Staging Masculinity: Male Identity in Contemporary American Drama

Staging Masculinity: Male Identity in Contemporary American Drama

by Carla J. McDonough
     
 

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The men in plays such as Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman or Sam Shephard's True West are often presented as universal; little attention is given to the gender dynamics involved in the characters. This work looks at how contemporary playwrights, including Miller, Shepard, Eugene O'Neill, David Mamet, and August Wilson, stage masculinity in their works. It

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Overview

The men in plays such as Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman or Sam Shephard's True West are often presented as universal; little attention is given to the gender dynamics involved in the characters. This work looks at how contemporary playwrights, including Miller, Shepard, Eugene O'Neill, David Mamet, and August Wilson, stage masculinity in their works. It becomes apparent that male playwrights return often to the issues of troubled manhood, usually masked in other issues such as war, business or family. The plays indicate both the attractiveness of the model of traditional masculinity and the illusive nature of this image, which all too often fractures and fails the characters who pursue it. O'Neill's play The Hairy Ape and the character Yank receive much attention.

Editorial Reviews

Choice
a critical resource for those interested in a vitally important aspect of the theater of the late 20th century
Reference & Research Book News
"an examination of contemporary male playwrights detailing issues of manhood as they appear in the plays from a postmodern, gendered theoretical perspective"
Booknews
An examination of four contemporary male playwrights detailing issues of manhood as they appear in the plays from a postmodern, gendered theoretical perspective. McDonough (Eastern Illinois U.) chooses Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Eugene O'Neill, David Mamet, and August Wilson as the premiere writers whose male characters are often perceived as "universal," suggesting that the critical crux lies in such assumptions i.e. men's empowerment to speak for a culture makes them invisible to their own struggles with the overwhelming gender conflicts and dynamics that inform these characters. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786402687
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
12/01/1996
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.45(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Professor of English Carla J. McDonough lives in Statesboro, Georgia.

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