A companion to twentieth-century American drama by David Krasner PDF

By David Krasner

ISBN-10: 1405110880

ISBN-13: 9781405110884

ISBN-10: 1405137347

ISBN-13: 9781405137348

This better half offers an unique and authoritative survey of twentieth-century American drama stories, written via the superior students and critics within the box.

  • Balances attention of canonical fabric with dialogue of works by means of formerly marginalized playwrights
  • Includes reviews of prime dramatists, similar to Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Eugene O'Neill and Gertrude Stein
  • Allows readers to make new hyperlinks among specific performs and playwrights
  • Examines the hobbies that framed the century, similar to the Harlem Renaissance, lesbian and homosexual drama, and the solo performances of the Eighties and Nineties
  • Situates American drama inside greater discussions approximately American principles and culture

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Example text

The Jewish King Lear has been described as being about the binding together of ‘‘antagonistic’’ generations (Prager 1996: 506). In the play, which opened in October 1892 at the Union Theatre, Lear is David Masheles, a wealthy Jewish businessman who has decided to divide his estate among three grown daughters and move with his wife to Palestine. In Act 2, Masheles’s daughters abuse him. Act 3 ends happily as parents and children reconcile. The play was performed in colloquial Yiddish, not the elevated daytsmerish.

Westward expansion had characterized the age, but the rapid growth of rail lines beyond the Mississippi River after the Civil War opened up millions of acres of new land and, by the close of the nineteenth century, the end of the frontier was in sight. Popular American literature and entertainment reflected romantic associations with the disappearing ‘‘wild’’ American West. The ‘‘Wild West’’ shows of P. T. Barnum and ‘‘Buffalo Bill’’ Cody delighted audiences in the East and frontier melodramas surged in popularity in the Gilded Age with the plays of Bartley Campbell, Joaquin Miller, and Frank Murdoch and continued into the early twentieth century in such melodramas as Augustus Thomas’s Arizona (1899) and William C.

Although A Man’s World conforms to a melodramatic construct in its focus on the secret of a character’s parentage, Crothers questions the underlying rationale for the device: the economic motivation for the historical oppression of women. In this way, the play – like Mitchell’s The New York Idea and Thomas’s As a Man Thinks, which includes a lengthy defense of the double standard as a means to insure inheritance – is a reflection of the renewed oppression of women in an age where social revolution endangered the ruling American business aristocracy as well as the rising managerial class.

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A companion to twentieth-century American drama by David Krasner


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