The Hero in American Drama Analytical Essay by Melly

The Hero in American Drama
An examination of the evolution of the hero in American drama.
# 103532 | 2,003 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2007 | US

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This paper examines the evolution of the hero as a response to the changing virtues of the American people. The paper explains that throughout the history of drama in the United States of America, the playwrights have used the heroes in their plays to reflect the ideal that people hoped to live up to. The paper looks at how the hero is the playwright's best interpretation of what the definition of virtue is to the people of his time. The paper points out that Royall Tyler shows a very clear cut definition of a hero during a time when a clear cut definition is needed in an effort to define the nation. The paper further looks at how Tyler takes what he assumes are all the most virtuous traits a man can possess and uses them to create his heroic characters. The paper also discusses how Boucicault writes during a less concrete time and that the ideals that were solid for decades come under fire as the country begins to split itself in two.

From the Paper:

"The Contrast by Royall Tyler displays the social and economic ideals of the time. This play was written during a period of transition for the United States of America. They had just gained their freedom from the British after years of fighting the Revolutionary War, and the people of America were learning how to govern themselves while trying to sort out the immense debt they incurred during the war. The patriotic people of the United States valued their freedom and independence but were indebted to many countries in Europe for their support during the war with Britain. The Americans also had to develop their own government that would grant them personal liberties but still provide a framework for a functional country."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Kingseed, Cole C. The American Civil War. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press,2004.
  • Library of Congress, The. "Labor Unions During the Great Depression and the NewDeal." Available from Internet; accessed 16 August 2006.
  • Purcell, Sarah J. The Early National Period. New York, NY: Facts on File, Inc., 2004.

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