A Study of Selected Plays and the Script of "Masada": A Three Act Historic Tragedy
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The plays which I have studied in preparation for writing "Masada" each have important points to explore in their relationship to my thoughts concerning "Masada." The purpose for writing each play, as shown in its content, varies from representing history theatrically through relating the history to present time, to developing a fictional play. Of course, a play often does more than one of these. "The Weavers," "Luther," "A Man for all Seasons," and "Curtmantle" fit the first category. In "The Weavers" Gerhart Hauptman has shown the build-up of anger in a social class, the Russian surfs, which drove them to rebellion. Though the play has individual characters in both classes, the weavers form a definite group in the play set against social mores. We become aware of the way the insurrection started when the poor are forced to bear the pain of a poor economy, and react against the merchants who caused them to suffer their financial problems. Although the characters are fictional, the history is in the emotional reactions of these characters to their situation. The development of the play is relatively simple. The degradation of the weavers is shown at the beginning, and then the action develops from street singing and threats to Jaeger's arrest and the riot. The play has a very short denoument in the death of Old Hilse.