By Jenna Tensor
Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King by Sophocles, 429 BC: Follows the story of Oedipus, the king of Thebes, who receives confusing advice from an oracle that leads to him accidentally killing his father, and unknowingly sleeping with his mother. As far as father-son dramas go, this one ends badly.
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or Hamlet by William Shakespeare,
1609: Shakespeare’s longest play, and one of the most inﬂuential works of literature to ever have been written. The play sparked many adaptations, such as Disney’s The Lion King, and the proliﬁc Star Wars franchise. This one takes the cake, considering Hamlet’s dad is already dead when they ﬁnally decide to start working out their issues.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, 1949: This play ran for 742 performances after its initial Broadway premiere, and has since been revived on Broadway four times. Considered one of the best plays of the 20th century, the drama tells the story of an unhappy salesman who struggles to express his worry that his sons’ lives will become as meaningless as his own.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, 1955: Won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama the year of its release, and follows the story of Big Daddy Pollitt, a wealthy cotton tycoon in the Mississippi Delta. Big Daddy is dying of cancer, and everyone knows except him. If ever there’s been a family on the brink of destruction, it’s this one.
Fences by August Wilson, 1983: This play won both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play the year of its release. Fences is set in the 1950’s and follows the story of Troy, a 53 year-old African American who struggles to provide for his family. This play has it all—baseball, accidental murder, and father-son conﬂict.