Dylan Thomas Drama Analysis
Although Dylan Thomas wrote only a single work for the theater, its originality, importance, and influence are far-reaching. Under Milk Wood is distinguished by the density, sonority, and expressiveness of its language. Although it does not achieve the full Shakespearean synthesis of poetry and drama, the play has restored one aspect of that synthesis—the expressive potential of the human voice—to its former prominence.
Under Milk Wood
Under Milk Wood was not the product of a career that developed in the theater; rather, it developed from a poet’s experience with radio drama. Indeed, one of the most pertinent questions to be asked about Under Milk Wood is whether it is really a play at all. Is it, in fact, a radio script (or exotic poem) that has been railroaded by enthusiasts into the dramatic repertory? One must answer emphatically that Under Milk Wood is a play, written with a deliberateness and a consciousness of different genres and alternate modes of expression of which few readers are aware. Like many works at the frontier of a medium of expression, it is a synthesis. It had a long and complicated evolution in the author’s mind over the course of a decade, ending as “a play for voices” performed by professional actors.
At the time the play was first performed—only a few months before Thomas’s death—he was turning away from the more strictly personal, lyric poetry...
(The entire section is 3582 words.)
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