In this penetrating study Andrew Kennedy sets out to analyse the modern movement in drama through the theatrical language of six key figures writing in English - Shaw, Eliot, Beckett, Pinter, Osborne and Arden. Dr Kennedy argues that a study of theatrical language should be an exercise in 'practical criticism' and not merely narrowly linguistic. The whole range of theatrical expressiveness must be examined in detail from play text and performance alike and the conclusions correlated with the author's known intentions if a full evaluative judgement is to be attempted. Dr Kennedy shows how the modern movement in drama reveals a growing difficulty in creating any type of fully expressive dramatic language. He has written a work with an unusual breadth of reference, which should prove of value to all students of modern drama, modern English and European literature and to the theatre-going public.