On Dramatic Theory

“It’s another movie about a comic-book superhero up to his eyebrows in angst,” I said. “I’m getting a little bored with those.”

“Two aesthetic ideals have taken over our popular entertainment,” Mr. Magundi said: “the aesthetic of the comic book and the aesthetic of the soap opera. It’s worth remembering that, when you and I were growing up, those were considered just about the two lowest forms of entertainment. Now we see men in colored underwear whining about their love lives, and we treat them as though they were Shakespearean tragic heroes. But they are not. Shakespeare will survive as long as there is drama, but Angst-Man will be forgotten in a generation.”

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