The Theatrical Contract

Jody Enders

in Murder by Accident

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226207834
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226207858 | DOI:
The Theatrical Contract

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  • Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)


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This chapter examines the issues of social contact in the theater or theatrical contact. It analyzes the six discrete cases that make up the experience of theater, including achieved intentions, actual intentions and reception of intentions. This chapter discusses Erving Goffman's signature definition of social involvement and argues that there is nothing unhealthily juridical about the mutual consideration that defines the theater. It also suggests that the theatrical experience allows the spectators to make moral, ethical, legal and artistic sense of a dramatic performance.

Keywords: social contact; theatrical contact; theater; achieved intentions; actual intentions; reception of intentions; Erving Goffman; social involvement; theatrical experience; dramatic performance

Chapter.  8434 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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