Peter Brooks The Shifting Point English Literature Essay

Many celebrated and gifted people, the representatives of different professions, among which are authors and vocalists, politicians and historiographers, histrions and scientists, pull everybody ‘s attending by their lifes. Of class, it is really interesting to cognize more about a adult male who has already had a great success in life and who can easy portion his experience with others. Peter Brook is one of such people, who are worthy of regard and whose wise ideas should be analyzed and discussed. I think that his book The Shifting Point is deserving to be reading and analysing because it is non merely an autobiography of a gifted adult male, a theatre manager and a well-known dramatist and a fantastic film writer but besides this book can be considered a alleged usher to the fantastic universe of theatre. My end in this essay is to discourse Peter Brook ‘s book The Shifting Point and to turn out the fact that this literary work deserves attending of all the people who are non apathetic to theater as a signifier of art.

That is why I decided to form my paper into several subdivisions which will assist to develop the subject. It is known that Peter Brook was born in London. His male parent, a Russian scientist, who came to Great Britain seeking for the better life, was non a comfortable adult male, however, Peter Brook got a good instruction. He studied at Westminster College, subsequently at Oxford University where he was noticed as an active member of the recreational theatre. His first recreational work on Jean Cocteau ‘s drama La Machine Infernale attracted attending of the celebrated dramatist Barry Jackson who offered twenty-years-old Brook to set a instead hard play Man and Superman written by Bernard Show on the phase of Birmingham repertory theatre. Harmonizing to Peter Brook ‘s words, he ever hung upon his feelings and the 6th sense in his work. It ever helped him to be the first on the phase and in life.

Brook was 21 when he was invited to Shakespeare Memorial Theater to bring forth Shakespearean dramas. This unforgettable rhythm of dramas made him celebrated. Romeo and Juliet ( 1947 ) was a existent esthesis. It even set off a lively statement among the English theatre critics. For the first clip in his work Brook used the thought of “ empty infinite ” acquiring rid of many ornaments. As a affair of fact, he was known for courageous inventions on the phase and new manners of his productions. May be, his book The Shifting Point which was written in 1988, after about 40 old ages of experience as a theatre dramatist, an opera dramatist and a movie manufacturer has the chief end – to stand for Peter Brook ‘s thoughts and ideas refering William Shakespeare ‘s dramas.

There were a great trade of other dramas, operas and movies where Peter Brook showed his endowment of a dramatist and film writer. Among them are the undermentioned dramas:

King Lear ( 1962 )

Measure for Measure ( 1950 )

The Winter ‘s Tale ( 1952 )

Titus Andronicus ( 1958 )

Marat/Sade ( 1964 )

A Midsummer Night ‘s Dream ( 1970 )

The full rubric of this book is The Switching Point: Theater. Film. Opera. 1946-1987. It is rather obvious why Peter Brook decided to give his book such a long rubric. He wanted to demo that he had the greatest experience in the domain of the play and movie production. Forty old ages is rather a long period to go an adept whose inventions were extremely appreciated. The book consists of legion witty essays which include non merely some commentaries refering both the authoritative theatre and the daring theatre but besides different anecdotes which are connected with opera and movie work. Besides, the book The Shifting Point touches upon the subject of Shakespeare ‘s dramas. The writer gives series of thorough geographic expeditions of Shakespeare ‘s dramas. Peter Brook is well-known as “ the taking manager of his coevals ” who uses his ain theatre techniques and inventions. Some critics even call him “ a mastermind of our times ” . That is true. Everybody will hold with this statement after reading his book The Shifting Point. Now I ‘d wish to turn to the contents of the book. There are nine chapters ( or parts ) in the book The Shifting Point:

A Sense of Direction

Peoples on the Way – a Flashback


What is a Shakespeare?

The World as a Can Opener

Filling the Empty Space

The Forty Years War

Flickers of Life

Entering Another World

Part I

The First Part – A Sense of Direction. There are six essays in this portion.

