World Drama Criticism



World Drama Criticism

World Drama Criticism



Menonim Menonimus


 Internet Edition by


World Drama Criticism (A collection of critical essays on dramas around the world) by Menonim Menonimus.

World Drama Criticism 

All Rights of the book ‘World Drama Criticism’ is Reserved with the Author

World Drama Criticism 

First Published: ………… 

Price: Rs. ……………… /- 

World Drama Criticism

D.T.P. by A. Shahriar 




The memory 


My grandfather,

Venerable Maiz-ud-din,

Who throughout his life

Remained a living image of simplicity and honesty.

–Menonim Menonimus 



1. Significance of Dream in W. Shakespeare’s Play, ‘ A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

2. Hamlet: A Characterisation

3. Claudius: A Characterisation

4. Renaissance Elements in Marlowe’s Play ‘Doctor Faustus’

5. Allegory and Symbolism in Marlowe’s Play ‘Doctor Faustus’

6. Dr Faustus as a Marlowvian Tragedy

7. Norman Mackinnel’s One Act Play ‘The Bishop’s Candlesticks’ –An Analytical Study

8. Samuel Beckett’s Play ‘Waiting For Godot As An Existential (Absurd) Play

9. Historical Background to T. S. Eliot’s Play ‘Murder in the Cathedral’

10. Bernard Shaw’s Play ‘Pygmalion’ As  A Social Critique

11. The Use of Symbolism in Osborne’s Play ‘Look Back in Anger’

12. The Theme of J. M. Synge’s Play’ The Playboy of the Western World’

13. Anton Chekhov’s One Act Play ‘A Marriage Proposal’–An Analytical Study





Significance of Dream in W. Shakespeare’s Play, ‘ A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

There is much play on ‘dream’ in the play entitled ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ written by W. Shakespeare. To begin with, we have ‘dream’ in the title. It is not just any dream that is mentioned here, but ‘a midsummer night’s dream’. The dream in the play has been interpreted by many critics in many ways. However, we can interpret its significance in the following ways:

First, midsummer was a festive time with many associated Pre-Christian ceremonies. One of those was a belief that if a young virgin spent a night in the forest she would have a vision of the man he would marry. Of course, it was a time when sexual games between young men and women occurred in the forest without any social censure. The title of the play would have led the audience to anticipate some such actions. The dramatist Shakespeare, in fact, has drawn the attention of his audience by saying:

”The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen

Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing

A local habitation and a name…”

Secondly, we have a reference to a dream in Act II, Scene II in which Hermia has dreamt a dream of being eaten away her heart by a serpent. He cries out awaking from sleep, as:

”Help me, Lysander, help me, do thy best

To pull this crawling serpent from my breast

………………………what a dream was here

Me thought a serpent eat my heart away.”

Hermia’s dream here may be interpreted in two ways: (i) in a male-dominated society, Hermia may be a victim of the sexual desire of men and (ii) it presages the separation between her and her lover Lysander.

Thirdly, the dream in the play may be interpreted from a psychoanalytical viewpoint also. Psycho-analysis is a mental therapy that investigates the interplay between the conscious and subconscious mind. According to Freudian psychoanalysis of dreams, it is argued that sometimes a wish that is frustrated in real life can be fulfilled by imaginary wish fulfillment. In this sense, even frightening nightmares are the fulfillment of such wishes in disguise. If this interpretation follows the work of Freud then the moonlight forest seems to be an obvious and fitting creative un-consciousness that acts as a dream through which the wishes of lovers get fulfilled.

Fourthly, the dramatist Shakespeare himself has given a solution to the fairy scene in the forest to be considered as a dream through which he has made the play possible in reality. To him the fairy scene is nothing, but a dramatic device through which the dream (wishes) of the pairs of lovers come true.

The fairy scene in the forest serves the best as a dream, as we see that Bottom becomes the victim of Puck and Titania. The fairy queen is in love with him because of the effect of love- juice. When the fairy scene ends, Bottom seems to be awakening, and then he admits that he has had a dream. He says: 

”I have had a dream,

…………………Man is but 

An ass, if he go about to expound his dream.”

