Noh Drama Criticism: Types Of Plays - Essay

Roy E. Teele (essay date December 1967)

SOURCE: Teele, Roy E. “Comic Noh Essential in the Noh Theater.” Literature East and West 11, no. 4 (December 1967): 350-60.

[In the following essay, Teele argues against critics who have claimed that comic Noh plays have no literary or dramatic value. By examining an ideal program, studying Zeami's remarks, and comparing them to comedies of other traditions, he shows how they have great value and are an essential part of the “one world” of Noh theatre.]

Even a foreigner attending noh plays for the first time can easily feel the change in atmosphere in the theater as the lyric noh ends and the comic noh is about to begin. At last the libretto, which virtually...

(The entire section is 4375 words.)

Sik Yun Chang (essay date 1968)

SOURCE: Chang Sik Yun. “The Tragic Metaphor of the Noh Drama.” Theater Annual 24 (1968): 1-5.

[In the following essay, Chang argues that Noh ghost plays communicate a Buddhist worldview by using a tragic metaphor that points to man's attachment to the world and his simultaneous realization that it is an illusion.]

There is a group of noh plays classified as mugen noh, which, for lack of a better translation, may be called phantasy or ghost plays. To this group belong the so-called warrior plays and woman plays which I think communicate a vision of human condition that may be characterized as tragic. As a way of presenting a model of warrior play, I might...

(The entire section is 1799 words.)

Masaru Sekine (essay date 1985)

SOURCE: Sekine, Masaru. “Five Groups of Noh Plays.” In Ze-ami and His Theories of Noh Drama, pp. 45-70. Gerrards Cross, England: Colin Smythe, 1985.

[In the following essay, Sekine describes the five categories of Noh plays defined in the Edo period (1600-1867), comparing them to the classifications used by Zeami.]

Noh was less tightly categorised in Ze-Ami's time, and classified much more simply—for example, into pieces about women generally rather than women included in a love-sick or mad framework. Eventually, however, the plays were formally defined, in a way that drew on Ze-Ami's ideas, in the Edo period (1600-1867), as belonging to the categories...

(The entire section is 9976 words.)