Top Ten Best Playwrights of All Time
The G.O.A.T. without a doubt. If you disagree, just name some Beckett trained actors, or some Ibsen or Miller trained actors. I'll name off a ton of Shakespearean trained actors.
Sad so many think Shakespeare is boring. There has been no other playwright who so understood man's strengths and weaknesses. And his command of the English language! I was recently at a performance of the Scottish play, I was laughing at one part and no one else got the humor (which was pure word-play). He was really good at comic relief to break the tension in an intense drama, and then building up the dramam again.
All his plays grasp the human spirit in many ways, and his characters are so memorable that many of us think of them as real people or archetypes of people. Directors of his plays have interpreted them in various ways, and actors have played the characters in various ways. The pleasures and enlightenments he gives us are endless and flexible and adaptable to any age and point of view.
He possessed a diverse understanding of people or a clear, realistic perspective of a cross-range of society. His expression when writing from these individual perspectives is so fresh that the audience begins to draw out characteristics they too see in people, this anthropological representation is still vivid over 400 years later. A TITAN OF THE OF THE PEN!
His philosophical insights are simplistic, but he deserves credit for creating a vivid, cartoonlike dramatization of intellectual despair.
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.
Beckett, the analyzer, displayed a mastery of the human condition outmatched only by Tolstoy and Shakespeare.
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, the father of modern drama. Creator of "A Doll's House", "An Enemy of the People", "The Wild Duck". Who influenced Anton Chekhov, George Bernard Shaw, August Strindberg deserves a higher position on this list.
Why does August Strindberg is not on this list
It is outrageous that a vicious old charlatan like Henrik should have achieved such hallowed status. His effigy should be burnt in public squares throughout the civilized world.
Ibsen's works are the second most played in the world, only second to Shakespear. To this day, philosophers and writers study his works for their deep, exsistensial characters and are considered the best interpetation of Kirkegaardian philosophy. How is he not higher on the list?
"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 obligations
One of the rarest Dramatist ever. We still couldn't be able to write down a play like him.
The very best
This man doesn't deserve to be on this position. no one has ever been able to write a play like king Oedipus.Antigone is also one of the best.in my opinion
He wrote under a pseudonym to avoid retribution from his critics.
Moliere is far the best ever
He created tragedy and in one of few whose work has lasted over thousands of years.
'The reek of human blood smiles out at me. '
Since he is Italian, not many people consider him and his deeply innovative and revolutionary ideology. If read and understood with critical attitude, he turns out to be a genius. Only Aeschylus, Sophocles, Shakespeare and probably Ibsen could beat him.
Ah yes...Italians are always overlooked. just ask Leonardo da Vinci.
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.
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.
It's so much good! Also, There are many plays and good things about it and acting character insight also directing and theme flow plot subtext and beauty.
All My Sons, one undereconized but will always be poignant as long as there is war
Chekhov's humor is gentle and sophisticated, his writings juxtaposed with hints and subtext. I cannot believe he is not at the top of this list (well, maybe second to Shakespeare...)
Yes, must be within top ten very easily. A theatrical equivalent of Rembrandt, painted human life in darker tones unimaginably well.
Number two behind Will. No question. Ability to use the stage, as well as to create dramas, and consummate irony.
Not sure how you can be a master of 'unending hopes' but he was certainly a great playwright.
This writes is especially a brilliant drama literature with the mental of a true genius.
He is the worthy play write inspiring many young play writers of that time
I have always revered his work apart from the comedies.
He is a better playwright than Shakespeare.
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".
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.
This man is the greatest prose lesson topic included that he was the story teller and writer the lesson the model millionaire.
If there weren't his witty and humorous stage plays, the world theatre would be poor and boring.
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.
Y isn't he first?! Shakespeare is so boring!
A verbal 'gastronomer' with a vital heartbeat,
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 realism in his plays is fantastic. A genuine talent.
The poet playwright. One of the greats.
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.
More human beings have seen Neil Simon plays than ANY other playwright in history!
That's #1, numero uno, the Top Dude; even though Shakespeare had a 500 year head start and, certainly, has always been produced and popular. Still, Simon is tops. Live with it!
Looked down upon by hi-brows but a master of his craft.
Great humour and a wry tolerance of human frailty.
Neil Simon is THE MAN.
The early plays are already classics, especially 'The Caretaker' and 'The Homecoming'. Certainly among the greatest plays of the 20th century.
Giant of British playwrights. A unique talent.
In a class of his own. Comparisons are futile.
One of a kind.
Horton discovered England, rescued his village from a pack of rogue bears, and lived to be 152. He died on September, 30. Unknown year.
Of course. Yes. Very convincing. Didn't he also hatch an egg?
This Englishman is genius of literary novelists - and even writing the plays!
This is and indication of playing favorites and the sign of the times that I am living in. O'Neill wrote good plays, great plays, and bad plays. But his life work is his life. Reminder that a play doesn't solve all of your problems is something that will make him my creative inspiration and he will be number one on my list.
Perhaps the greatest American playwright. Wrote some of the most intense dramas of the 20th century.
How anyone could not have Eugene O'Neil in the top five is laughable...
Why is O'Neill not in the top five? How odd.
Better than all the rest!
One of the best, indeed.
He only wrote a few plays but those inspired many of Shakespeare's plays, without him we might not have the Shakespeare with know today.
'Hurly Burly' is outstanding. A real tour de force.
Cartoonist and playwright. Interesting combination.
Still relevant after all these years. God bless you, Jules!