The Formless Hunch is a instead interesting try where Brook tells us about the manner he normally organizes his work on drama, the procedure of readying his drama for the phase: costumes, colour, his dry run work.

The Stereoscopic Vision is another essay from the first portion. Here the writer continues his treatment refering the function of manager in the theatre. For him “ being a manager is taking charge, doing determinations ” , every bit good as stating the last word.

There is Merely One Phase is the rubric of the following essay. Here Brook tells about “ the great misinterpretation ” which takes topographic point in the contemporary theatre. Brook compares the work of manager with a thrower who “ model his pot ” and so “ sends it into the universe ” . It is a misinterpretation. Digest provinces that the procedure consists of two stages: “ First: readying. Second: birth ” .

Misinterpretations is another essay which continues the subject of work in the theatre. Here Brook tells how he came to a celebrated manufacturer and said to him: “ I want to direct movies ” . Brook was 20 at that clip and had already directed an amateur movie A Sentimental Journey. Of class, he was excessively immature to direct movies. Brook prepared his book as for a movie. The first scene in this drama was a duologue between two soldiers. Brook did non cognize “ how a professional dry run starts ” .

I Try to Answer a Letter is a little missive written by Brook to Mr.Howe, stating about how to go a manager. He said that all the managers in the theatre are self-appointed and one can go a manager by naming himself a manager and conveying other people to believe in it. He advices to be active and non to blow clip in accomplishing the end.

A World in Relief, the last essay in the first portion of the book, continues Brook ‘s treatment about “ directing ” . Here he once more repeats all the responsibilities of a manager in the theatre. He speaks about a “ particular manager ‘s linguistic communication ” where an histrion is “ merely a noun ” , but an of import 1. He pays attending to the phenomenon kindred to holography in the theatre. Brook speaks about the “ aureate regulation ” which says that any histrion must retrieve that the drama is “ greater that himself ” .

Part II

The 2nd portion is People on the Way – A Flashback. It contains nine essays. The first 1 is Gordon Graig. This essay tells how Brook met Gordon Graig, a individual whose life is closely connected with the theatre. He is an histrion but many old ages ago he gave up this profession and began to direct “ a bantam figure of productions ” . Before the First World War, he staged his last production. Now he is 84. He lives in pension de famille in the South of France. His life narrative is an interesting one.

The Beck Connection is one more Brook ‘s essay which tells about Julian Beck and Judith Malina ‘s production of Jack Gelber ‘s drama The Connection. Here Brook touches upon the subject of different “ signifiers of theatre ” , the significance of the the term “ lying ” in relation to the theatre and film.

Happy Sam Beckett, the following essay of the 2nd chapter. Here the writer writes about the new Beckett drama Happy Days which impressed him greatly by its objectiveness.

Bouncing, another essay represents Brook ‘s point of position refering the everyday work in the theatre. He says that it is useless to do programs. He compares all the theater staff with ping-pong balls “ resiling off the cyberspace of events ” . In this essay Brook touches upon his drama The Balcony which was postponed due to some fortunes, he recalls Marilyn Monroe who came to the dry run of his drama Position from the Bridge without Brook ‘s permission and criticized his actress Mary Ure.

Grotowski is the rubric of the other Brook ‘s essay included into the 2nd portion of The Shifting Point. In this essay Brook shows his relation to Grotowski who is known for his probe “ the nature of moving, its phenomenon, its significance, the nature and scientific discipline of the procedures including mental, physical, emotional points ” .

Artaud and the Great Puzzle. In this essay Brook continues his narrative about Grotowski ‘s accomplishments and experimental plants in theatre. Brook and Grotowski had a batch of common thoughts but their waies were different.

How Many Trees Make a Forest? This essay with such an unusual rubric Tells about Brook ‘s first meeting with Brecht. He compares Brecht, Graig and Stanislavski and make up one’s mind how many ornaments must be put on the phase to do a wood.

It Happened in Poland. In this essay Brook tells about his friend Jan Kott whom he met in a cabaret of Warsaw. He was “ a Professor of Drama ” and was known for his Hagiographas about Shakespeare.

