Love Portrayal in Modern Drama

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Henrik Ibsen is considered to be the father of modern drama. His objectives were to "see accurately and recreate poetically the world and its people, beliefs, ideas, conflicts, and correspondences" (Mergentha). The essence of modern drama is to remake, or mirror the society in which the authors lived in. However, at times, these realistic concepts are introduced in an environment that is completely absurd and surreal. It can be explained as the author trying to gear our attention on the plot or the characters rather than the environment. Through this subjective description, various concepts and values were denounced that either favored or criticized the particular society and its customs. In drama the author tries to establish a relationship with the audience and conveys a message through various techniques; such as: irony, symbolisms, characterization, etc. In everyday life, love is the main aspect that helps us survive. Love is everywhere, from the day we are born, love is offered from parents to the day we pass away, love will always be present. Modern drama has a particular way to discuss, analyze and criticize love as it was in those times. The present paper will attempt to compare and contrast the portrayals of love in Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen, Happy Days by Samuel Beckett, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, and Candida by George Bernard Shaw. We will observe whether love is always portrayed the same way, through study of the plays.

In the past, drama associated love with innocence and purity. For instance in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, love was eternal, true and irreversible. However, in modern drama, love seems to be approached with a pessimistic view. There is a lack of belief in eternal love or in true love. There is absolutely no romanticism. One can question if love really exists. Is love confused with sexual attraction or infatuation? What exactly is love? Love is very difficult to define as it is not a solid concrete matter. It will always...
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