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Peter Brooks The Shifting Point English Literature Essay

Many famous and talented people, the associates of different professions, among which are writers and performers, politicians and historians, actors and scientists, entice everybody's attention by their biographies. Certainly, it is very interesting to know more about a man who has already possessed a great success in life and who can simply show his experience with others. Peter Brook is one of such people, who are worthy of value and whose sensible thoughts should be examined and mentioned. I feel that his book The Shifting Point will probably be worth to be reading and analyzing since it is not merely an autobiography of your talented man, a movie theater director and a well-known playwright and an excellent screenwriter but also this reserve can be considered a so-called guide to the beautiful world of theatre. My goal in this essay is to go over Peter Brook's book The Shifting Point and also to prove the fact that this literary work deserves attention of all the individuals who are not indifferent to theatre as a form of art.

That is excatly why I decided to organize my paper into several sections which will help to develop the theme. It really is known that Peter Brook was created in London. His dad, a Russian scientist, who came to Great Britain searching for the better life, was not a well-to-do man, nevertheless, Peter Brook received education. He researched at Westminster University, later at Oxford University where he was discovered as a dynamic person in the amateur movie theater. His first beginner work on Jean Cocteau's play La Machine Infernale enticed attention of the famous playwright Barry Jackson who offered twenty-years-old Brook to place a fairly difficult play Man and Superman written by Bernard Show on the stage of Birmingham repertory theatre. Corresponding to Peter Brook's words, he always hung upon his emotions and the sixth sense in his work. It always helped him to be the first on the level and in life.

Brook was 21 when he was asked to Shakespeare Memorial Movie theater to create Shakespearian takes on. This unforgettable circuit of works made him famous. Romeo and Juliet (1947) was a real sensation. It even set off a lively debate among the English movie theater critics. For the very first time in his work Brook used the thought of "empty space" getting rid of many adornments. As a matter of known fact, he was known for fearless inventions on the stage and new styles of his productions. Could be, his book The Shifting Point which was written in 1988, after about forty years of experience as a movie theater playwright, an opera playwright and a film developer has the primary goal - to stand for Peter Brook's ideas and thoughts regarding William Shakespeare's plays.

There were significant amounts of other has, operas and videos where Peter Brook confirmed his talent of any playwright and screenwriter. Included in this are the following plays:

King Lear (1962)

Measure for Strategy (1950)

The Winter's Story (1952)

Titus Andronicus (1958)

Marat/Sade (1964)

A Midsummer Night's Wish (1970)

The full name of this e book may be the Shifting Point: Theater. Film. Opera. 1946-1987. It is quite obvious why Peter Brook made a decision to give his publication such an extended title. He wished to show that he had the greatest experience in the sphere of the theatre and film creation. Forty years is quite a long period to be a specialist whose inventions were highly liked. The book includes numerous witty essays which include not only some commentaries pertaining to both the common theater and the avant-garde theatre but also different anecdotes that happen to be linked with opera and film work. Besides, the booklet The Shifting Point details after the theme of Shakespeare's plays. The author provides series of in depth explorations of Shakespeare's plays. Peter Brook is well-known as "the key director of his era" who uses his own theater techniques and inventions. Some critics even call him "a genius of our own times". That is true. Everybody will agree with this assertion after reading his publication The Shifting Point. Now I'd like to choose the contents of the publication. A couple of nine chapters (or parts) in the book The Shifting Point:

A Sense of Direction

People on the Way - a Flashback


What is a Shakespeare?

The World as a Can Opener

Filling the Empty Space

The 40 Years War

Flickers of Life

Entering Another World

Part I

The First Part - A FEELING of Direction. You can find six essays in this part.

The Formless Hunch is a rather interesting article where Brook says us about the way he usually organizes his work on play, the process of preparation his play for the level: costumes, color, his rehearsal work.

The Stereoscopic Perspective is another article from the first part. Here the author continues his conversation regarding the role of director in the theater. For him "being a director is taking fee, making decisions", as well as expressing the final word.

There is One Level is the name of the next article. Here Brook explains to about "the great misunderstanding" which takes place in the present-day movie theater. Brook compares the task of director with a potter who "molds his pot" and then "sends it in to the world". It really is a misunderstanding. Brook areas that the procedure consists of two phases: "First: planning. Second: birth".

Misunderstandings is another article which proceeds the theme of work in the theatre. Here Brook explains to how he emerged to a famous maker and said to him: "I want to escort films". Brook was 20 at that time and possessed already aimed an amateur film A Sentimental Trip. Certainly, he was too young to immediate films. Brook prepared his script for a film. The first arena in this play was a dialogue between two military. Brook did not know "how a professional rehearsal begins".

I Try to Answer a Letter is a little letter written by Brook to Mr. Howe, telling about how to become director. He said that all the directors in the theatre are self-appointed and you can turn into a director by phoning himself a director and providing other people to believe in it. He tips to be lively and not to waste time in achieving the target.

