Top Ten Best Playwrights
The Top Ten
Shakespeare: Linguistically the equal and possibly superior of Sophocles; and dramatically as well as linguistically unsurpassed since. His metaphors, always the gauge of poetic genius, are both more frequent and crucially more apposite than any other writer's. It's the appropriate sue of these, their rightness, as well as their imaginative force, that makes him the supreme dramatic writer, but also writer per se of the western canon, should we go that far.
Encompassed a greater range and invented a register of feeling that broke convention in both naturalism and psychological force. And in timing, especially comic timing, he's equally unsurpassed - even Beckett owes him a huge debt.
There are other great dramatic writers with poetic or great language, most notably Ibsen (perhaps the greatest after Shakespeare), Chekhov, the trilogy of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and for comedy obviously Aristophanes; and then in some rough descending order (apologies for this late ...more
Shakespeare's plays are appealing on all levels. They have clever dialogue, well developed characters, and intriguing themes. They aren't clear cut. The first time you see Julius Caesar, you may sympathize with Brutus. The next, Cassius. The next, Marc Antony.
Not boring, just brilliant. Any top performance of Midsummer Nights Dream is funny and clever.
Let's face it, folks: It couldn't be anyone else.V 39 Comments
Beckett, the analyzer, displayed a mastery of the human condition outmatched only by Tolstoy and Shakespeare.
The heir to Joyce and one of very few writers to master both the dramatic and epic forms - a nonpareil playwright and novelist.
Never tire of his offbeat wit. I could read and watch his plays over and over and come away with a different feeling every time.
Many have wondered whether he was the full quid.V 4 Comments
There's a great bias against Ibsen in the U.S. , where he is known primarily for A Doll House and Hedda Gabler, with his many other fine plays (Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, The Master Builder, etc. ) mostly forgotten. Globally, however, he is one of the most respected--and produced--playwrights. By their own admissions, Arthur Miller and George Bernard Shaw would have been nobodys had it not been for Ibsen.
Henrik Ibsen, should be a lot higher than he is! A Dolls House is a genius piece of work. Shakespeare first, then Ibsen straight after, he pioneered modern Drama!
Shakespeare is obvious, but Ibsen should be second!
Henrik Ibsen - the greatest Norwegian there ever was.V 12 Comments
The Crucible is an absolutely brilliant work. All of Arthur Miller's plays are. I have not read a playwright that I appreciate the way I appreciate him. Even Shakespeare, who I do passionately love, has not affected me the way Miller has.
In all my years of high school education (currently a Junior), Arthur Miller has been an excellent choice for projects in my AP American Lit class. His books flow like Nutella, unlike the banal, monotone literature received from more "elevated" and "scholarly" playwrights such as Shakespeare.
All My Sons, one undereconized but will always be poignant as long as there is war
A born writer from Brooklyn.V 2 Comments
Known by contemporaries as 'the Clean Racine'.
Truly the greatest neo-classical writer. His myth-inspired plays ally great sparseness and economy of form with purity and simple elegance of language in wrenching tragedies inspired by the tremendous passions of heroes and gods. His greatest plays, Athalie, Phèdre, Iphigénie, Andromaque, Bérénice, all portraits of major female figures of Greek and Hebraic legend, showcase vibrant energy and magnificently contained emotion.V 2 Comments
He is a better playwright than Shakespeare.
He is the worthy play write inspiring many young play writers of that time
This writes is especially a brilliant drama literature with the mental of a true genius.
One of the finest gem in world of LiteratureV 4 Comments
Dialogue like a crisply ironed white shirt.
His ways with word are deeply appealing especially in the witty mode. this international class of its own.
One of the rarest Dramatist ever. We still couldn't be able to write down a play like him.
There is something out of whack with this exchange.
"Antigone", greatest of all plays not written by Shakespeare. As relevant today as it was then. How far can the State go in over riding family and religious obligationsV 3 Comments
If there weren't his witty and humorous stage plays, the world theatre would be poor and boring.
This man is the greatest prose lesson topic included that he was the story teller and writer the lesson the model millionaire.
I didn't even care about playwrighting until I read "VERA". I was enchanted with the way Oscar Wilde wrote it! Of course, I afterwards kept reading his plays. Amazing, insightful, witty and undoubtly, one of the best.
Definitely a great prose writer and had a good knowledge in literature, but this man wrote bundles that's it, there is no meaning in his work, and his ideologies are full of crap.
"To live is the rarest thing in the world most people exits that is all"
Maybe he took his own quote too seriously, he cheated on his wife as a result, and gave his sons a childhood where they saw their mother crying every day.
He wrote too much rubbish just to defend his act, he was a copy cat, and faced too much critisism in his early career.
Most of his quotes make no sense to me, he was more like a "talker".
This Englishman is genius of literary novelists - and even writing the plays!
As novelist perhaps - as a playwright he ranks well below Pinter.V 1 Comment
Giant of British playwrights. A unique talent.
The early plays are already classics, especially 'The Caretaker' and 'The Homecoming'. Certainly among the greatest plays of the 20th century.
In a class of his own. Comparisons are futile.
A loony leftist with a deep hatred of America.V 3 Comments
He wrote under a pseudonym to avoid retribution from his critics.
Moliere is far the best ever
One of the true-blue, old-style 'word bottlers'.
These sound more like advertising slogans than meaningful comment.
Better than all the rest!
One of the best, indeed.
'The Far Side' is his greatest work.V 1 Comment
Not sure how you can be a master of 'unending hopes' but he was certainly a great playwright.
A theatrical titan. Ought to be in the top five.
Master of the unending hopes and fears of all Russians from then until now.
The second best master of theatre plays after ShakespeareV 4 Comments
Did obesity affect his later work?
Y isn't he first?! Shakespeare is so boring!V 1 Comment
Given that the majority of playwrights weren't born thousands of years ago, this is hardly surprising.
'The reek of human blood smiles out at me. '
He created tragedy and in one of few whose work has lasted over thousands of years.
Fugard is the second most performed playwright in history because his stories are relevant and serve to push both political and human narratives.
His plays have a particular pertinence wherever race is an issue.
He is the best play wrigt of the contemporary world. He fought for the humanbeings. Ifwe read his playes of pre and post appartheid time we will surely understand it. P a m rasheed
Nothing moves me like the plays of Williams. Played by amateurs or professionals, they always seem to work unlike most other plays. The writing is exquisite and the drama, compelling!
Yesterday I watched 'The glass Menagerie' and that once more confirmed my view of Williams as a great dramatic poet.
The poet playwright. One of the greats.
Simply the best!V 5 Comments
Related ListsBest British Playwrights Best American Playwrights
List StatsUpdated 20 Aug 2017
9 years, 173 days old
3. William Shakespeare
3. Samuel Beckett
2. Arthur Miller
3. Noel Coward