of theatre. It is making efforts for nothing. And as a matter of fact, it is the result of not knowing expressive capacities of theatre.
Consequence:
Theatre and cinema are multi - media arts which transfer numerous meanings and concepts as it was elaborated in the article. Theatre expresses signs based on replacement or selection. And as a matter of fact, it has tendency to metaphoric expression. And cinema mostly expresses signs based on interaction which is a metaphoric approach.
Due to cliché in concept and consequently, limitation in dramatic demand of the main character which is affected by cliché too, the theater of resistance has been severely influenced by cliché. Resistance theatre has faced with limited plots too. Therefore, this limitation has caused it not to function completely and realistically. And majority of these works lack required attraction and suspense for the audience and the more powerful performance groups.
The next problem in this line is the tendency to the resistance cinema without having enough knowledge about it. Bringing war on the stage in the more realistic way is rooted in this lack of knowledge. It has caused most of the works in the field of resistance theatre to become closer to "Prose based metaphor”? that is in the lowest level of theatre communication.
At the end of the article, and in line with discussed issue, I suggest that we consider new paths for this type of drama in the phase of plot. In this respect, I can refer to decrease of realistic look to the metaphysic motives of the champion of the story. We should expand circle of words and expressions used by the characters of the story. We should expand geographical situation and even the time in which the story happens.
In this research, I have made efforts to elaborate on the theater of resistance from a structuralist point of view. And I suggest that, in continuation of this way, researches are conducted about "Plot”? and "Character”? from the same point of view. This way, we will become much closer to practicality of these concepts not only in the field of analysis but also among artists of resistance theatre.

Foot Notes:
1 - Syntagmatic relasganships
2 - Paradigmatic relasganships
3 - Texter

References:
1 - Alam, Chore - 1383 [2004 - 2005] - Semiology of Theatre and Drama - Translated by Farzan Sojoudi - Tehran - Published by "Ghatreh Publication”?
2 - Sojoudi, Farzan - 1383 [2004 - 2005] - Functional Semiology - The Second Edition - Tehran - Published by "Ghesseh Publication”?
3 - Ghaderi, Nasrollah - 1380 [2001 - 2002] - Anatomy of Drama’s Structure - Tehran - Published by "Neyestan Publication”?
4 - Goldman, Lucian - 1369 [1990 - 1991] - Translated by Mohammad Taghi Ghiassi - Tehran - Published by "Bozorgmehr Publication”?
5 - Golestna, Vahid - 1386 [2007 - 2008] - MA University Thesis - University of Art
6 - Loutman, Jori - 1375 [1996 - 1997] - Semiology and Aesthetic of Cinema - Translated by Masoud Ohadi - Tehran - Published by "Soroush Publication”?
Reference: The Book "The Lost Note”? - Selection of Articles of the 4th Research Conference on Resistance Theatre - Compiled and Edited by Mohsen Babayee Rabee’ee - Published by Association of Islamic Revolution and Sacred Defense Theatre

Written by Golestan

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