Topdog/Underdog Essay

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Remy is a freelance writer in Warrington, Florida. In this essay, Remy considers the ways in which Parks's use of historical references and figures belies a more compelling sense of personal history within the play.

Topdog/Underdog is a play rich in historical overtones, yet these should not be confused with events that shaped the course of American social and political development during the years after the Civil War. Although the Lincoln assassination exerts a pervading influence on how the audience reacts to developments within Topdog/Underdog, the assassination itself is nothing more than an augury of the play's ending. Historical fact serves as a backdrop for theater—nothing more—and the events that occur onstage result from a knowledge of family history that is repressed rather than acknowledged openly. Therefore, the historical figures of Lincoln and Booth should not be identified too strongly with the brothers...

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This section contains 1,370 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Topdog/Underdog Study Guide
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