SCENE (Fr. seine, Lat. scaena, Gr. <rw;vij, a tent or booth, a stage or scene), a word of which the various applications, figurative or otherwise, are derived from its original meaning of the stage or platform in the Greek or Roman theatre together with the structure that formed the background. Thus " scene " was formerly used, as " stage " is to-day, of the actor's profession or of dramatic art; and of the actual performance or representation on the stage, still surviving in such phrases as " the scene opens " or " closes." It is also applied, actually and figuratively, to the place where the action of a play or any series of events take place, and so of any episode or situation in a novel or other narrative or description of events; from this the transition to an excited or violent exhibition of feeling between two or more persons is easy.
Of the specific applications of the word to the drama the main examples are (i) to a division of the play, marked by the fall of the curtain, the " scene " being a subdivision of an " act," where the play is thus divided, or where there are no acts, of the divisions themselves; (2) to the material which forms the view of the place where the action is supposed to occur, that is, the painted cloths, slides and other apparatus, known as the " scenery, a word which has thus been transferred to a view generally, the appearance of the feature of a natural landscape. Allied words are " scena," used only in music, of a composition consisting mainly of recitative with accompaniment, forming part of an opera or as an individual composition; and " scenario,' a full outline of a play or opera, giving details of the acts, scenes, actors, situations, stage-business, etc.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)