Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Suzan-Lori Parks's Topdog/Underdog. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Topdog/Underdog: Plot Summary
Topdog/Underdog: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Topdog/Underdog: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Suzan-Lori Parks
Historical Context of Topdog/Underdog
Other Books Related to Topdog/Underdog
- Full Title: Topdog/Underdog
- When Published: The play premiered on July 26, 2001
- Literary Period: Contemporary Theater
- Genre: Contemporary Theater
- Setting: Booth’s New York City apartment
- Climax: Booth shoots Lincoln after Lincoln cons him out of his inheritance money
- Antagonist: Although for all intents and purposes Booth is the antagonist, he has a number of redeeming qualities, and both brothers ultimately wrong one another. The difference, though, is that Booth harms Lincoln irreparably by shooting him in the neck.
Extra Credit for Topdog/Underdog
Fateful Typo. Suzan-Lori Parks’s first name is supposed to be spelled with an “s” instead of the “z,” but an advertisement for one of her first plays accidentally wrote her name using the “z.” Rather than trying to correct this, she decided to embrace the new spelling.
Star-Studded Cast. When Topdog/Underdog first opened, Booth was played by Don Cheadle (known for his roles in Hotel Rwanda, Ocean’s 12, and Crash, among many other films) and Lincoln was played by Jeffrey Wright (of Westworld and The Hunger Games). When the play ran on Broadway, the rapper and actor Mos Def replaced Cheadle as Booth.