Looking back into history and get glimpses into the thoughts and works of some of the famous playwrights, one cannot fail to realize that they characterized tragic emotions, while also bringing witty humor to the audience. In that light, here is a list of top 10 greatest plays of all times.
The Humans by Stephen Karam (2014)
The Humans was voted in the finals during Pulitzer 2016. It also won the Best Play title in the Tony awards. This is a family drama with a lot of generational division. The actors wear their characters with such comfort, none of them puts a foot wrong in portraying the fears and tragedies of life.
The Birthday party by Harold Pinter (1957)
This play is sixty-five years young. The characters seem to start with contradictions: absolutely nothing adds up, and then, having puzzled your mind at long last it is all evidence that Pinter did it awesomely.
Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen (1882)
The play is based on guilt and fate. Oswald: a painter in Paris comes back home after decades of living overseas. He is sick and needs care, his mother is ready to do so, and she tells him stories about his father, Captain Alving, a legend of his town.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Hamlet is Shakespeare’s longest play. Prince Hamlet is visited by his father’s ghost, telling him to avenge his death. He plans a play for his Uncle Claudius, who executed the king. It’s disastrous, thrilling, and with very memorable quotes.
The Government Inspector by Nikolai Gogol (1836)
Gogol wrote crazy stories that were portrayed in the madness of their content. His play is ruthlessly plotted. The characters are equally unsympathetic. The inspector deceives but is no less than the sycophants.
Look Back in Anger by John Osborne (1956)
Osborne’s personal life inspires the play. The failed marriage with his wife Pamela brings about his first successful piece as a playwright. The play was welcomed well and credited to have lifted Osborne from an upcoming playwright to a riches and gaining fame worldwide. The play won the Evening Standard Drama Award as the most spectacular theatre performance of 1956.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
When Manny found that Miller was in trouble, he was quick to change the facts. This allows us to witness Miller’s tragedy and his heartbreaking downfall. Additionally, it allows us to go inside his crazed head to seemingly feel his pain.
Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe (1592)
Doctor Faustus transformed drama forever, by blending moral plays with fashionably superb language. Marlowe, reveals Doctor Faustus’s intellectual ambitions as pointless, absurd and self-destructive. The message is not clear at the end though: should you avoid selling your soul, or is it a little stylish?
Enron by Lucy Prebble (2009)
The play is based on a true story and the criminal activities which led to the downfall of “Enron collapse”. Prebble investigates the high corporate stakes in America. This leaves us with the feeling that, the lessons of this vast collapse have still to be learned despite people losing their jobs.
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Raisin addresses people of all races, gender and different walks of life. The theme cuts across the chronological and ethnic division. Hansberry made history as the first black woman to have a play produced on Broadway.