Drama Criticism

Criticism of the Most Significant and Widely Studied Dramatic Works from All the World’s Literatures.

Drama Criticism (DC) is principally intended for beginning students of literature and theater as well as the average playgoer. The series is therefore designed to introduce readers to the most frequently studied playwrights of all time periods and nationalities and to present discerning commentary on dramatic works of enduring interest. Furthermore, DC seeks to acquaint the reader with the uses and functions of criticism itself. Selected from a diverse body of commentary, the essays in DC offer insights into the authors and their works but do not require that the reader possess a wide background in literary studies.

DC was created in response to suggestions by the staffs of high school, college, and public libraries. These librarians observed a need for a series that assembles critical commentary on the world’s most renowned dramatists in the same manner as Gale’s Short Story Criticism (SSC) and Poetry Criticism (PC), which present material on writers of short fiction and poetry. Although playwrights are covered in such Gale literary criticism series as Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC), Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (TCLC), Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism (NCLC), Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800 (LC), and Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism (CMLC), DC directs more concentrated attention on individual dramatists than is possible in the broader, survey-oriented entries in these Gale series. Commentary on the works of William Shakespeare may be found in Shakespearean Criticism (SC).

Scope of the Series

By collecting and organizing commentary on dramatists, DC assists students in their efforts to gain insight into literature, achieve better understanding of the texts, and formulate ideas for papers and assignments. A variety of interpretations and assessments is offered, allowing students to pursue their own interests and promoting awareness that literature is dynamic and responsive to many different opinions.

Approximately three to five entries are included in each volume, and each entry presents a historical survey of the critical response to a playwright’s work, an individual play, or a literary topic pertinent to the study of drama. The length of an entry is intended to reflect the amount of critical attention the author has received from critics writing in English and from critics whose work has been translated into English. Every attempt has been made to identify and include the most significant essays on each author’s work. In order to provide these important critical pieces, the editors sometimes reprint essays that have appeared elsewhere in Gale’s literary criticism series. Such duplication, however, never exceeds twenty percent of a DC volume.

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