A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

A Raisin in the Sun book cover
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In comparing Lorraine Hansberry's writing in A Raisin in the Sun to Shakespeare's, are there any similarities?

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Comparing Lorraine Hansberry's writing to Shakespeare's for similarities is a difficult task. Critical components of Shakespeare's style are missing from Hansberry's. The opening lines of each show that characteristics of Shakespeare's family dramas (e.g., Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest) are entirely missing from A Raisin in the Sun. There is no Shakespearean word play. There is no irony. There is no comic result from the combination of these two devices. All in A Raisin in the Sun is realism--stark, cutting realism--with no comic irony to soften it. Contrast these examples:

GREGORY
    No, for then we should be colliers.
SAMPSON
    I mean, an we be in choler, we'll draw.
GREGORY
    Ay, while you live, draw your neck out o' the collar.
SAMPSON
    I strike quickly, being moved.
GREGORY
    But thou art not quickly moved to strike. (Romeo and Juliet, I.i)

*   *   *   

Boatswain
    ... Hence! What cares these roarers for the name of king? To cabin: silence! trouble us not.

GONZALO
    Good,...

(The entire section contains 575 words.)

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