Induction (play)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

An Induction in a play is an explanatory scene or other intrusion that stands outside and apart from the main action with the intent to comment on it, moralize about it or in the case of dumb show to summarize the plot or underscore what is afoot. Inductions are a common feature of plays written and performed in the Renaissance period, including those of Shakespeare. Example of inductions in Shakespeare are the dumb show in Hamlet and the address to the audience by Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Another example, in The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd, is the introduction to that play by the ghost of Andrea who preps the audience by laying out the story to come.

See also

Play within a play

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