Miss Julie

Naturalism in 'Miss Julie'

Writers involved in the naturalist movement believed that actors' lines should be spoken naturally, and that mechanical movements, vocal effects, and irrational gestures should be banished. A return to reality was proposed, with the old theatrical attitudes replaced with effects produced solely by the voice. There was a call to individualise characters, instead of generalising them, to produce characters whose minds and bodies would function as they would in real life. Strindberg's 'Miss Julie' has been said to be an excellent example of this movement, as it involves stress on multiple motivation of action; a departure from the stereotypical depictions of character; and random, illogical dialogue. Strindberg's naturalistic conception of theatre also extends to non-literary aspects of staging such as stage d├ęcor, lighting, and make-up.

Strindberg avoids the regularity of mechanical question and answer dialogue, instead allowing his dialogue to meander, encouraging themes to be repeated and developed over the course of the play. In the preface to the play, Strindberg explains that he has broken with tradition by avoiding "symmetrical, mathematically constructed dialogue." The sexual tension and...

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