Maxwell Anderson Writing Styles in Winterset

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One of the best-known aspects of Winterset is the fact that it is a verse drama, written in poetic lines whose meter and length determine the visual and auditory rhythm of the text. T. S. Eliot was one of the most important early-twentieth-century advocates of verse drama, which he considered the highest form that a play could take. But few playwrights even attempted it and fewer still have met with any success. Anderson taught William Shakespeare's verse dramas, and had a long-standing interest in poetry. It was only with this experience, and after many previous attempts, that Anderson was able to write such effective and successful dramatic poetry.

Ambitious and sophisticated in its style, Winterset often uses "blank verse," or unrhymed lines in iambic pentameter, which is a meter of five two-syllable units that was also used by Shakespeare. But Anderson varies the verse greatly throughout the...

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This section contains 510 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Winterset Study Guide
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Winterset from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.