in the theatre
was developed by 17th century French
playwrights from what they judged to be the rules of Greek classical theatre
, including the Three Unities
of time, place and action.
- Unity of time referred to the need for the entire action of the play to take place in a fictional 24-hour period
- Unity of place was as it sounds, the action had to unfold in a single location
- Unity of action meant that the play should be constructed around a single 'plot-line' , such as a tragic love affair or a conflict between honour and duty.
The language also had to be of the most exalted kind, excluding 'low-life' characters and smutty jokes.
Classicists did not approve of Shakespeare, who broke all these rules and plenty more.
Examples of classicist playwrights:
was among the first french playwrights to break these conventions.