Comedy of humours is an historical form of comedy linked to Elizabethan playwright Ben Jonson in such works as Everyman in His Humour (1598) and Everyman out of His Humour (1599). It is based on the premise that the human body consists of four liquids – blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile – all representing a different type of humour (or temperament). This in turn affected character behaviour in the drama.
In the theatre, a monologue is a speech delivered by a single character. “Monologue” is derived from the Greek words “monos” (single, alone) and “logos” (speech, word). Monologues are typically performed in the presence of other characters and are often directed towards them. Monologues from plays are typically used for acting auditions.
The naturalistic theatre movement emerged in the mid 19th century and was first introduced by French novelist, critic and playwright Emile Zola in the preface to his novel Thérèse Raquin (1867), which the author later adapted into a stage play (first performed in 1873). Naturalism demanded a slice of life authenticity in every aspect of production and is not to be confused with realism.
The problem play, or play of ideas, contains strong characterisation and topical social issues. The genre is typically thought to have reached its maturity in the late 1800s with some of the works of Henrik Ibsen such as A Doll’s House (1879), Ghosts (1882), and An Enemy of the People (1882). These realistic social dramas frankly portrayed current social issues on the stage.