At the end of the play, the playwright William Shakespeare makes Puck confess that all the happenings in the play are nothing but a dream. He says:

”…you but slumbered here

While these vision did appear

And this weak and idle theme

 No more but a dream.”

From the above illustration, we can come to the conclusion that the fairy scene of the play is nothing but a personified dream and the dream is the main interest of the play. Without the dream, the play is not a play. Hence the significance of dreams in the play is immense which makes the play ”A Midsummer Night’s Dream” a worthwhile play. 0 0 0

World Drama Criticism

Hamlet: A Characterisation

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is a great maestro of characterization. He has characterized Hamlet, the principal character of the play, by the same name with exceptionally great skill and success as the protagonist (hero/ leading character) along with the attributes of a philosopher, a critic, a lover, and a poet. Let us analyse Hamlet as depicted by the dramatist Shakespeare, with reference to the text of the play, as below:

First, Hamlet is portrayed as the protagonist (hero) of the play. But as a hero, he suffers from an alleged flaw that he is over speculative, scrupulous and bends towards moral consideration of his function in the play. His sole aim (target) is to avenge his father’s murderer king Claudius. He brings about his avenge upon Claudius, after much delay and mental sufferance. He, from the very beginning of his debut in the stage, seems to be meditative and indifferent to the worldly affairs. In his first soliloquy he utters:

”How, weary, stale, flat and unprofitable 

Seem to me all the uses of the world.”

Like all other tragic heroes of Shakespeare, Hamlet suffers from acute affliction and conflicts- both internal and external. His conflicts come to an end with the fulfillment of his avenge upon Claudius and his own death that follows his swan song:

”……….the rest is silence.”

Secondly, Hamlet is portrayed with the sharp attributes of a philosopher. His dialogues, especially his soliloquies, are full of meditative and philosophic comments on life. But his philosophy often bends towards the moral consideration of life-ways. His comments on human life are highly philosophic. He utters:

”………..what piece of work is a man:

How noble in reason,

How infinite in faculties,  

In form and moving how express and admirable

On action how like an angel,

In apprehension how like a god

The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals.”

Thirdly, Hamlet is characterized by the qualities of a great critic, especially a critic of women in general. But his criticism done on the nature of women is very harsh though not contrary to the truth. He uses the harshest comments on his own mother’s dealings. He comments that women are wicked, treacherous, and more lustful in nature which brings about their downfall from the status of reputation.  He throws a volley of most coarse abuses at her mother Gertrude who was in incestuous love with her husband’s brother. We can quote roughly the following comments that Hamlet utters addressing his mother as well as woman in general:

(i)  O, most pernicious woman.

(ii) Let me be cruel, not unnatural

I will speak daggers to her but use none.

(iii) Frailty thy name is woman.

Fourthly, Hamlet appears to us as a lover of a queer kind. He falls in love with Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius. But as a lover he seems, with the passing of time, to be more and more indifferent to her. It is because of his reflective nature, of opposition from Polonius and Laertes, of his over-devotion to his goal to avenge his father’s murderer. Yet his deep love for Ophelia is countless and exemplary. The following speeches uttered by Hamlet testify how deep he was in love with Ophelia:

”I loved Ophelia. Forty thousand of brothers

Could not with all their quantity of love 

Make up my sum.”

Fifthly, the dramatist Shakespeare has endowed Hamlet with the gift of a great poet. His dialogues, including his soliloquies, are full of poetic appeal. There is an abundant use of simile, metaphor, pun, wit, irony, riddle, felicitous phrases, references, and allusions.

His imageries are often elaborate and highly poetic. From the list of his abundant imageries, we can quote the following lines to show how fertile his imaginations are: 

”……………………Heaven’s face dose glow 

Over this solidity and compound mass

With trustful visage, as against the doom

Is thought sick at the act.”

His speeches are replete with such similes, as:

(i)  As chaste as ice.

(ii) As pure as snow.

(iii) Easy as lying etc. 

There are a good number of the uses of irony and wit in his dialogues, such as:

(i) Uncle-father and aunt-mother.

(ii)You are the queen, yours husband’s brother’s wife.

