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Word Count: 527
Expressionism started as a visual art form for an antidote to the beauty of impressionism The point was to deny immediate perceptions of things to analyse things then send them back as a pure but different view of that thing its sometimes called anti-realism I can give you a very simple example of expressionism If I showed an impressionist a vase of flowers they might produce something akin to A Woman Seated beside a Vase of Flowers by Edgar Degas An expressionist might show you something like Flowers in Vase by Mary Lee Lombard or maybe something not at all like that The Expressionist theatre movement developed in Germany around 1905 It was characterised by attempts to dramatise subjective states through distortion It used images that were intense and scenes were seen through the eyes of the main character The plot was typically non-linear and might travel to unrelated events in a distorted and dreamlike manner In the same way that melodrama uses the characters description as their name expressionist theatre used characters as representative like man woman mother priest The theme of the plays politically featured left-wing causes like anti-war de-humanisation by society and deterioration of the family This was a strong motivation for playwrights The leader of expressionist theatre George Kaiser was a German who introduced many new techniques to theatre including juxtaposition of fantasy and reality rapidly shifting scenes and larger-than-life characters Kaiser wrote a trilogy of plays called Coral Gas about a worker who works in a gas plant and tries to get his workmates to come to an outdoor farming job His son finds the plant produces lethal gas and blows up the factory He also wrote From Morn to Midnight which pronounced the futility of modern society showing disjointed scenes in a twisted world The expressionist playwright Ernst Toller born in Prussia was a strong political activist who was sentenced to five years imprisonment for
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