Five Plays

PDF EBook by August Strindberg

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August Strindberg is one of the most influential and popular playwrights Sweden has ever produced. His work often mixes elements of tragedy and comedy, and have had a major influence on successive writers and film- PDFmakers, perhaps most notably on fellow Swede Ingmar Bergman, whose films are personal favorites of mine. In fact, it was the work of Bergman that led me to Strindberg, and this book. As the title suggests, five of Strindberg’s best-known works (though there are many other popular choices that could have been included) are collected here. These plays range in style from Naturalist dramas (Creditors, 1888) to fairy tales (Swanwhite, 1901), and tend to deal with themes of love and hate, betrayal and spiritual longing.My personal favorite in this collection is The Dance of Death, a sort of psychological horror story. It is a somewhat humorous but extremely dark look into the life of an aging couple, locked in a bitter cycle of cruelty and hatred for each other. Throughout the play, they trade vicious insults and accusations, gradually destroying themselves and each other emotionally. Far worse, they attempt to manipulate the people around them as pawns in their endless war. If that sounds nightmarish, well it is, but it’s also something of a satire. Not everything here is that dark, but shadows of human cruelty seem to lurk within most of Strindberg’s work. If that sounds appealing to you, then I cannot recommend this book enough. (Try also A Dream Play, an excellent piece not included in this volume.) Like this book? Read online this: Harmonizing Work, Family, and Personal Life, Plays.

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