(iii) A little more than kin and less than kind.

As examples of paradoxical sayings, we can roughly quote the following lines:

(i)  A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.

(ii) The body is with the king, the king is not with the body.

Thus from the above illustration, we have seen that the dramatist Shakespeare has characterized Hamlet with exceptionally great skill as a protagonist, philosopher, critic, lover, and poet with unique success. 0 0 0

World Drama Criticism 

Claudius: A Characterisation

Claudius is the antagonist of the play entitled Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Though in the account of Hamlet he is a bloody, bawdy, remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, and unkind villain, yet the dramatist Shakespeare has portrayed him with a smooth hand as a gentle, kind-hearted, dutiful, meticulous, repentant, and politically efficient, and sympathetic king. Nowhere in the play is he shown as a villain and cowardice. His only abominable crime is that he is the murderer of his own brother. What he does in the play is only for his self-defence.  Let us illustrate his character  with reference to his role played in the play, as below:

First, though he is the murderer of Hamlet’s father and marries Hamlet’s widow mother, yet he is sympathetic towards Hamlet. Noticing Hamlet’s over remorse, he consoles him genuinely, as: 

”But you must know, your father lost a father

That father lost, lost his…”

Secondly, politically he is very discreet and dutiful. He sends his two councilors to Norway to persuade Fortinbras the Norwegian prince from invading Denmark. He nowhere shows cowardice and when Laertes and the mob enter the palace as revolutionaries, he confronts a dangerous situation with coolness and confidence. He consoles and softens racy Laertes by saying:

”They find us touched, we will our kingdom give

Our crown, our life and all that we call ours

To your satisfaction.”

Thirdly he is never over-credulous but meticulous. While Polonius reports on Hamlet’s cause of madness as “This is the very ecstasy of love”- Claudius seems not to be satisfied. He thinks:

”There is something in his soul

Over which his melancholy sits on brood.”

Fourthly he is repentant of his sin for which he asks for forgiveness. He utters:

(i)   Forgive me my foul murderer.

(ii)  Is there not rain enough in the sweet heaven

To wash it white as snow?

(iii) My words fly up, my thoughts remain below

Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

Besides this, he shows genuine anguish at Polonius’ death and Ophelia’s madness. Even his love for his ill-gotten wife seems to be quite genuine. When the end of his life is at hand, he is not insensitive but seemingly patient and unruffled. When he is stabbed by Hamlet, he coldly tries to make little of his death agony by saying: 

”Oh, yet defend me, friends

I am but hurt.” 

Though seemingly Claudius is gentle, wise, discreet, kind-hearted, and sympathetic yet he is not a tragic character. He is the villain, though he is mild in action. He has numerous weaknesses such as- he is a murderer, incestuous, drunkard, physically weak, and morally degraded. His instinctive preference was poison. This was the means of his first murder and he returned to it while deciding upon the murder of Hamlet. Though in difficult circumstances he showed no cowardice, inwardly he was always in fear and he took every measure for self-defense. In brief, to say, he is the villain of the play but he is portrayed with conscious mildness. 0 0 0

World Drama Criticism 

Renaissance Elements in Marlowe’s play ‘Doctor Faustus’

The term Renaissance is a French word that means ‘rebirth’, ‘revival, or ‘reawakening’. Literally, it refers to the revival or reawakening of the classical Greek (Hellenic) and partially Latin literature, arts, and culture along with the classical Greek outlook towards life in the late 15th century after a long sleep in the middle ages. The main tenets or features of the classical Greek literature that revived and fell their influences on the writers, thinkers, and artists of the 15th and 16th centuries were emphasis on intellectual freedom (freedom of thought), thirst for more knowledge, craving for power and wealth, love of beauty, sensuality, comforts, luxury, and music and above all the emphasis on the superiority of man (humanism). Virtually Renaissance was a revolt against the absolute ecclesiastical supremacy over human affairs in favour of intellectual freedom.

