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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is online now Key Member
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    Default difference between narration & commentary?

    Can you tell me the difference between narration & commentary in the following? It was designed to make alienation between the play and the audience.

    "......This idea was developed by Bertolt Brecht with his 'epic theater', which used alienation as a strategy to prevent the identification of the public with the figures of the drama. Through scattered narration and commentary throughout the play, for example, the viewers are invited to take a step back from the performance. In this way, they are given hints to better understand the play while the conclusion is left open so to have them to draw their own conclusions...."

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: difference between narration & commentary?

    I'd say that commentary would place the actors at a greater distance from the events they are describing- not as participants, but as observers.

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    Default Re: difference between narration & commentary?

    I agree with Tdol's answer, but I will add my thoughts too.

    To me, narration is telling the story, or telling part of the story. Commentary is making comments on the story that is unfolding, perhaps giving opinions or pointing out interesting events.

    A movie could have a narrator and then when it comes out on DVD, the director could record a commentary track. I realise you are talking about theatre not film, though.

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    Default Re: difference between narration & commentary?

    A couple of thoughts -

    Commentator (an actor standing at the side of the stage, speaking as the actor playing John comes on stage): John comes in from a night out with the boys. - Narration.

    He should have known that Mary would be angry. He really is stupid sometimes. - Commentary.


    Or:

    Actor (to co-player in the drama): I love you more than life. (To audience):That should do the trick. She always falls for a line like that. (To co-player): A love such as ours ...

    The part in bold could perhaps be called the commentary.

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