Japanese Noh Drama Masks English Literature Essay

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The masks of Ancient Greek play and Nipponese Noh play may look to be really different due to their visual aspect. One may state that the building and design of these masks would do them wholly different and that due to this there would be no common similarities. However, when looked at in depth their maps, as portion of a whole, are really similar. Noh Drama Masks may hold more facial item than those of Grecian Masks but they both are imitations of an existent human face, neither one being detailed plenty to stand for something life like ; but both looking more like something you could happen in a sketch. The masks normally play upon one chief look or emotion that the characters may hold. Besides the masks are used to convey a character ‘s personality and demeanour, non merely merely a character ‘s visual aspect. Both of these civilization ‘s spectacle make merely that, expose to the audience who a character is without stating them straight at the first visual aspect.

Ancient Greek theater began as an event during the festival for Dionysus. However these events were non what we would believe of when Greek Theatre is mentioned. The early signifier of theater consisted of dithyrambs, besides known as choral odes, until one histrion named Thespis changed this by talking to the chorus. From here on theater evolved into a chorus and three histrions. In ancient Greek theater masks were created to non merely display characters but let the three histrions to presume more than one function ; since no drama would hold merely three characters this convention was indispensable to the spectacle of the dramas. Besides adult females were non allowed to move so the usage of masks helped the semblance of holding female characters on phase even though there were no adult females at that place ; nevertheless, “ adult females were allowed to sing in [ the ] chorus ” .[ 1 ]The masks helped mask the male histrions to the audience and make the visions of the dramatists. The masks were made from “ wood, fabric or leather and were every bit originative as the people who made them. Many of the masks were decorated with hair, either human or animate being, to finish the consequence. ”[ 2 ]. The masks were designed to hold two little holes for the eyes and an gap for the oral cavity, which was designed to project the histrion ‘s voice like a megaphone, so that the audience could hear the histrion no affair where they were seated. However even though the histrions would have on different masks to play different characters there is “ no indicant that Greek tragic histrions changed their pitch or bringing in any significant manner when executing different characters within the same play. aˆ¦ The audience still would acknowledge the typical voice of each of the three histrions behind the masks. ”[ 3 ]. Besides histrions the choruses would besides have on them depending on whether adult females were in the chorus or non. Though “ the lone [ chorus ] that wore masks was the dramatic chorus, that the members of the dramatic chorus were work forces alone-unlike the dithyrambic chorus, of which the members might be adult females ” .[ 4 ]

“ The choruses from which adult females were excluded were the choruses which wore and had ever worn masks. Custom, from clip immemorial, had prescribed that work forces entirely had the right of have oning masks. aˆ¦ Masks and moving in Greece were inseparable ; there was no moving without masks, and there were no masks without moving. To have on a mask was to move a portion ; and the thought that it was even possible to move a portion or to execute in a drama without have oning a mask was one which ne’er occurred to the head of those responsible for the Grecian phase. ”[ 5 ].

Masks were seen as an indispensable portion to executing Grecian play and without them something would be losing to the spectacle of the theater. The semblances that dramatists wanted to make for the audience would fall abruptly without the usage of these masks. The usage of them merely enhanced the public presentation in footings of the spectacle, giving the audience more of a assortment of characters and non merely the three nowadays on phase.

Much like Ancient Greek Theatre, Nipponese Noh Drama developed from the influence of spiritual ceremonials and influence from Chinese theater. However, non merely faith and foreign influence shaped this theater, it came approximately when academic chases were combined with popular phase traditions. “ The Noh drama is the most elusive and complex development of the Nipponese tradition of ritual, dance, and play, a tradition good over a thousand old ages old. ”[ 6 ]The dramas that were written for this theater were largely historically and literary based. Due to this the characters would already be known by the audience. The dramas would expose a character, which was frequently a shade or spirit. Just like in ancient Greek theater, performing artists in Noh Drama wore masks. “ [ Masks ] add unusually to the dignified feeling and aid to bring forth the consequence of a being aloof, a spirit from another universe which is about ever the type of character represented in this authoritative play. ”[ 7 ]The masks were

“ carved from one piece of cypress wood. After the [ mask ] has been carved to the coveted thickness, holes for eyes, nose and oral cavities have been cut, it is so coated with beds of gesso assorted with glue. This coating is so sanded down, giving the mask its concluding form. Finally it is painted in the colorss prescribed for the peculiar character and some parts of it might be gilded. Some of the masks ‘ eyes are inlaid with metal go forthing a bantam hole. The hair and the lineations of the eyes are traced with black ink ” .[ 8 ]

They would besides add animate being or human hair to do the character masks more distinguishable and elaborate. These masks nevertheless had to be really light because they were worn for the whole public presentation that could last several hours. “ Masks [ were ] merely worn by the chief character ; his mask would stylise the individual it represents and demo them in a truer visible radiation than world could make by picturing merely the perfectly indispensable traits of character. There are five classs of Noh masks: Gods, devils, work forces, adult females and the aged. ”[ 9 ]Sometimes more than one of these five would be combined depending on what the characters traits would hold been. Liquors or Ghosts were usually depicted as looking more like devils than work forces or adult females. “ The masks used in Noh theatre by and large show a impersonal look so it is up to the accomplishment of the histrion to convey the mask to life through his playing. ”[ 10 ]However in some instances the masks play upon one general look that would be excessively emphasized on the mask. “ While the looks of the masks varied, the largest figure are wide and humourous in visual aspect and were obviously used to supply some emotional alleviation from the longer periods of serious spiritual observation. ”[ 11 ]