Christopher Marlowe’s (1564-1593) ‘Doctor Faustus’ is a Renaissance tragedy though there are some visible native ingredients of the conventional Christian morality play. Let us bring out the Renaissance elements in the play as below:

The first feature of the Renaissance spirit is that it advocates intellectual freedom (free thought) and we see that the hero of the play Doctor Faustus is endowed with this spirit. He comes out breaking the traditional ecclesiastical boundary of thought as the stagnant stock of traditional knowledge bothers him and hence he takes to the study of necromancy (magic) in order to quench his thirst for infinite knowledge. Faustus cries out:

”What will be shall be? Divinity adieu!

These metaphysics of magicians

And necromantic books are heaven” (Act I, Scene, ii)

The second tenet advocated by Renaissance learning was greed for power. Marlowe’s hero Doctor Faustus is not an exception. He desires that he would bring the devil under his control and by means of his help; he would be the Emperor of the World. Faustus utters:

”By him I’ll be great emperor of the world

And make a bridge through the moving air

To pass the ocean with a band of men 

I’ll join the hills that bind the African shore.” Act I, Scene-ii)”

The third feature of the Renaissance of ancient Greek learning is the desire for wealth. Marlowe’s hero Doctor Faustus is also rich with this desire. He cries out:

”I’ll have them fly to India for gold

Ransack the ocean for ancient pearl.”

The fourth element of the Renaissance is love for beauty and lust (sensuality) which is also present in Doctor Faustus. He craves for a beautiful maid as his wife to satisfy his carnal desire. He commands his servant Mephistophelis as below:

”…………………..let me have a wife

The fairest maid that is in Germany.”

Again Faustus, though he knows that he is on the verge of imminent death yet he desires for carnal pleasure and kisses the spirit of Helen, and utters:

”Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss

Come, Helen, come give me my soul again

Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips

And all is dross that is not Helen.”

The fifth element of the Renaissance lent to the Christian world was the craving for delicates, luxury, and entertainment which our hero Dr Faustus had grasped tightly. He searches the oceans of the world for delicious food and fruits. He says:

”And search all corners of the new-found world

For pleasant fruits and princely delicates.”

The sixth but strongest influence that the Renaissance fell on man was the sense of superiority of man (dignity of man). The Evil Angel who is the counterpart of a modern man with modern outlooks encourages Dr Faustus to assume his dignity as a man. He instigates Faustus, as:

”Be thou on earth as Jove is on the sky

Lord and commander of the universe.”

The superiority of man over all things of the universe is expressed again in the speech of Mephistophelis who incites Dr Faustus to go forward with his study of necromancy. He utters:

”Why Faustus,

Thinkst thou heaven is such a glorious thing 

I tell thee, it is not half so fair as thou

Or any man that breathes on earth.”

In addition to all these elements of the Renaissance, the playwright Christopher Marlowe was influenced by the stylistic features of classical Greek literature also. Marlowe, breaking away from the native tradition of dramatic structure, boldly adopted the Greek device such as he introduced the Chorus, he divided the play into five acts and again the acts into several scenes. Besides this, his craving for Greek and Latin languages is also reflected in the play also. He makes ample use of Greek and Latin phrases such as- “cosummatum est” (that is finished),” “che, sera, sera” (what is to happen must happen), “Veni, veni, Mephistopheles (come, come Mephistopheles).  In addition to all these, the dramatist Marlowe has made ample allusions and references to Greek and Roman mythologies such as – Diana, Helen, Amphion, Apollo etc.

Christopher Marlowe, though, was most influenced by the thought and ideal of the Renaissance, yet he could not come out from the trammel of his traditional native elements for which some ingredients of the conventional morality play are apparently visible in Doctor Faustus such as – Christian theme, comic interludes, moral ending, and some personified abstract ideas as dramatic characters such as – Good Angel, Evil Angel, Wrath, Pride, Gluttony etc.

