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War Plays: Military and Soldiers

The Persians by Aeschylus

King Xerxes of Persia is away leading the war effort against the Greeks. Atossa, the Queen Mother, waits for news of the battle. A messenger eventually arrives with a report on the Battle of Salamis.

This play can be read in the preview of The Greek Plays: Sixteen Plays by . . . (27% in)

Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus

The ruler of Thebes, Eteocles, calls every able bodied male to prepare for battle. Seven forces are ready to attack the seven gates of Thebes. Eteocles learns that his own brother, Polyneices, will command the attack on the seventh gate. There’s much fear in the city.

A Soldier’s Play by Charles H. Fuller (2 Acts)

A drunken Sergeant Waters, a black man, is killed by an anonymous shooter. A black investigator, Davenport, arrives to interview the men. He is warned that his authority won’t be respected.

Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance by John Arden

Serjeant Musgrave, along with three British soldiers, heads for a pub in a small mining town. They want to recruit more soldiers, as they’re going to get involved in the coal strike at the mine. Musgrave also inquires about a young soldier who was killed, Billy Hicks.

Bury the Dead by Irwin Shaw (1 Act)

During an unidentified war, soldiers dig a collective grave for their fallen comrades. The dead stand up, refusing to be buried. Many people try to convince them to change their minds—religious figures, superior officers and family.

Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw (3 Acts)

It’s November 1885, the time of the Serbo-Bulgarian War. Raina, a young Bulgarian woman, gets news that her fiancé is the hero of a battle. With fighting nearby, Raina and her mother secure the house. Despite this, a Serbian officer manages to get in through the shutters. Raina hides him and covers when soldiers question her.

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