Strindberg and the Historical Drama

Strindberg and the Historical Drama

Strindberg and the Historical Drama

Strindberg and the Historical Drama

Excerpt

Strindberg's place as one of the major figures in world literature is secure even though it depends primarily on only some of his dramas and autobiographical volumes. His reputation as a dramatist rests, internationally, on such so-called naturalistic plays as The Father, Lady Julie, Creditors, The Stronger, and The Bond; the transitional companion plays, The Dance of Death, I and II; and such expressionistic plays as To Damascus, A Dream Play, The Ghost Sonata, and, possibly, The Great Highway. In English-speaking countries there seems to be a general impression that Strindberg wrote other plays, historical and nonhistorical. There seems, moreover, to be some idea among students of the drama that the "strange" and "bedevilled viking" wrote a great many other works, the autobiographical elements of which have particularly fascinated psychologists and psychiatrists. The facts are, of course, that he wrote some seventy plays, many of which are among the best in world drama, and that he was also a major poet and an exceedingly important writer of prose fiction as well as a contributor to many another field. In an English-speaking society in which those interested in theater and in dramatic literature frequently lament a dearth of good plays, it is strange that one of Strindberg's major contributions to drama . . .

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