To conclude it would be reasonable to say that Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus is a good Renaissance tragedy though there is some native flavour of the morality play. 0 0 0

World Drama Criticism

Allegory and Symbolism in Marlowe’s Play ‘Doctor Faustus’

‘Allegory’ is an English word originally derived from the Greek word ‘allegoria’ which means something else. Literary, allegory is an art form that signifies a hidden or deeper meaning besides the general or surface meaning. Allegory is always exhibited through a simple story that deals with morality or vice or virtues of society. Alike allegory the word ‘Symbol’ is also derived from the Greek word ‘Sumbolon’ which means a mark or token which stands for the other. The general difference between allegory and symbolism is that allegory is shown through a deductive story, on the other hand ‘symbol’ is shown through a thing or being. Christopher Marlowe though was a great champion of the Renaissance spirit, yet he could not throw away the pre-renaissance ethical theme and allegorical devices in his dramatic works. His great work ‘Dr. Faustus is thoroughly allegorical and full of symbols. Both elements are abundantly present in the drama.

The main theme of the story of Dr Faustus is morality which shows the condemnation of immorality. This moral teaching of the story is brought out through the life of the hero Dr Faustus who is represented allegorically. Dr Faustus, the hero of the play by the same name appears at the very beginning of the play as a great scholar in various branches of knowledge, but yet he becomes ambitious to be a magician through which he desires to be as powerful as God. To meet his aim, he aligns himself with the Devils and defies God or morality. But at last, he goes to eternal sufferance. In his last speech, he utters in fear and agony.

”Ugly hell; grape not! Come not Lucifer!

I’ll burn my books! Ah Mephistophelis!”

This last speech uttered by Dr Faustus teaches the lesson that immoral life-living does not lead one to greatness but to hell which is a source of eternal sufferance. In the finale, the chorus clearly interprets the allegorical meaning of the story delivering the following comment:

”Faustus is gone: regard his hellish fall

Whose fiendful fortune may exhort the wise.”

To bring out the allegorical meaning of the story, the dramatist Marlowe takes shelter on some symbolic characters—some of which symbolize evil, immorality or vice and some of which stand for morality, good or virtue.

Mephistophilis, Evil Angel, Lucifer, seven Deadly sins and Helen are the symbols of Evil or Immorality in the play ‘Dr. Faustus’. Let us look into their role in the play as under— 

The first salient symbolic character of the play is Mephistophilis who symbolizes evil, immorality, and vice throughout the play. He tries his best to mislead Dr Faustus to the path of vices and eternal damnation. He invokes every possible argument to drive Faustus away from the path of good and morality. Once he tempts Faustus by saying:

”Why Faustus,

Thinkest thou heaven is such a glorious thing?

I tell thee, ‘tis not half so fair as thou

Or any man that breathes on earth.”

The Evil Angel is another symbolic character who stands as a symbol of evil, immorality or vice. When Dr Faustus falls into a dilemma and seems to turn back to the path of God, then that very moment the Evil Angel appears and incites Dr Faustus to practice magic which is immoral:

”Go forward, Faustus, in that famous art

Wherein all Nature’s treasure is contained 

Be thou on earth as Jove is in the sky.”

Lucifer is another character who stands as the commander of all immorality and vices. It is Lucifer who appoints Mephistophilis to persuade Dr Faustus to the path of eternal damnation. Even he also persuades Faustus by saying:

Thou shouldst not think of God: think of the Devil.

Fourthly, the Seven Deadly Sins are some abstract ideas that are personified and embodied as human beings who symbolize evil and all sorts of immorality and vices.

The fifth symbol of evil used in the drama is Helen who symbolizes beauty and lust that leads one to the path of sin, despair and damnation.

Besides the above-analyzed characters which symbolize evil, there are some other characters that stand as a token or symbol of good, virtue, or righteousness. The Good Angel, the old man and scholars—are the symbols of good. Let us analyze their symbolic significances as below:

The most worth praised character of the play which symbolizes good or righteousness is the Good Angel. He appears in every critical moment of Dr Faustus and exhorts him to come back to the righteous way of life. He warns Faustus when Faustus turns to magic. He says:

”O, Faustus lay that damned book aside

And gaze not on it, lest it tempt thy soul 

Read, read the scriptures—that is blasphemy.”

The second symbol of good and morality is the old man, who like the Good Angel, tries his best to save Faustus’ soul. He says:

”I might prevail.

To guide thy steps unto the way of life.”

The third symbol of good and virtue is Scholars. When they become conscious of Faustus’ immoral acts and irreligious desires then the second scholar repents for Faustus and exhorts him to the path of God:

”Pray thou and we will pray that 

God may mercy upon thee.”