A World in Alleviation, the last essay in the first area of the book, proceeds Brook's discussion about "directing". Here he again repeats all the obligations of any director in the theater. He speaks in regards to a "special director's words" where an actor is "only a noun", but an important one. He pays off attention to the phenomenon comparable to holography in the theater. Brook talks about the "golden rule" which says that any actor must remember that the play is "greater that himself".

Part II

The second part is People on the Way - A Flashback. It contains nine essays. The first one is Gordon Graig. This essay says how Brook satisfied Gordon Graig, a person whose life is meticulously connected with the theater. He's an professional but many years ago he quit this career and began to lead "a tiny range of productions". Before the First World Conflict, he staged his previous production. Now he's 84. He lives in pension de famille in the South of France. His life story is an interesting one.

The Beck Interconnection is one more Brook's article which explains to about Julian Beck and Judith Malina's production of Jack Gelber's play THE BOND. Here Brook touches after the theme of different "types of theater", this is of the the term "lying" with regards to the theater and theatre.

Happy Sam Beckett, another essay of the second chapter. Here the author creates about the new Beckett play Happy Days which impressed him greatly by its objectivity.

Bouncing, another article represents Brook's viewpoint concerning the tedious work in the movie theater. He says that it is inadequate to make plans. He compares all the theatre staff with ping-pong balls "bouncing off the web of events". In this article Brook touches after his play The Balcony that was postponed due to some circumstances, he recalls Marilyn Monroe who came to the rehearsal of his play View from the Bridge without Brook's agreement and criticized his celebrity Mary Ure.

Grotowski is the subject of the other Brook's article included into the second part of The Shifting Point. In this article Brook shows his regards to Grotowski who is known for his inspection "the type of performing, its happening, its meaning, the type and science of the operations including mental, physical, emotional points".

Artaud and the fantastic Puzzle. In this essay Brook proceeds his storyline about Grotowski's skills and experimental works in movie theater. Brook and Grotowski experienced a lot of common ideas but their pathways were different.

How Many Trees Make a Forest? This article with this unusual title instructs about Brook's first meeting with Brecht. He compares Brecht, Graig and Stanislavski and decides how many designs must be placed on the stage to make a forest.

It Happened in Poland. In this article Brook tells about his friend Jan Kott whom he met in a nightclub of Warsaw. He was "a Professor of Play" and was known for his writings about Shakespeare.

Peter Weiss's Kick. In this essay Brook discusses the problems of theater, confirms the response to the question regarding the difference between a poor play and a good play and gets familiar with Peter Weiss works.

Part III

In the 3rd part of the book which includes the title Provocations. Cruelty, Madness and Warfare, you can find five essays by Peter Brook. The first one, Manifesto for the Sixties, is represented by lots of quotes that are worth thinking about. For instance, "Culture has never done anyone worthwhile whatsoever. No work of art has yet made an improved man".

The Theatre of Cruelty. This article says about Brook's work with a group of celebrities who offered some theater tests in public. He suggests that national movie theater, musical comedy and experimental theater are the main parts of the "healthy theater".

U. S. Means You. U. S. Means US. In this essay Brook provides explanations concerning the simple fact that The Royal Shakespeare Movie theater used general population money to stage a play about Americans at Conflict in Vietnam. Significant amounts of contradictory reactions appeared in connection with this. Twenty five actors together with the team of authors investigated the situation in Vietnam. Brook and his partners were against the idea to make use of the theater as "a tv set documentary", "as lecture hall", as "vehicle for propaganda".

The Theater CAN NOT BE Pure is another essay which points out the difference between words "true", "real", "natural" in relation to the theatre. Here Brooks compares theatre with the stomach where food "metamorphoses into two equalities: excrement and dreams".

A Lost Art work. In this essay Brook argues on the problem of behaving. He got Seneca's play Oedipus where there is absolutely no "external action" and he message or calls this theater liberated from landscape, free from outfit, stage techniques and gestures. In this essay Brook symbolizes his ideas concerning the actor's aspect and the subconscious aspect in acting.

Part IV

Shakespeare isn't a bore. Shakespeare comes with an incredible dramatic quality of the plays. Romeo and Juliet is referred to as a love account, which is sentimental, also includes assault, intrigues and exhilaration.

An open notice to Shakespeare, or, as I can't stand it Most of the works of Shakespeare are miraculous, except As you like it. But despite that, the public adores them all.

What is a Shakespeare? Not much is comprehended about Shakespeare, as he's different in kind.

The two age groups of Gielgud John Gielgud's reputation motivated love and awe, and each actor was excited to be there. The writer says that John I unique and this he's always in the present. "He's also traditional, for his passionate sense of quality comes from his understanding of the past".

Shakespearean realism. "For centuries our practical knowledge of Shakespeare has been clogged by the bogus idea that Shakespeare was a author of far-fetched plots which he embellished with genius. "

Lear- Could it be staged? The writer doubts that there is any designer that has endurance to work with him.

