Masaryk university of brno faculty of education

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This thesis comprises analytical research into the characters of Wolfgang Mozart, Antonio Salieri and Fancisco Pizarro in the plays Amadeus and The Royal Hunt of the Sun written by an eminent English playwright and screenwriter Peter Shaffer. It further integrates these plays into the concept of postmodernism.

The introductory part sets Peter Shaffer in the context of postmodern British theatre and subsequently, introduces those of his plays that have been adapted for the Czech theatres. Primarily, however, it examines the protagonists’ personal characteristics, their attitudes and thoughts within a perception of their social and cultural background. It develops the topic of social individualism and collectivism represented by the protagonists, the context of high and low society and communicative devices they handle.

It also places an emphasis on the role of God as one of the main motifs that Shaffer employs in his plays by means of allowing his characters to release their desires through a quest for divinity. Furthermore, Shaffer’s dramatic technique of dual male rivalry reflects the tendency of the society to imitate other people’s desires as the matter of moral compensation.

The final part conducts a critical look into the era of imperialism from the perspective of postmodernism within the context of the plays.

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