The Petrified Forest Criticism

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The Petrified Forest is generally considered to be the start of Robert Sherwood's most prolific period as a playwright, during which he won three Pulitzer Prizes for drama within five years. Even when The Petrified Forest was first produced, it was recognized as a sign of a major literary career. Brian Doherty, writing in the magazine Canadian Forum, noted that this play and the one Sherwood wrote before it, Reunion in Vienna, "definitely establish Sherwood's right to be ranked as one of the leading American dramatists." Many critics found the play to be technically complex and intellectually challenging in its structure. One was John Howard Lawson, who used it as an example in his 1936 essay, "The Technique of the Modern Play." Lawson observed how Sherwood's approach to his material was "as static as the point of view of the hero," identifying only one real action in the entire...

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This section contains 621 words
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The Petrified Forest from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.