• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Topdog Underdog

Extracts from this document...


Topdog/Underdog Susan Lori-Parks The Rep and Rev of Brechtian concepts Topdog/Underdog is a fated play in which all Americans instantly know the fate of the two main characters Booth and Lincoln; the emphasis becomes how Parks will go about portraying this death with African American characters. Parks' main tool is the "rest" taken from a jazz influence to portray a structure in which African Americans struggle against an inaudible force of oppression. This rest found every couple of lines never lets the characters gain any momentum going. Ironically, although their forward progress is broken up by this rest, they never truly get a rest from day to day struggles. ...read more.


Furthermore these wordless images of African American life cause the audience to notice their surrounding and better their understanding of what may not be able to be said through words. The emphasis on noticing the surroundings reminds me on performance artist John Cage's 4'33" in which a full orchestra takes the stage only to be directed for four minutes and 33 seconds of silence in which the audience's reactions constitute the piece. The idea of wordless imagery also borrows straight from the great African American improvisational trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie. As notes are spewed into existence the emphasis is on the spontaneity of the event. ...read more.


The rhythm of Topdog/Underdog also coincides with the modern hip-hop movement in which one of the most effective tools is to "drop the beat." While listeners are startled to hear the action of the music suddenly come to a halt, there is much more emphasis on the notes and lines following. Parks uses these rests to estrange but also draw emphasis to important lines following the "rest." Hip-hop has also become a stereotype of black culture, and the hip-hop rhythm of the piece also creates an environment in which the characters cannot escape the stereotypes of the world they are living in. As long as the stereotypical beat goes on, Booth and Lincoln are bound to be dead elements of a racist history. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Fine Art, Design Studies, Art History, Crafts section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Fine Art, Design Studies, Art History, Crafts essays

  1. The American Love Story through the Ages

    self-same movie, during their divorce proceedings, have a fight over who should keep the dog. While this may not seem like an immature behavior at first, under closer scrutiny it becomes apparent that it truly is. An adult in that time would not fight over who got to keep the

  2. What is Musical Romanticism?

    They felt the need for a drastic change in all these areas, since people were craving for more freedom to express themselves instead of having to stick to traditional rules imposed by religious and political leaders. The French Romantic writers for example were mainly concerned with the individual as well as the expression of emotions and imaginations.

  1. Better Day Coming; Blacks and inequality 1890 to 2000.

    terrorist attacks by deploying troops, forming state militia, suspending the writ of habeas corpus and prosecuting offenders. . In a move to legislate through the federal government and they allowed the Democrats to redeem the south. With the Democrats in power in the southern legislatures, the attempted to infringe on

  2. The use of Kabuki Elements in a Performance of Bertolt Brehts The Caucasian Chalk ...

    Honmizu: This technique refers to a number of different special effects involving water. Seri: Refers to the stage traps used to raise and lower actors or sets to the stage. This technique is often used for dramatic effect of having an entire scene rise up to appear onstage.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work