Oleanna Response

Topics: David Mamet, Oleanna, Professor Pages: 2 (704 words) Published: February 26, 2014

Oleanna Response Paper
Drama is a very popular branch of theatre that has roots as deep as the ancestry of theatre itself and has produced many great authors such as Sophocles, William Shakespeare, and David Mamet who have contributed generously to the growing popularity of drama. Mamet, the winner of two Pulitzer Awards and writer of many successful plays wrote Oleanna, an extremely controversial play for its exploitation of sexual harassment and abuse. Instead of writing any old romantic turn sexual harassment piece, which included a man usually beating his wife (a popular case constantly showing up in the news as well as the theatre at this time), Mamet chose to centralize sexual harassment and brutality within the relationship of a college professor and one of his female students which is scandalous to say the least. Though the piece starts off giving the insight of how relatively nice and forward John (college professor) is and how he enjoys the power he has as a college professor, his tense natural ability to become severely angry once becoming naive in such a pressing situation (he being accused of rape by Carol (student)) is his supreme downfall.

John shows his sincerity by revealing a personal story of he hating himself and thinking he was stupid at one time in the play. He did this to hopefully create a more comfortable opening for Carol to be warmed up to by telling an identical story to what she told him was the reason as to why she couldn't comprehend in his class.

John, at this point, has already broken the communication barrier between he and Carol which ends up revealing more of how vulnerable to manipulation he is which then leads him closer to his demise. Throughout the play John expresses his power more and more through different actions such as his use for intellectual words which his purpose for using is to belittle the audience into thinking he is superior to them because of his stemming education. This exercise of power leads to...
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