Abe Lincoln in Illinois Essay

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Kelly is an instructor of Creative Writing and Script Writing at two colleges in Illinois. In the following essay, he discusses the inherent limitations of writing biographical drama.

One of the most respected of all American historical biographies for the stage is Robert E. Sherwood's play Abe Lincoln in Illinois. It is a difficult piece to judge objectively, since it concerns a president who, more than most, is key to how Americans see themselves. Lincoln was a man of the people, a pioneer who came to be president without a law degree or much formal schooling at all. He was a compassionate man, willing to face up to a force as powerful as the Confederacy to end slavery. There are folktales about Lincoln, and there are many witticisms attributed to him, whether he said them or not.

Sherwood was right to realize the dramatic potential inherent in the...

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This section contains 2,106 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Abe Lincoln in Illinois Study Guide
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