Companion to British and American Plays

The Importance of Being Earnest as a Comedy of Manners

The Importance of Being Earnest is an enlightening example of comedy of manners as it makes fun of the behavior of Victorian aristocracy which attaches great value to hypocrisy, frivolity, superficiality, artificiality and money mindedness. The Victo ...More

Social Realism in The Cherry Orchard

The history of the early twentieth century Russian society is the history of social transition, transformation. The late 19th century Russian society was struggling to be free from the shibboleth of the dying feudal aristocracy. In parallel to this s ...More

Symbolism in "Master Harold"... and the Boys

The title of this play Master Harold and the boys is symbolic. The title suggests a hierarchy. This play has been written in the South African context. The setting of the play has been South Africa. Master Harold, a seventeen years old boy, is a whit ...More

Characterization of Maurya in Riders to the Sea

Maurya is the principal character in Synge's play, Riders to the Sea. The whole play is a drama of her sorrows. We are touched by her troubles because we feel that she is a living person. In her life, miseries had piled up one over the other. But the ...More

A Marriage Proposal by Anton Chekhov: Summary

Lomov pays a visit to his neighbor, Tschubukov. He is wearing a dress-suit. Tschubukov expresses a great pleasure. He welcomes him and gives him a warm handshake. But he is surprised to see him in a formal dress, and thinks that perhaps he is on his ...More

Endgame by Samuel Beckett: Critical Analysis

The Endgame falls into the category of theatre of absurd since it is a despairing play about hopelessness. It is a play where nothing happens once. The sense of despair is heightened by the fact that the characters are not waiting for anything other ...More

Characterization of Mrs. Nora Helmer

Nora is the central character on whom the play revolves around. She is a daughter of a dying person. She is wife to Helmer, a moral orthodox and conventional person. Nora appears from the beginning to the end of the play. In the beginning, she appear ...More

Role of Chorus in Oedipus Rex

Chorus, in the theater, is a group of singers and dancers who take part in a drama and are accompanied by music. Like in Oedipus Rex, the chorus sings lyrical, poetic kinds of comments during the pauses in the dramatic plot. The group also dances and ...More

Conflict between Human Law and Law of God in Sophocles' Antigone

Sophocles' Antigone focuses on the conflict between human law and the law of the gods when following both sets of laws at a time seems to be impossible. Antigone wishes to honor the gods by burying her brother, but the law of Creon decrees that he sh ...More

Allegorical Elements in Everyman

Allegory is a literary device according to which the characters and events presented in a literary work have secondary meaning or significance. Even abstract qualities are presented as human characters. Basically, this kind of device is well suited t ...More

Themes in Shakespeare's The Tempest

Forgiveness and repentance are the prime themes of the play The Tempest. Antonio, his brother, wronged him by dethroning and banishing some twelve years ago. Antonio was supported by Alonso and Sebastian. These all three corrupted people are the culp ...More

Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Themes

The play Hamlet's major theme is death. It is the death of the King Hamlet that triggers the events in the play one after another. When the Prince Hamlet hears about the news of his father's death, he comes back to Denmark. He is shocked at the early ...More

Othello by William Shakespeare: Summary

In the opening of the play, Roderigo, a young gentleman who loved and hoped to get Desdemona, is talking about the elopement of Desdemona with Othello, the moor. Roderigo and Iago go to inform about the incident to her father Senator Brabantio. When ...More

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde: Summary

At the beginning of the play a wealthy Algernon (Algy) is waiting for his aunt, Lady Bracknell and her daughter Gwendolen to visit him in his flat in London. Before they arrive, Jack Worthing, Algy's friend arrives. Jack calls himself 'Earnest' and A ...More

A Doll's House as A Play of Social Criticism

A Doll's House is a play of social criticism in the sense that it has criticized the traditional marriage, man-woman relationship and the domination of the female by the male in the name of love or family. It has thrown a number of questions in the f ...More

The Cherry Orchard as a Tragicomedy

The play The Cherry Orchard is an example of tragicomedy for we can see the ruin of Madame Ranevskaya due to the destruction of her lovely cherry orchard on the one side and rise of a middle class merchant Lopakhin, who was a former slave on the othe ...More

