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The purpose of this paper is to explore what can broadly be described as the "American cultural narrative" by investigating and analyzing a particular element of American culture, the tragic

The purpose of this paper is to explore what can broadly be described as the "American cultural narrative" by investigating and analyzing a particular element of American culture, the tragic play. In this paper, fifth-century Athenian and twentieth-century American tragedies are placed side by side, investigated, and analyzed with the hope of discovering aspects of the genre that are unique to American playwrights and might teach us something about the way in which we, as Americans, are separated culturally from others.

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