The purpose of this book is to take a fresh look at play structure from the Greeks to the present. The author approaches this task by comparing theories with plays instead of merely studying plays in the light of influential theories. In so doing, the reader discovers a variety of dramatic structures, unique forms which resist conceptual pigeonholing. The text proposes that theory rarely squares with practice, that play structures are much more various than theorists have led us to believe. Plays considered include those of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Shakespeare, Dryden, Racine, Isben, Chekhov, Brecht, and Ionesco. Theorists discussed include Aristotle, Hegel, the Cambridge Anthropologists, Gustav Freytag, A.C. Bradley, and Francis Fergusson. The text is broken into: Structure of Greek Tragedy; Structure in Shakespearean Tragedy; Varieties of Structure in Modern Drama.