In this stimulating survey of the entire field of modern English verse drama, William Butler Yeats and T.S. Eliot are regarded as the key figures. Shorter studies are included of Christopher Fry, E.E. Cummings, W.H. Auden, Archibald MacLeish, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, and Richard Eberhart.
Differing from some contemporary critics, Mr. Donoghue believes that verse drama is a major creative art-form of our literature, with a vigorous present and promise of a vital future. In a persuasive and perceptive exposition of this belief, he considers such questions as the nature of dramatic verse, the mood play, the relation between dramatic verse and the behavior of speech, the necessity of distinguishing between "verse drama" and “poetic drama” or “theatre poetry.”
Originally published in 1963.
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