A comparative study of six Xhosa radio dramas

Makosana, Nomkhitha Ethley (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 1991-11)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 1991.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study is based on the comparison of six Xhosa radio dramas spanning the period 1987 and 1988. The main objective is to investigate the strengths and weaknesses which manifest themselves in the dramas. The dramas are compared with respect to the six structural elements of drama viz., theme, plot, characterization, time and space, and the techniques of production.Themes are studied to establish whether there have been any developments as far as the choice of themes is concerned in Xhosa radio dramas or whether there has been stagnation. Also given is a brief literary history of the themes broadcast in the Xhosa radio. The analysis of the plot structure is also done to identify the areas where they met the requirements successfully as well as where they failed to. The dramas are analysed according to the traditional approach Le. the exposition, complication, climax and the denouement.With regard to characterization, the characters are classified according to the function they perform viz., the protagonist, antagonist, tritagonist and confidante. They are also analysed according to their individual nature Le. whether they are static or dynamic, mono- or multidimensional etc. Techniques that the playwrights have used in the portrayal of their characters are also examined.The aspects of time and space are also discussed, to investigate the artistic skills of the different dramatists in handling the time and space relations. Time is viewed with respect to the following: order, duration, frequency, tempo and the presentation of the time structures. Space is discussed with respect to the following: type, function, and the techniques of localisation.A critical comparison of the production techniques used by these different playwrights is explored, the focus being on the microphone, sound effects and music. The examination conducted in the study basically revealed that there is little development in Xhosa radio dramas.The themes that are broadcast are mainly for entertainment and consequently have little intellectual depth. There is also a lack of innovation which is shown by the repetition of the same themes.The playwrights also lack skill as far as plot construction is concerned. The plays are devoid of conflict The absence of conflict in the dramas has an effect on characterization. It has given rise to weak antagonists in the dramas. Lack of focus regarding the main character is one of the faults that is evident in the dramas. Because of the fact that all characters are on the level of importance, it becomes difficult to pin-point who the focal character is. Finally, the Xhosa radio dramas discussed in this thesis revealed that there is latent potential in the Xhosa dramatists and the producers. It is therefore necessary that they should be motivated towards research on the subject and consultation with people who are knowledgeable in this sub-genre. Such actions could be of assistance towards the improvement of skills and techniques needed in the writing of the radio drama

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie is gebaseer op die vergelyking van ses Xhosa radio dramas wat strek oor die tydperk 1987-1988. Die hoofdoelstelling is om die sterkpunte en swakpunte te ondersoek soos dit na vore kom in die dramas. Die dramas sal vergelyk word met betrekking tot die ses strukturele elemente van die drama, naamlik, tema, intrige, karakterisering, tyd en ruimte, en die tegnieke van produksie. Die temas van die dramas is ondersoek om vas te stel of enige ontwikkelings wat betref die keuse van temas plaasgevind het, en of daar stagnasie was in hierdie verb and. Voorts sal 'n kort ootsig gegee word van die liter ere temas in radio Xhosa dramas. Die analise van die intrige van die dramas word gedoen om vas te stel waar daar suksesvol of onsuksesvol voldoen is aan vereistes. Die dramas word ontleed volgens die tradisionele benadering van uiteensetting, verwikkeling, klimaks en die afwikkeling. Betreffende karakterisering, word karakters geklassifiseer volgens die funksie wat hulle vervul, naamlik die protagonis, die antagonis, die tritagonis, en die vertroueling. Karakters kan ook ontleed word volgens hulle individuele karakter, dit is, in welke mate hulle staties of dinamies is, enkel- of multi-dimension eel, ens. Tegnieke wat die skrywers gebruik het in die uitbeelding van hulle karakters word ook ondersoek Die aspekte van tyd en ruimte word bespreek ten einde die artistieke vaardighede van die verskillende skrywers te ondersoek in die hantering van tyd en ruimte verbande. Tyd word ondersoek ten opsigte van volgorde, duur, frekwensie, tempo en die aanbieding van die tyd strukture. Ruimte word bespreek met betrekking tot die aspekte van tipe, funksie en die tegnieke van lokalisering. 'n Kritiese vergelyking word gedoen van die produksietegnieke wat aangewend is deur die verskillende skrywers, met die fokus op mikrofoon klankeffekte en musiek Die ondersoek in hierdie studie toon aan dat daar geringe ontwikkeling is in die Xhosa radio dramas. Die temas van die dramas wat uitgesaai word is hoofsaaklik van 'n vermaaklikheids aard met geen intellektuele diepte nie. Daar is ook 'n tekort aan vernuwing, soos aangedui deur die herhaling van dieselfde temas. Die skrywes toon ook 'n tekort aan vaardigheid wat betref die konstruksie van die struktuur van. intrige. Die dramas toon weinig konflik Die afwesigheid van konflik het ook 'n invloed op die krakterisering, wat aanleiding gee tot swak antagoniste in die dramas.'n Gebrekkige fokus betreffende die hootkarater is een van die foute wat opvallend is in die dramas. Omdat byna al die karakters op dieselfde vlak van belangrikheid is, is dit moeilik om te bepaal watter karakter die hootkarater is. Laastens, die Xhosa radio dramas wat ontleed is in hierdie studie toon dat daar latente potensiaal is in die Xhosa skrywers en regiseurs. Dit is nodig dat hulle aangemoedig word om navorsing te doen oor die onderwerp. Konsultasie met kundiges op hierdie sub-genre kan 'n hulp wees in die verbetering van vaardighede en tegnieke wat nodig is vir die skryf van radio dramas.

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