“ At that clip phase waies were written down, costumes and masks were clearly defined ”[ 12 ]this limited the histrion ‘s creativeness, in footings of their character, but it besides helped the histrion in ways to understand his character on non merely an emotional degree but a physical degree. Furthermore, like Greek theatre no adult females were allowed to move in Noh Drama, work forces were trained from childhood to sing, act, mummer and dance. Due to this “ the undertaking of executing as a immature adult female [ was ] one of the most ambitious for any histrion. The masks [ were ] relatively little and they merely cover the forepart of the face holding merely little holes for eyes, anterior nariss and oral cavity. ”[ 13 ]. They made female masks look dainty compared to those of work forces, Gods, devils, and elderly. The female masks were besides decorated with limited facial look, each looking really similar. This little female mask would turn out to be a challenge for Noh play histrions but they were able to over come it for the interest of their public presentation. The masks, male and female, would sometimes be restructured to suit the histrions face more comfortably and besides so that they would look more realistic, a mask that did n’t suit the histrions face would non be acceptable. The masks would merely hold stuff, wood or fabric added onto and non wholly refashion because that would take to much clip. The masks played a perchance more indispensable function in Noh Drama than in Grecian Drama.

Masks in both theaters were used to mask their histrions as a scope of characters, from Gods to work forces to even adult females. Both theaters used masks to counterbalance for non holding certain things available to them, such as female histrions. Both besides used the masks to expose their spiritual icons within their productions, male and female alike. Masks in both theaters would expose their Supreme beings every bit good as mortal worlds. Masks added to the overall experience for the drama and helped the histrions connect more with their characters. Wearing the masks made them experience more like the character they were to play and less like themselves, which helped do the semblance of the theater more existent for the audience. Masks were designed to semi-resemble a human face, though each mask would hold oculus holes and an gap for the oral cavity. Acting for both theaters was done through the voice since the audience would be unable to see the histrion ‘s existent facial looks, merely the facial look of the mask. However it could be difficult to hear the histrion but the manner the mouth country was constructed in both theaters was to project the histrion ‘s voice so that they would be able to be heard by the audience. The oculus holes were merely cut broad plenty for the histrion to see, to be able to interact with the other histrions and cognize where they were on the phase, but the audience would non be able to see their eyes merely the eyes that were designed on the mask itself. The eyes designed on both theaters masks were more realistic than the remainder of the mask. However the masks still merely portrayed a face in one emotion, though each mask would be designed to portray a different emotion if it was needed for the character. In both signifiers of theater the masks were seen as an indispensable costuming prop and one could non execute without it, the masks developed along with both of these theaters. This was one of the most of import facets of spectacle, with limited scenery and phase conventions, masks played a critical portion to the theater.

Albeit, Greek Theatre ‘s and Noh Theatre ‘s usage of the masks were really similar as portion of the whole productions spectacle they still have their differences. Grecian masks were normally light in colour while Noh Drama masks could be any assortment of colour all depending on what the manager had wanted a character to portray. There was besides the difference with the manner these masks were constructed. Noh play masks had to be really light weight due to how long the histrions had to have on them while in Grecian Drama the masks would weigh more since histrions would merely be have oning them from scene to scene and invariably altering into another mask because they played more than one character function. Besides the stuffs used to do the masks were different ; Noh masks were normally made of merely wood, while Grecian masks were made from wood, fabric or leather. Grecian masks had more of a assortment of stuffs for the base bed to be made with but the sum of stuffs put in to do them was less than that of the Noh masks. Noh masks had more stuffs, which is why they were more elaborate than Grecian masks. Noh play masks were besides painted on for more item to acquire things like the tegument skin color, aging and facial facets to look a specific manner for the different characters. Grecian masks were non as detailed in this regard they all seemed to hold the same resemblance and were non excessively stylized. Even with these few differences the masks were really similar and still a extremely of import prop to the theater.

Both theaters, Greek and Noh, have their commonalties and their differences when it comes to the dramas they preformed, the construction of dramas and the spectacle it took to set on these dramas. In theatre masks are normally used as an semblance to a character ‘s visual aspect or even merely a character ‘s specific emotion. As seen in both Ancient Greek and Nipponese Noh Drama, masks have played an indispensable function to the development spectacle of the public presentation. “ The mask aˆ¦ offers infinite theatrical possibilities to the practician who most deeply understands its linguistic communication ”[ 14 ]Much like Acting “ have oning a mask, compels an histrion to presume personalities and consciousness other than his ain. Both procedures are an orientation in the procedure of caricature, a personality-in-personalities attack towards the comprehension of adult male. ”[ 15 ]