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The 6 Greatest Playwrights of all Time

Posted by Suzanne Baker on
The 6 Greatest Playwrights of all Time

There’s no underestimating the benefit of a trip to the live theater. It has its own way of increasing your literary knowledge, empathy and psychological insight. Modern studies suggest that going to live theater is in fact much better than watching movies. Playwrights are the brains behind those brilliant theater acts. In all time, and in all places in the world, here are the 6 greatest playwrights who ever lived:

1.      William Shakespeare

If you don’t know who William Shakespeare was, then you must have been living under a rock. Shakespeare comes across the board as the linguistic equal of Sophocles. He has been unsurpassed in his trade. Shakespeare’s genius, metaphors and other contributions to the literary scene have always been used to measure poetic genius. His plays, dialog and well-developed characters are appealing in all ways, not to forget the intriguing theme that he so cleverly used to portray characters who stick to the mind. There’s no disputing the fact that Shakespeare is one of the greatest literary minds that ever lived.

2.      Henrik Ibsen

The 19th Century Norwegian playwright, poet and theater director, Henrik Johan Ibsen, is often referred to as ‘the father of realism’. He’s is popularly placed among the founders of theater modernism. Some of his major works include A Doll’s House, An Enemy of the People, Brand, The Wild Duck, and The Master Builder among many others. After Shakespeare, Henrik is the world’s most performed dramatist. His play, A Doll’s House, was the most popular play by number of performances as early as the 20th century. In European History, Ibsen is seen as one of the most prominent playwrights.

3.      Samuel Beckett

Irishman Samuel Barclay Beckett was a celebrated playwright, novelist, poet and theatre director who resided in Paris, and died in 1989. He’s written extensively in both French and English, and is regarded amongst the most authoritative writers from the 20th century. Beckett’s life’s work scopes black comedy, gallows humor, and a look at human existence. He is ranked amongst the most modernist writers ever, is the Nobel Prize winner in Literature, 1969.

4.      Arthur Miller

A distinguished American playwright and essayist, Arthur Asher Miller’s most popular plays include Death of a Salesman, All My Sons, A View from the Bridge and The Crucible. Death of a Salesman has been listed amongst the greatest American plays of the 20th century. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and married the historic American model and popular culture icon, Marilyn Monroe.

5.      Kalidasa

Although much of his life is unknown, Kalidasa easily gets away with the title ‘greatest dramatist and poet in the Sanskrit language’. His drama and poetry are majorly based on Hindu Puranas. He most likely lived and wrote during the 5th Century AD.

6.      Jean Racine

One of the three greatest playwrights of the 17th century, Jean Racine was a Frenchman and legendary figure of western tradition. His work includes ‘Phedre’, ‘Les Plaideurs’, and ‘Andromaque’. Racine’s plays are exhibit a mind of purity, speed, elegance and fury. Many distinguished poets have unsuccessfully tried to translate his work to other languages, although most of Racine’s poetry is considered untranslatable.