Exploding celebrities. "Inside the galaxy of plays there are has that move nearer to us at certain moments in the annals and some that move away. "

Points of radiance "AFTER I started focus on Shakespeare, I did believe to a restricted extent in the likelihood of a classical word music, that every verse acquired a audio that was appropriate, with only modest variations. "

Shakespeare is a bit of coal. The writer is considering today's. "History is a way of considering things, but not one that interests me very much. Shakespeare does not belong to days gone by".

The play is the note. Considering the theme of a Midsummer Night's Goal, at the center of a Fantasy you have the love. This theme touches all men.

Part V

The international centre. People do research. "The purpose is usually to be instruments that transmit truths which otherwise would remain out of sight".

Structures of audio. "The theme of the first year's work of the International Centre of Theatre Research was to be a study of structures of does sound. " The theatre tries to echo the real world.

Life in a more concentrated form. The effect is rather intense if the band of actors includes people with differing backgrounds. "With an international company, a deep understanding can be touched between people who seem to be to have nothing in keeping. "

Brook's Africa. An Interview by Michael Gibson. As a result, nothing had an improved effect on the stars than the stillness of the African audiences. "It's very natural to many Africans never to manifest. "

Te world as a can opener. Everyone can react to the music and dances of several races other than his own. For the celebrities the energy of myths can be as a challenge. Understanding through identification is normal in the theatre.

An aborigine, I presume. A lot of gesticulating and interpreters assist in telling the reviews. The story explains people who are in their countries and don't fully know them.

Part VI

Space as a tool. Author believes that the theatre is dependant on a particular real human feature, which is the necessity at times to be in a new and intimate romance with one's fellow men.

Les bouffes du nord. The author explains that his stroke of good luck was having Micheline as somebody - "it was her brilliance and originality of eye-sight that allowed us every year to cross the tightrope of survival".

The discussion of the birds. "The illusions have less body, because they haven't acquired the ferocious connection to the very forces that produce the illusions in life so impossible to break".

Butter and the knife represents the details of the theatre, the possibility to obtain butter and knife by other means, the Ubu Roi, the plays The Bone along with the Meeting of the Birds.

The Cherry Orchard describes the work of Chekhov, and the author says that in Chekhov's work fatality is omnipresent, as he realized it well.

The Mahabharata represents the down sides in the traditional theatre from the East, which is adored even without understanding.

Dharma is something that can't be answered and the only thing that may be said about it is that it's the essential motor unit.

The Goddess and the Jeep. There is a decline and fall season of religious theater described inside the Goddess and the Jeep.

Part VII

The artwork of noise identifies the Opera and folks making noises when they arrived of their caves.

Eugene Onegin. Here is referred to the theatrical weakness of the task - the previous scene. The task also demands natural style of staging.

Carmen represents the interview with Philippe Albera following the starting of La Tragedie de Carmen at the Bouffes du Nord in November 1981.

The taste of style is approximately the reality and symbols of our own time. Aswell, the style is defined, combined with the peculiarities of the theater.


Filming a play identifies instances and peculiarities of filming the takes on. Aswell, the guidelines of tv and "filmic" equivalents are defined. "The reality of the image offers to film its vitality and its own limitation".

Lord of the flies defined the Golding's reserve, which is a record of man. "My experience demonstrated me that the only real falsification in Golding's fable is the amount of time the descent to savagery takes".

Moderato Cantabile explains the story written by Marguerite Duras and about the thought of rendering it into a film.

Filming Ruler Lear. There have been efforts to develop an impressionistic movie approach, cutting terminology and occurrence to the bone, so that the total aftereffect of everything read and seen could capture in different conditions Shakespeare's rough, unequal, jagged and disconcerting perspective.

Tell me lays - is a feature film predicated on the Royal Shakespeare Company development folks.

Meetings with amazing men - is not totally truthful tale, sometimes appropriate, sometimes not, sometimes in and sometimes out of life, such as a legend.

Part IX

The face mask- appearing out of our shell- is a tale about masks. What is the face mask doing: "the thing you are most afraid of losing, you lose straight away - your ordinary defenses, your ordinary expressions, your ordinary face that you hide behind. " People are imprisoned and there's a capacity to start eyes wider and improve the eyebrows higher than people done in the past.

The essential radiance - it describes the theatres which exist at the precise moment when these two worlds - that of the celebrities and that of the audience - meet: a world in small, a microcosm brought together each night within a space.

The culture of links is focused on the ethnical peculiarities. Fragmentation of the world handles the breakthrough of interactions, and there are specific aspects that are imprisoned in the culture.


In realization of my essay I will say that Peter Brook's e book The Shifting Point could possibly be the guide to the world of skill because the author gives too many ideas and explanations regarding movie theater, opera, film creation as well as his own knowledge of the outer world. We find out about his feelings, emotions, accomplishments, and failures.

All critics have a considerable admiration for Peter Brook. Now he's 85 but he is full of energy. He continues his writing and his new literature impress his readers.

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