Prince of Parthia, by Thomas Godfrey Essay

Prince of Parthia, by Thomas Godfrey Essay

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Play writing has evolved over time. As each new century has dawned, new genres of plays have been introduced to the world. American plays have changed a great deal from Prince of Parthia to Margaret Fleming. Characters have become more dimensional, plots have become more complicated, and even the style of the dialogue has changed. With all the changes that have occurred, plays have gotten more intriguing to the audiences. The first play to ever be published by an American, Prince of Parthia by Thomas Godfrey, closely resembled Shakespearean literature, and another early play that resembled another culture is Fashion by Anna Cora Mowatt; by the time Margaret Fleming by James A. Herne came out, the standard of American Drama had completely changed for the better.
Prince of Parthia was written by Thomas Godfrey and first published in 1765, which made it the first play to ever be written by an American. Since an American had never published a play before, there was no ideal image of what an American play should consist of. When the play was released, America was dealing with the Revolutionary war. His audience was the frightened yet determined American people. All Godfrey had to base his work off of was playwrights such as William Shakespeare. The play mimicked at a great deal of Shakespeare’s plays, by using virtually the same plots. The ghost scenes in Hamlet and Parthia are almost the same. In both plays the ghost are seen by the same person, the Queen. The only changes between the plays are some of the word choices that Godfrey used. In each of the plays the ghost can only be seen by one character, which makes the plots change indefinitely. The fact that both of the characters whom saw the ghost, were demented in their own way...


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... same; the men felt the mistreatment that they were incurring was fuel to their fire. Godfrey created a symbol of a sensationalized image of his audience’s qualms of domination and treachery.
As the next century dawned upon America, a new form of plays were introduced, satire or farce. Many playwrights such as Anna Cora Mowatt and Royall Tyler wrote the new forms of plays. The identity of an American play changed greatly with the release of Fashion by Mowatt. The play was first published in 1850. It takes place in New York City, New York the dynamic of the American people had changed greatly. People began to focus on the idea of “class” standards. In Fashion Elizabeth Tiffany is attempting to live above her means, because she wants to be like high class; she insists on using the French language, even though she cannot pronounce it properly.












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