The Theme Of Racial Prejudice In WICKED

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Racial Prejudice in WICKED: How is the theme of racial prejudice explored in Act One of the musical WICKED?

The musical Wicked: The Untold Stories of the Witches of Oz was first performed on 10th June 2003 in New York City on Broadway. It was adapted, by Winnie Holzman and Steven Schwartz, from the 1995 book by Gregory Maguire (WICKED: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West), and follows the story of Elphaba a green-skinned girl who eventually becomes better known as the Wicked Witch of the West. The plot runs from before the start of the Wizard of Oz and then proceeds alongside it, finishing with the supposed death of the Wicked Witch. It re-tells Elphaba’s story and shows how her differences rendered her a scapegoat, allowing the government of Oz to turn the population against her when she hadn’t really done anything wrong. Elphaba’s differences and the people’s reaction to her are obvious symbols of racial prejudice. This is again seen through Doctor Dillamond, an Goat and professor of History at the university, who tells that the Animals in Oz are losing their rights and their powers of speech. This essay will explore racial prejudice in the musical WICKED, analysing the songs and scenes where Doctor Dillamond and Elphaba interact with the other characters in the production to show how the theme is conveyed.

The musical opens with the song “No-one Mourns the Wicked” which announces the death of the Wicked Witch of the West, and the population’s joy at her

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