SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Ismail, Abdel Moniem (1964) Drama and society in contemporary Egypt. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (99MB) | Preview


The present work does not follow the traditional way which favours a historica1 approach to the subject. Its main aim is to shed just sufficient light on Egyptian drama to show the correlation and interaction between Egyptian drama and society. Historical plays, which nay possess, as a phenomenon, a general social significance, have been excluded because they do not conform to this criterion. Neither do the purely "intellectual' plays as a group come within the scope of the work, though individual examples, if socially significant, have been dealt with in some detail. The criterion according to which plays have been selected and included is their individual significance which is always difficult to assess independently from other plays of the same author. It is with regard to this fact as well as to insuperable chronological difficulties, which often make it impossible to trace the originator of a trend, that the material was arranged not according to trends, but to individual playwrights. The same consideration justifies the prominent position accorded to Tawfiq al Hakim, who has made so many rovolutionasy experiments in the field of drama. Moreover, an arrangement according to trends would have resulted in the omission of many significant plays which for one reason or another, do not form part of a specific trend. In dealing the individual play, the contents have always been given, either in form of a short synopsis, or of a longer summary interwoven with snatches of dialogue and preceded or followed by an analysis of the types and characters and on evaluation of the merits of the play in question whenever it was deemed necessary. Should the manner in which the thread of the action is occasionally followed seem, at times, too meticulous, it may be justified by the endeavour to convey the atmosphere. A thorough treatment of the problem of originality and outside influence, which seemed very tempting, would have required too much space and has been strictly limited, as it represents the task of another thesis, The introduction to the thesis deals with the choice of an appropriate title and gives the general outline of the work. Chapter One describes the social, economic and political background of modern Egyptian literature. The conditions of life which prompted and accompanied the emergence of drama in contemporary Egypt are fully described in Chapter Two, and followed by a brief survey of general trends in Egyptian drama in Chapter Three. Chapter Four is entirely devoted to Tawfiq al Hakim's conception of equilibrium, exemplified, in Chapter Five, by three typical instances. Chapter Six and Chapter Seven. are a treatment of the change in social values, and the reconciliatory attitude towards social strife; as reflected in the drama of the same playwright. Chapter Eight deals with the conservative approach as represented by Mahmud Taymur. Chapter Nine contains the treatment of selected revolutionary plays by Nu'man 'Ashur. Chapter Ten is a treatment of Fathi-Radwan's political and symbolic plays. Chapter Eleven deals with two selected plays by Yusuf es -Siba'i. Chapter Twelve is a thorough treatment of drama and political unrest; it contains selected plays representing the call to "Look Back in Anger", as reflected in post-revolutionary drama. Chapter Thirteen and Fourteen show the reaction to the political drama in selected plays by Rashad Rushdi and 'Abdul Rahman esh-Sharqawi. The conclusions arrived at are summed up and briefly discussed in the final chapter.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:23

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item