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What are examples of modern drama?  

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wordprof eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I disagree with the definition of "modern drama" being plays written in the 19th and 20th centuries as being too broad.

While the word "modern" implies current art work, the term "modern drama" is frozen into the historical dramatic movement away from Victorian drama, with its exaggerated and non-realistic characters, to the realistic depictions of psychological, genuine characters depicted in realistic settings. 

Ibsen's A Doll's House is often considered the first "modern drama" (see The idea of the modern in literature and the arts, New York, Horizon Press, 1967) and Chekhov's plays are always held up as models of "Modern Drama." Post-modernism began after WW I, so "Modern Drama" flourished between 1800 and 1914.

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Modern Drama refers to plays written in the 19th and 20th centuries whereas contemporary drama refers to plays written today. Modern dramatists include such playwrights as Tennessee Williams, Oscar Wilde, and Henrik Ibsen. Here are a few quintessential examples of modern drama:

A DOLL'S HOUSE by Henrik Ibsen
One of the best-known modern plays is A Doll's House. In a rich, naturalistic style, Ibsen examined the struggle against the unyielding constraints of social conformity, particularly as they are applied to women in their marriages. Nora, the protagonist, ultimately rejects the marriage that would smother her, something that genuinely shocked audiences around the world when the play first premiered in the late 1800s.

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE by Tennessee Williams
This much-beloved play tells the story of faded beauty Blanche DuBois and her enticing, if primitive, brother in law Stanley Kowalski. The play took home the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and is widely regarded to be just as powerful today as it was when it first premiered over half a century ago.

This hilarious restoration comedy tells the story of philanderer Algernon and his friend Jack who is caught up in Algernon's web of lies -- as well as his own -- as he proceeds to woo the beautiful Gwendolyn. This is the perfect example of the well-made play, and is constantly revived.

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