The chronicles of theater reveal aprosperous tradition of dramatic performances concentrating on socio-politicalagenda and currents that has deep or considerable impact in public life to seekattention, consciousness and reaction of the people.
The Satires performed bythe comic poets at the amphitheatres played influential role in thearticulation, aggregation and exposition of public opinion in Helenicdemocracies. Although the performance of Drama had ritualistic significance inthe then Athenian society, the dramatists enhanced the scope of suchperformances towards examination of political issues and their relevance in therunning of Polis or city-state centric rule. The splendors of such open-mindedcriticism of politically controversial and critical themes are drafted in theworks of Sophocles, Euripides, Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Agathon and manyothers.
In the age of Renaissance, Shakespeare’splays were challenging the Christian traditional morality and ethos. “Inhis critique of King Lear, Swinburnevalorizes Helenic aestheticism over Christian morality, and argues that thisplay proves Shakespeare’s sympathy with radical political causes. Indeed,Swinburne’s rhetoric in King Lear invertstraditional reading of the play by promoting agnosticism over Christianity,aestheticism over morality. Swinburne appropriates Shakespeare, to furtherradical agenda which prompted liberal politics, agnostic religion and Helenicaestheticism.” Sawyer, Robert; Victorian Appropriations of Shakespeare :George Eliot, A.C Swinburne, Robert Browning and Charles Dickens; AssociatedUniversity Press; London; 2010; p.
50. Critiques also observe the portrayal ofstruggle between various social groups in the Roman republics was central toShakespeare’s Coriolanus, which is amid the minority of Shakespeare tragedies proscribedin a democracy in modern times. The drama was temporarily censored in France duringlate 1930s on the allegation that it exhibits certain fascist aspects, andSlavoj Zizek, recorded its embargo inPost-War Germany on the ground of its content of severe militarism.Zizek,Slavoj; Living in the End Times; Verso; Slovenia; 2011; p. 432 In subsequentcenturies, political theatre has evolved in depth and range. Eventuallypolitical theatre has associated itself with cabaret performances and indigenousfolk theatre.
Under the semblance, political theatre has cultivated itself as anagency of authentic alternative interaction inside the civil societies that arebeing ruled by oppressive governments and worked to proliferate the critical judgmentalthought.