Galileo by Bertolt Brecht: Summary

Galileo by Brecht is based on the real life of the seventeenth century astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei. The play is in fourteen scenes which is a break from the conventional pattern of dividing the play into acts and scenes.More

The Suicidal Causes of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman

The motives behind Willy's suicide are ambiguous. There are explicit and implicit motives behind Willy's suicide. Even explicit causes are insufficient to justify the grave incident like suicide. Here are some appropriate causes mentioned below. Will ...More

Rose as a Powerful Dramatic Character in Fences

Rose is the most powerful dramatic character in Fences. She has her own ways of coping with and enduring the layers of anxieties and suffering resulting from the racial discrimination and patriarchal domination. Her ability to cope with her husband's ...More

'night, Mother by Marsha Norman: Summary

'night, Mother a world-class play by Marsha Norman opens in the kitchen scene. The main two characters Mama Thelma and her daughter Jessie futilely talks about the trivial things and Jessie reveals her wish and plan to commit suicide that night. To c ...More

Lord Byron's Love Letter by Tennessee Williams: Summary

There are four characters in this play: the spinster, a woman of forty named Ariadne, the old woman, perhaps her grandmother, the matron and her husband. The spinster and the old woman are in a dark living room. The spinster is sewing and the old wom ...More

Romances or Tragicomedies in Shakespeare’s Last Plays

Shakespeare's last plays 'romances' effectively continue the irregular line of development of his earlier works by interfacing comic and tragic themes with a new intensity. All these romances deal in one way or another with evil and innocence, guilt ...More

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett: A Tragedy

In the tradition of tragedy there is always a profound understanding of suffering and helpless humanity. The tradition continues from the ancient Greeks to the modern playwrights - Luigi Pirandello, Arthur Miller, Jean-Paul Sartre and Samuel Beckett, ...More

The Romancers by Edmond Rostand: Summary

There are mainly five characters in this play: Sylvette and her father Pasquinot, Percinet and his father Bergamin, and Straforel, a hired killer. A wall has divided the park. Percinet is sitting on the wall reading Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to ...More

Waterloo by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Summary

There are four characters in this play. Corporal Brewster aged ninety-six, Norah Brewster, his grandniece, Sergeant McDonald and Colonel Midwinter. In a front room in a small country house there is a roughly made painting of Corporal Brewster in a re ...More

To Bobolink, For Her Spirit by William Inge: Summary

A group of autograph hunters is outside the 21 Club in New York. They are waiting for their favorite movie stars. There are six persons in the group. The ringleader of the group is Bobolink Bowen. She is a woman in her early thirties. She is fat and ...More

Dramatic Technique in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a unique modern or even post-modern drama in terms of its dramatic technique. Some of the technical features include: the extensive of unconventional commentary by the author, the mythical allusions related to the characters ...More

The Misanthrope as a Comedy of Manners

Moliere's The Misanthrope, is characterized by features like: exposure and satire of the upper-class society's bad culture, the use of witty dialogue and lively repartee, comic scenes of love and intrigues and typical characters which are the feature ...More

Modernism in Six Characters in Search of an Author

By modernism in drama we mean experiment in dramaturgy. By the same token, modernism in drama consists of the introduction of the problems faced by modern people. Six Characters in Search of an Author abides by these two protocols of modernism.More

Suffering of Postmodern Women in 'night, Mother

The problems faced by postmodern woman are alienation, loneliness, estrangement, instable family structure, crisis in emotionality and sterile nature of human existence. When Jessie told Thelma about her preparation for suicide, Thelma at first did n ...More

The Myth of Failed American Dream in 'night, Mother

Many American writers have given the American dream a priority place in terms of theme in their works. Among them, Marsha Norman is also one, but she did not produce a carbon copy of the American dream of other authors. In 'night, Mother the American ...More

Style of Norman in 'night, Mother

The style of Marsha Norman in 'night, Mother offers a few stylistic traits. To understand some of the unique aspects of Norman's style, we need to focus on the language used in the play 'night, Mother. Two characters Jessie and Thelma talk in the lan ...More

Feminist Voice in 'night, Mother

Jessie Cates committed suicide thinking that suicide can impose order and meaning in her life which is a reservoir of frustrations and futilities. To Jessie Cates suicide was far better than the life which is not different from hell. Whether suicide ...More

