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Play Setting

The setting of the play includes specific information about the environment in which the action takes place, what has happened before the play begins, and the attitudes of characters toward the world of the play. When researching the play setting, look for information about:

  • Economic Environment: class, wealth, and poverty
  • Political Environment: relationship of the characters to the form of government they live under
  • Social Environment: values and social institutions under which the characters live
  • Cultural Environment: arts, architecture, sports, fashion, and popular culture
  • Historical Environment: contemporary or historical events 

Selected Books about Pop Culture and Daily Life

Try a keyword search in the Library Catalog, using terms such as social conditions, social life, customs, or daily life. Combine one of these terms with words describing the geographic and/or historical setting of the play. Example for Vaclav Havel's Temptation: Czechoslovakia AND Cold War AND Social Conditions.

Selected Historical Newspaper Databases

Consult the Newspapers Research Guide for a comprehensive list of historical newspaper databases.

Timelines, Chronologies and Landmark Events

Music and Popular Culture

World Culture and History