Essay Title: The Trading and Keeping of Secrets: Family Dysfunction In Antigone, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and August: Osage County
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The Trading and Keeping of Secrets: Family Dysfunction In
Antigone, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and August: Osage County
In thinking about how theatrical performances contribute to the theme of family dysfunction, this paper will demonstrate how dysfunction within families is maintained through the keeping and trading of secrets. To advance this claim, I will use the ancient Greek tragedy Antigone by Sophocles, and two American plays, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, and August: Osage County.
Antigone is a classic Greek tragedy, part of the Theban Plays by Sophocles, Oedipus the King, and Oedipus at Colonus. It typifies the genre of tragedy and the theme of family is central to the plot. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was written by Tennessee Williams and first performed on stage in 1955. The play is ostensibly the day in the life of a Southern family, and its main theme is family dysfunction told through the genre of drama. August: Osage County was first performed in 2007 by Tracy Letts and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2008; it too showcases the dysfunction of a family, but in a dramatic comedy genre. First, there is the tragic secret played out in Antigone. Second, there is the power play of secrets revealed in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and finally, third, in August: Osage County there is the isolating effect of secrets. Taken together these three plays offer similarities in their observation on family secrets, but they differ in concluding the outcome of secrets and its effects on family life....
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