Visions of Tragedy in Modern American Drama

Visions of Tragedy in Modern American Drama

by David Palmer

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This volume responds to a renewed focus on tragedy in theatre and literary studies to explore conceptions of tragedy in the dramatic work of seventeen canonical American playwrights. For students of American literature and theatre studies, the assembled essays offer a clear framework for exploring the work of many of the most studied and performed playwrights of the modern era. Following a contextual introduction that offers a survey of conceptions of tragedy, scholars examine the dramatic work of major playwrights in chronological succession, beginning with Eugene O'Neill and ending with Suzan-Lori Parks. A final chapter provides a study of American drama since 1990 and its ongoing engagement with concepts of tragedy.

The chapters explore whether there is a distinctively American vision of tragedy developed in the major works of canonical American dramatists and how this may be seen to evolve over the course of the twentieth century through to the present day. Among the playwrights whose work is examined are: Susan Glaspell, Langston Hughes, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, August Wilson, Marsha Norman and Tony Kushner. With each chapter being short enough to be assigned for weekly classes in survey courses, the volume will help to facilitate critical engagement with the dramatic work and offer readers the tools to further their independent study of this enduring theme of dramatic literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781474276948
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 02/08/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
File size: 487 KB

About the Author

David Palmer taught philosophy and literature at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, USA. His interest in ethics, philosophy of mind, and theories of the self led him to explore the plays of Samuel Beckett, Arthur Miller, and Eugene O'Neill. He is the president of the Arthur Miller Society and a board member of the Eugene O'Neill Society.

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors

by Christopher Bigsby, University of East Anglia, UK


by David Palmer, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, USA

1. Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953)
by Jeffery Kennedy, Arizona State University, USA

2. Susan Glaspell (1876-1948)
by Sharon Friedman, New York University, USA

3. Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
by Jonathan Shandell, Arcadia University, USA

4. Thornton Wilder (1897-1975)
by Jackson R. Bryer, University of Maryland, USA

5. Lillian Hellman (1905-1984)
by Anne Fletcher, Southern Illinois University, USA

6. Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)
by Susan C. W. Abbotson, Rhode Island College, USA

7. Arthur Miller (1915-2005)
by Stephen Marino, St. Francis College, USA

8. Edward Albee (1928-2016)
by Natka Bianchini, Loyola University Maryland, USA

9. Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965)
by Deirdre Osborne, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

10. Amiri Baraka (1934-2014)
by Harvey Young, Northwestern University, USA

11. Adrienne Kennedy (1931-)
by Werner Sollors, Harvard University, USA

12. August Wilson (1945-2005)
by Sandra G. Shannon, Howard University, USA

13. Sam Shepard (1943-2017)
by Shannon Blake Skelton, Kansas State University, USA

14. David Mamet (1947-)
by Brenda Murphy, University of Connecticut, USA

15. Marsha Norman (1947-)
by David Palmer, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, USA

16. Tony Kushner (1956-)
by Claire Gleitman, Ithaca College, USA

17. Suzan-Lori Parks (1963-)
by Soyica Diggs Colbert, Georgetown University, USA

18. American Theatre Since 1990
by Toby Zinman, University of the Arts, USA



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