Date of Award
Professor Dennis Holt
Playwrights are unique people in that while they live, they are often thought of as odd and never truly understood. Maybe it is because they have a greater appreciation of the beauty of life and nature, and are more sensitive concerning emotions and even death. As Shaw once said: "Whether it be that I was born mad or a little too sane, my kingdom was not of this world; I was at home only in the realm of my imagination, and at my ease only with the mighty dead." Maybe the reason most playwrights do not see success in their work while alive is because their imagination and dreams are too advanced for the present mind of the audiences of their day; therefore, the audiences can not cope or truly appreciate the beauty and worth of the work.
We all have drama in our lives, and most of the modern drama playwrights have drawn their plays from personal experiences, which makes the plays better because you have to search and know yourself to write something that is relevant to your own time and yet have universality of thought and be meaningful. Henrik Ibsen, Eugene O'Neill, William B. Yeats, August Strindberg, Tennessee Williams, Samuel Beckett, John M. Synge, Anton Chekhov, Jean-Paul Sartre, and George Bernard Shaw are playwrights whose plays have been successful because they have withstood the cruel test of time.
Hibbard, Sharon, "Playwrights and Their Works of Modern Drama" (1974). Honors Theses. 741.