I wish I could finish off my series of posts on Henry VI with as much enthusiasm as I had for the second play, but 3 Henry VI (written 1595) was simply not as enjoyable as 2 Henry VI was. In the first place, 3 Henry VI is simply violent from the first scene, when

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Coming off the heels of 1 Henry VI, the next play, 2 Henry VI, struck me as wonderfully written. I hadn’t found much to stand out in 1 Henry VI. But from the beginning, the analogies, the rhythm of the poetry, and the play on words impressed me in the second play. As the action

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Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part 1 (written maybe 1588 or 1592, possibly revised 1594) dramatizes the beginning of the War of Roses (which lasted from 1455 to 1485). It portrays the animosity between the leaders of the House of York and the leaders of the House of Lancaster as they bickered amongst each other for power,

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The three plays by Tennessee Williams that I’ve read in the past few weeks all dealt with loneliness, the fragility of dreams, and the masks we all wear as we go through life. Given these themes, it’s no wonder a thread of discontent and depression seemed a hallmark of Williams plays. But add a stupendous

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Thornton Wilder’s sparse and simple play Our Town was first produced during the Great Depression (1938). In a set without any scenery beyond chairs and tables and in three short acts, Thornton Wilder creates an intimacy with the characters. This is probably due to the familiarity of the subject: life, love, and death in a

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Henrick Ibsen A Doll’s House (Et Dukkehjem, written 1879) is better known than Ghosts (Gengangere, written 1881), and in my opinion, the former is also a more polished drama. Yet, when I think of one of these plays by Ibsen, I cannot but think of the other. I don’t remember which I read first, but

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I watched the movie starring Laurence Olivier. I read the play. I read some analysis on the play. I thought about it for two weeks. I read the play again. And yet, I still don’t understand why anyone believed Richard’s sincerity from the beginning. I believe Shakespeare intended Richard’s power to be in his words,

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The title of Lorraine Hansberry’s debut play about 1950s Southside Chicago comes from a classic poem by Langston Hughes, and Hansberry includes it as an epigram to the play. What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore– And then run? Does it

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John Milton is much smarter than I am. Reading Paradise Lost, I haven’t felt that lost because I’m familiar with the general religious traditions he’s talking about. There are “pagan” traditions mentioned too, but I haven’t felt lost, and footnotes help. Reading Milton’s early writings is a different story. I feel like he’s purposely trying

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