Metaphorical Murders in August Wilson's Plays Analytical Essay by SaraT

Metaphorical Murders in August Wilson's Plays
An examination of the evolution of female characters and the reoccurring theme of a metaphorical murder in August Wilson's plays.
# 112912 | 4,690 words | 19 sources | MLA | 2007 | US
Published on Mar 12, 2009 in Drama and Theater (American) , English (Analysis) , English (Comparison)

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This paper discusses female characters and metaphorical murders in August Wilson's plays. It describes Wilson's women in his plays and how the evolution of his female characters is played out in his ten-cycle play format. The paper argues that the status of these women is complicated and that each strong female character builds upon the experiences of another.

From the Paper:

"Tonya understands this specter of prison, and like Martha, Rose, and Risa, finds a metaphorical murder necessary in order to end her own involvement in the cycle. For Tonya, an abortion is the only way to take control of her life. At the same time, this metaphorical murder is different then Wilson's earlier plays. Although Tonya is metaphorically murdering King's legacy, she is no longer a castrating threat. Her control and self-directedness, are accepted by King. Although he disagrees with Tonya's desire for an abortion, there is a sense that he will accept her decision. He tries to convince Tonya; he does not command her. The metaphorical murder is no longer as strong a threat because the men and women are becoming more equal partners."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Clark, Keith. "Healing the Scars of Masculinity: Reflections on Baseball, Gunshots, and War Wounds in August Wilson's Fences." In Contemporary Black Men's Fiction and Drama. University of Illinois Press: Urbana, 2001.
  • DiGaetani, John L. A Search for a Postmodern Theater: Interviews with Contemporary Playwrights. NewYork: Greenwood Press, 1991.
  • Elam, Harry J., Jr. "August Wilson's Women." In May All Your Fences Have Gates, edited by Alan Nadel. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1994.
  • _______. "Men of August," In The Past as Present in the Drama of August Wilson
  • Franklin, Clyde W. "Black Male-Black Female Conflict: Individually Caused and Culturally Nurtured." Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 15, No.2. (1984 December), 139-154.

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Metaphorical Murders in August Wilson's Plays (2009, March 12) Retrieved December 01, 2022, from

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"Metaphorical Murders in August Wilson's Plays" 12 March 2009. Web. 01 December. 2022. <>