Dramatic Technique in 'night, Mother

Though Marsha Norman in an interview remarked that her plays are wildly traditional, she cannot stay untouched and uninfluenced by the experimental postmodernism. Marsha Norman has employed jointly the traditional and the experimental techniques in ...More

'night, Mother by Marsha Norman: Introduction

'night, Mother, written in 1981, was Marsha Norman's fifth play, which was first staged in 1983. After its first show, it started getting praises and favorable criticism regarding its emotional honesty and realistic dialogues. The play is a mixture o ...More

Symbols in Wilson's Fences

Symbolism is one of the literary devices commonly used in drama. The symbol imparts the hidden meanings other than the apparent ones and also shows the emotional effects on the characters. In Fences August Wilson used some vital symbols to cater the ...More

Fences by August Wilson: Summary

At the beginning of the play, Troy, the central character of the play, goes to his house for drinking and talking to Bono his friend. It is their payday. Bono in the course of the talk tells Troy that he is cheating his wife Rose by having an affair ...More

Fences by August Wilson: Introduction

The play Fences by August Wilson is concerned with the myth of the failed American dream. The play opened at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1985. It was an enormous success and claimed the Pulitzer Prize for August Wilson in 1987. How black people wer ...More

Corrupting Effect of Power in "Master Harold" and the Boys

Power has a corrupting influence on people. Those who enjoy a privileged position tend to look down on those who are relegated to a lower place. Those in power start behaving irrationally, arrogantly and blindly treating others as inferior and abomin ...More

Racism in "Master Harold"... and the Boys

As the title of the play suggests Master Harold and the boys is a play that deals with the problems created by racism. Flatly, a white boy is presented as a master and the black characters are called boys. The title is hierarchy, creating where the w ...More

"Master Harold" and the Boys by Athol Fugard: Summary

"Master Harold"... and the boys is a one-act play by Athol Fugard consisting of just three characters. The play opens with the regular rain outside which keeps away the customers at the tea shop of Hally. Sam and Willie are waiters at the tea shop. A ...More

Master Harold and the Boys by Athol Fugard: Introduction

Master Harold and the boys is a one act play by Athol Fugard. The play was at first banned in South Africa for the issue, it dealt with, but later on it was lifted and became a huge success. It was first staged at the Yale Repertory Theatre in early ...More

Disturbed Gender Relation and Dysfunctional Family in Death of a Salesman

In the play Death of a Salesman, the disturbed gender relationships led the dysfunctional family behavior. Once there was a nice relationship between Biff and Willy Loman. Willy had seen a great potentiality in Biff. Willy was quite hopeful that Biff ...More

Style in Miller's Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller's style is not free from the influences of those playwrights whose styles were marked by the vigor of experimentation. The play was at first titled as Inside His Head. The title of the play intends to project the inner realism of a psyc ...More

Dramatic Technique in Death of a Salesman

Expressionism the most dominant dramatic technique of Arthur Miller. This technique has witnessed its full-fledged application in The Death of a Salesman. Expressionism is a theatrical device to express the inherently hidden truths concerning the cha ...More

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller: Summary

Willy Loman though had a very good skill in carpentry adopts a job as a salesman so as to fulfill his American dream. He is a father of two sons, Biff and Happy and has a wife Linda. He returns from a business trip and concludes that now he cannot tr ...More

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller: Introduction

Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (1949) is considered to be both the playwright's masterpiece and a cornerstone of contemporary American drama. This play gained a number of honors and awards including, the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Cri ...More

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller: Themes

Failure of the American dream is the crucial theme of Death of a Salesman. By American dream we mean a promise of freedom and opportunity for all. Disciples of the American dream were firmly convinced that hard work is a way to accomplishing that dre ...More

Subversive Nature of Language in Death of a Salesman

There are many things in Death of a Salesman which deserve the attention of readers. Of all these things the language is the single most important aspect that deserves the attention of the reader. The language of dialogue in Death of a Salesman assum ...More

Style of Williams in The Glass Menagerie

As Tennessee Williams is a poet, his style is bound to be poetic, symbolic and somewhat spontaneous. Since there are lots of poetic charms and elegance in The Glass Menagerie this play appears to be a poetic play. While conversing each other, charact ...More