This drama is a great example of the power of monologue. If you come from a place of studying prose literature, your urge is to cringe when you turn the page in the play and come across a big block of text. But, actually, a monologue is a blessing rather than a curse.
The action centres around a writer named Katurian who is living in a totalitarian state. He has been brought in for questioning (and torturing) by police who are investigating a series of child murders based on Katurian’s stories.
Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun is a classic and compelling play centering around one poor Black family struggling to get ahead in 1950s Chicago.
What Kushner excels at is creating a sense of endings and of a grief that hangs above each of the characters as they accept illness, accept death, and accept that change is coming whether they want it to or not.
According to Google, a revenge tragedy is: A style of drama, popular in England during the late 16th and 17th centuries, in which the basic plot was a quest for vengeance and which typically featured scenes of carnage and mutilation.
Molière was a seventeenth-century playwright and I have seen readers approach him with a comparable trepidation to which I’ve seen when high school students approach Shakespeare for the first time.
I think it’s probably immediately obvious why this play is controversial. It’s a bold statement about the actions (or, more accurately, lack of action) of an institution that would rather forget everything around the time period.
Richard III is not meant to be history; it’s meant to be thought-provoking entertainment that is indeed tailored to the audience that Shakespeare wrote for.
It turns the audience into an eavesdropper, listening to thoughts said aloud when a character is alone.
The play is three acts and at its core is about lost potential and the regrets that follow it. To some extent it is also about the corruption and power dynamics that can flourish in academia.