Prince Of Parthia, By Thomas Godfrey

927 words - 4 pages

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 ways, adds a great deal of interest to the plot and the characters.
The play followed the traditional structure of playwriting by having five acts. It also has a substantial deficiency of action, compared to modern tragedies. Plot development lacked in some areas. The characters in play do more talking, than action to solve their problems; which was common for classical tragedies. The play had only two plot lines, which does not make for good theatre. The entire play happened within one day, which was a common staple of Classical plays. The events that occurred in the play are so drastic and vindictive, that it would normally take time to occur. In reality that much action should occur over a week or maybe even a month’s time span. The anger that Queen Thermusa exudes towards her son’s death and her husband’s lust for another woman, is remarkably believable. But it lacks a sense of truth, because most people would take time to plot revenge, in order to ensure the proper...

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