In his essay (1915) the author formulated a distinction of great value for studies on the theatre, demonstrating that every person possesses a 'theatrical instinct' which compels him to perform a constant transformation that, in turn, leads to a theatralisation of life. The author sought proof for the theatrical character of our existence among the primeval peoples, in ancient Greece, the 'savage' tribes of Africa, and the behaviour of certain animal species, as well as in fashion, entertainment, the army, politics, seventeenth-century Spain, or France under Louis XIV. His models of people capable of making perfect use of the merits of theatrical qualities include Napoleon, Catherine the Great and Suvorov. The essay is more than merely a specific interpretation of the history of the theatre. The text is predominantly anthropological and philosophical: the author claimed that the theatre is the most primary form of art, closest to man. He also argued that it is theatralisation (in other words, transformation) and not aestheticisation, which constitutes the foundation of art.
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