© 1990

Tom Stoppard

The Moral Vision of the Major Plays


About this book


Every four or five years Britain's most prominent dramatist pulls out all the stops and writes a major stage play of his own. Between plays, Stoppard the craftsman does translations, screenplays, light entertainments, and work for hire. Delaney's book is the first to focus on the major plays. Spanning Stoppard's career from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1967) to Hapgood (1988), this study shows the figure which Stoppard from the first has been weaving in his theatrical tapestry. That there is development in Stoppard is clear but - as Delaney demonstrates - the development is from moral affirmation to moral application, from the assertion of moral principles to the enactment of moral practice. Such development from precept to praxis demonstrates organic growth rather than radical metamorphosis. Using Stoppard's words in a number of little-known interviews as a starting-point, Delaney shows how the major plays bear out Stoppard's contention that he 'tries to be consistent about morality'. The volume contains the most extensive bibliography and discography of Stoppard interviews (over 200 including print and broadcast sources) ever compiled.


drama dramatist Great Britain Hamlet Macbeth Tom Stoppard

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Westmont CollegeSanta BarbaraUSA

Bibliographic information


'...readers may find themselves swept away...' - American Theatre

'Erudite, thoroughly researched and vigorously written, it demands a reader's undivided concentration, rewarding it generously.' - Markland Taylor, Variety