Peter Weiss ‘s Kick. In this essay Brook discusses the jobs of theatre, finds the reply to the inquiry refering the difference between a hapless drama and a good drama and gets acquainted with Peter Weiss works.

Part III

In the 3rd portion of the book which has the rubric Provocations. Cruelty, Madness and War, you can happen five essays by Peter Brook. The first one, Manifesto for the Sixties, is represented by a figure of quotation marks which are deserving thought of. For illustration, “ Culture has ne’er done anyone any good whatsoever. No work of art has yet made a better adult male ” .

The Theater of Cruelty. This essay tells about Brook ‘s work with a group of histrions who presented some theatre experiments in public. He states that national theatre, musical comedy and experimental theatre are the chief parts of the “ healthy theatre ” .

U.S. Means You. U.S. Means US. In this essay Brook gives accounts refering the fact that The Royal Shakespeare Theater used public money to present a drama about Americans at War in Vietnam. A great trade of contradictory reactions appeared in connexion with this. Twenty five histrions together with the squad of writers investigated the state of affairs in Vietnam. Brook and his spouses were against the thought to utilize the theatre as “ a telecasting docudrama ” , “ as talk hall ” , as “ vehicle for propaganda ” .

The Theater Ca n’t Be Pure is another essay which explains the difference between words “ true ” , “ existent ” , “ natural ” in relation to the theatre. Here Brooks compares theatre with the tummy where nutrient “ metamorphoses into two equalities: body waste and dreams ” .

A Lost Art. In this essay Brook argues on the issue of moving. He took Seneca ‘s drama Oedipus where there is no “ external action ” and he calls this theatre liberated from scenery, free from costume, phase moves and gestures. In this essay Brook represents his thoughts refering the histrion ‘s nature and the psychological facet in moving.

Part IV

Shakespeare is n’t a dullard. Shakespeare has an unbelievable dramatic quality of the dramas. Romeo and Juliet is described as a love narrative, which is sentimental, besides includes force, machinations and exhilaration.

An unfastened missive to Shakespeare, or, as I do n’t wish itaˆ¦ Most of the dramas of Shakespeare are marvelous, except As you like it. But despite that, the public loves them all.

What is a Shakespeare? Not much is understood about Shakespeare, as he is different in sort.

The two ages of Gielgudaˆ¦ John Gielgud ‘s repute inspired love and awe, and each histrion was thrilled to be at that place. The writer says that John I unique and that he is ever in the present. “ He is besides traditional, for his passionate sense of quality comes from his apprehension of the past ” .

Shakespearian pragmatism. “ For centuries our practical apprehension of Shakespeare has been blocked by the false impression that Shakespeare was a author of far-fetched secret plans which he decorated with mastermind. ”

Lear- Can it be staged? The writer doubts that there is any interior decorator that has forbearance to work with him.

Exploding stars. “ Within the galaxy of dramas there are dramas that move closer to us at certain minutes in the history and some that move off. ”

Points of radianceaˆ¦ “ When I started work on Shakespeare, I did believe to a limited extent in the possibility of a classical word music, that each poetry had a sound that was right, with merely moderate fluctuations. ”

Shakespeare is a piece of coal. The writer is interested in the present. “ History is a manner of looking at things, but non one that involvements me really much. Shakspere does non belong to the past ” .

The drama is the message. Sing the subject of a Midsummer Night ‘s Dream, at the centre of a Dream there is the love. This subject touches all work forces.

Part V

The international Centre. Peoples do research. “ The intent is to be instruments that transmit truths which otherwise would stay out of sight ” .

Structures of sound. “ The subject of the first twelvemonth ‘s work of the International Centre of Theatre Research was to be a survey of constructions of sounds. ” The theatre attempts to reflect the existent universe.

