An attempted reconstruction of the dramatist thread in Zbigniew Herbert's early literary works (1948-1956). The author has used the outcome of his archival enquiry that unveils the hitherto unpublished and uncommented dramatic attempts dated late 1940s. Observed is also 'Jaskinia filozofów' (The cave of philosophers), a piece published in 1956. The article aims at describing Z.Herbert's experience as a playwright in diachronic categories. It attempts at naming and describing the changes in the way the dramatic form was shaped, whilst also setting the line of evolution: from a historical spectacle through an oneiric convention, increasingly self-thematic tendencies, up to the final work, summarising the formal experiment that had been developing for some seven years. At the background of the analyses, the question emerges about the motivation and semantics of the dramaturgical forms and solutions.