Writing in verse was essentially a writer’s reform which produced both a sense of the unnatural in the audience and a conflict of conventions in performance. As Raymond Williams points out in Drama in Performance (Pelican, 1972) the verse was evidence of one convention where action, movement and design were part of another so that the actor speaking verse was still moving and behaving in a naturalistic way. It may also be true that the abuses of language that concern George Steiner, by political terror, the illiteracy of mass consumption and the mass media, have weakened the idea that words are the mystery at the source of tragic poetry, while those same mass media, the cinema and television, have certainly relegated words to the position of sub-titles to pictures. As Ibsen predicted, the best plays of this century have all been in prose and the attack on naturalistic drama from verse drama was brief, but it prepared the way for more striking challenges in European theatre: Beckett and Brecht.