Life in a more concentrated signifier. The consequence is instead intense if the group of histrions includes people with different backgrounds. “ With an international company, a deep apprehension can be touched between people who seem to hold nil in common. ”

Brook ‘s Africa. An Interview by Michael Gibson. As a consequence, nil had a better consequence on the histrions than the hush of the African audiences. “ It is really natural to most Africans non to attest. ”

Te universe as a can opener. Everyone can react to the music and dances of many races other than his ain. For the histrions the power of myths can be as a challenge. Understanding through designation is normal in the theater.

An native, I presume. A batch of gesturing and translators help in stating the narratives. The narrative describes people who live in their states and do non to the full cognize them.

Part VI

Space as a tool. Author thinks that the theater is based on a peculiar human feature, which is the demand at times to be in a new and intimate relationship with one ‘s fellow work forces.

Les bouffes du nord. The writer describes that his shot of fortune was holding Micheline as a spouse – “ it was her glare and originality of vision that enabled us twelvemonth after twelvemonth to traverse the tightrope of endurance ” .

The conference of the birds. “ The semblances have less organic structure, because they have n’t got the fierce fond regard to the really forces that make the semblances in life so impossible to interrupt ” .

Butter and the knife describes the particulars of the theater, the possibility to hold butter and knife by other agencies, the Ubu Roi, the dramas The Bone and The Conference of the Birds.

The Cherry Orchard describes the work of Chekhov, and the writer says that in Chekhov ‘s work decease is ubiquitous, as he knew it good.

The Mahabharata describes the troubles in the traditional theater from the East, which is admired even without understanding.

Dharma is something that can non be answered and the lone thing that can be said about it is that it is the indispensable motor.

The Goddess and the Jeep. There is a diminution and autumn of spiritual theaters described in The Goddess and the Jeep.

Part VII

The art of noise describes the Opera and people doing noise when they came out of their caves.

Eugene Onegin. Here is described the theatrical failing of the work – the last scene. The work besides demands realistic manner of theatrical production.

Carmen describes the interview with Philippe Albera after the gap of La Tragedie de Carmen at the Bouffes du Nord in November 1981.

The gustatory sensation of manner is about the facts and symbols of our clip. Equally good, the manner is described, along with the distinctive features of the theater.


Filming a drama describes instances and distinctive features of shooting the dramas. Equally good, the rules of telecasting and “ filmic ” equivalents are described. “ The world of the image gives to movie its power and its restriction ” .

Lord of the flies described the Golding ‘s book, which is a history of adult male. “ My experience showed me that the lone disproof in Golding ‘s fable is the length of clip the descent to savagery takes ” .

Moderato Cantabile describes the narrative written by Marguerite Duras and about the thought of doing it into a movie.

Filming King Lear. There were attempts to germinate an impressionistic film technique, cutting linguistic communication and incident to the bone, so that the entire consequence of all the things heard and seen could capture in different footings Shakespeare ‘s rough, uneven, jagged and confusing vision.

State me lies – is a characteristic movie based on the Royal Shakespeare Company production of US.

Meetings with singular work forces – is non wholly true narrative, sometimes accurate, sometimes non, sometimes in and sometimes out of life, like a fable.

Part IX

The mask- coming out of our shell- is a narrative about masks. What is the mask making: “ the thing you are most afraid of losing, you lose right off – your ordinary defences, your ordinary looks, your ordinary face that you hide behind. ” Peoples are imprisoned and there is a capacity to open eyes wider and raise the superciliums higher than people done of all time earlier.

The indispensable glow – it describes the theaters that exist at the precise minute when these two universes – that of the histrions and that of the audience – meet: a society in illumination, a microcosm brought together every eventide within a infinite.

The civilization of links is all about the cultural distinctive features. Atomization of the universe deals with the find of relationships, and there are certain facets that are imprisoned in the civilization.


In decision of my essay I should state that Peter Brook ‘s book The Shifting Point can be the usher to the universe of art because the writer gives excessively many thoughts and accounts refering theatre, opera, movie production every bit good as his ain apprehension of the outer universe. We learn about his feelings, emotions, accomplishments, and failures.

All critics have a considerable regard for Peter Brook. Now he is 85 but he is full of energy. He continues his authorship and his new books affect his readers.