Slave Ship Essay

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In the following essay, Brown argues that the strength of the play lies in the "audio-visual impact of its materials."

Slave Ship, (1967), "a historical pageant," is one of Baraka's more successful experiments in ritual drama. The plot is minimal. It consists of images, dances, and pantomime together with sporadic dialogue; all is designed to dramatize the physical and psychic experiences of slavery from the holds of the slave ships to contemporary American society. The play's real strength lies in the audiovisual impact of its materials. Much of the action takes place in darkness or half-light. This suggests the hold of a slave ship, and the relative lack of lighting accentuates the variety of sounds upon which Baraka builds his themes and his dramatic effect—African drums, humming of the slaves, cries of children and their mothers, shouts of slave drivers, and cracking sounds of the slaver master's...

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This section contains 552 words
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Buy the Slave Ship Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Slave Ship from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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