Sergeant Musgrave's Dance Essay

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In the following essay, Forsas-Scott examines the conflict between the plot structure of the play and Musgrave's message.

Serjeant Musgrave's Dance is probably John Arden' s best-known play. It is also a play which has generated much critical argument, the focal point tending to be Black Jack Musgrave himself. Frequently, however, the Serjeant has been interpreted in conventional naturalistic terms, the reasons for his failure being traced to his outlook, his personality, and his mind. When John Russell Taylor asserted, in Anger and After, that "this is a play about individual, complicated human beings,..." he defined a view of Serjeant Musgrave's Dance which has continued to play an important part in the critical discussion.

The most notable divergent approach to the play and indeed to Arden's play-writing as a whole is that which has been advocated by Albert Hunt. Hunt sees Arden's work as belonging, not to the...

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This section contains 5,017 words
(approx. 13 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sergeant Musgrave's Dance Study Guide
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Sergeant Musgrave's Dance from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.