Article Title

The Modern British Homecoming Play


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Many playwrights, both classic and modern, have made good use of the dramatic possibilities of one or more family members returning home after a period of absence. Indeed, one might well begin and analysis of Hamlet by considering the protagonist as a student who, following an extended period at the German university at Wittenberg, comes home to Denmark to learn the disastrous events that have taken place within bis immediate family and in the Danish court while he has been away. Likewise, a discussion of Ibsen's Ghosts might begin with the assertion that it is Oswald Alving's homecoming play,1 or O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra might be introduced in terms of Ezra Mannon's homecoming.2 Sidney Kingsley's The Silver Cord, Lillian Hellman's Watch on the Rhine, Friedrich Diirenmatt's The Visit, and Sam Shepard's Buried Child are further notable examples of homecoming plays from the modem repertoire. Perhaps taking their cue from T. S. Eliot's The Family Reunion (1939), contemporary playwrights have made especially creative and dramatically effective use of the homecoming play as a distinct dramatic form.

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