The most striking symbol of the play is Dr Faustus, the hero of the play. He himself is the symbol of good and says:

My heart is so hardened I cannot repent

Scarce can I name salvation, faith or heaven.

The above-mentioned discussion has substantiated that the play Dr Faustus is a fine specimen of allegorical and symbolic play in the English language. 0 0 0

World Drama Criticism

Dr Faustus as a Marlowvian Tragedy

English dramas before the advent of Christopher Marlowe were in their primitive state of chaos. They had neither a spirited soul nor a definite shape of the body. But it was Christopher Marlowe, a young flower of the Italian Renaissance spirit, who for the first time handled his quill and took to writing dramas, especially tragedies with a bold-new-developed conception especially pertaining to the tragic heroes of English tragedies and the use of language which are characteristically called Marlowvian Tragedies. Dr Faustus which is one of the best creations of Christopher Marlowe is also a Marlowvian Tragedy. Let us discuss it as a Marlowvian Tragedy under the following headings:

Before Marlowe, the heroes of English dramas were either kings or princes or legendary saints who were the representatives of the medieval outlooks towards life, but it was Marlowe who for the first time overthrew the traditional conception of the heroes and introduced general people of humble birth as his heroes endowed with some bold qualities. His hero is characterized by ambitiousness, suffering from internal and external conflicts, obstinate to meet his only one goal by fair means or foul and he is blessed with the gift of poetry. Dr Faustus who is the hero of the said play is endowed with all these characteristics.

Dr Faustus is neither a king nor a prince nor a saint but only a man of humble birth. At the outset of the play, the chorus introduces him as a common German Scholar.

Dr Faustus is highly ambitious. The first scene of the first act bears the witness that Dr Faustus is well-versed in various branches of knowledge, yet his thirst of knowledge is infinite and hence he desires to learn and practice magic through the grace of the Devil and he desires to be a deity. He himself reveals his ambitiousness as—

‘A sound magician is mighty God

Here Faustus tire thy brain to gain a deity.”

Ambitious Dr Fanstus is obstinate to meet his aim by fair means or foul. Though the Good Angel and the Bad Angel induce him to their respective paths, yet Dr Fanstus is influenced by none but by his own free choice. He is so much blind to his ambition that he aligning with the Devil, sells his soul and imagines himself to become as mighty as a God.

In the whole range of the English tragedies, Dr Faustus is a tragic hero who for the first time suffers from true external and internal conflict. In him, there seems to have a flow of blood the torrent of which is opposite to both high and low. And the conflict that rises up in his internal mind is exhibited through his external doings. Conflict both external and internal is the essence of tragedy and this essence is conspicuously present in Dr Faustus.

Dr Faustus, the hero of the play by the same name, is blessed with the gift of deep feeling, passionate emotion and powerful imagery and what he utters becomes genuine poetry. For example:

”Was this face that launched a thousand ships

And burnt the topless of Ilium?

Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.”

The second thing that Marlowe introduced to English literature through his tragedies is the Blank Verse which is genuine, strong, gorgeous, and highly poetic. Before him, there also was blank verse but that was rigid and without the grace and beauty of Marlowe’s. For example, we can quote the flowing lines:

”The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike

The Devil will come and Faustus must damned 

O I’ll leap my God: who pulls me down?”

These are the elements that Marlowe hatched out of his brain and poured down to his tragedies which gave a new turn to the advancement of English tragedies and in Dr Fanstus these new elements conspicuously and successfully present for which the play may be called a typical Marlowvian tragedy.

Though the play was written under Marlowe’s own conception, yet Marlowe could not come out of the net of the traditional conception of tragedy for which some characteristics of the drama before Marlowe are also present in it. The characteristics that fell upon Dr Faustus due to the influence of the plays created before him are— moral teaching, the allegorical and symbolical style, weak characterization, and loose structure.

To conclude it is to say that a Marlowvian Tragedy is a kind of tragedy written by Christopher Marlowe under his own conceptions of the tragic hero and of genuine blank verse keeping intact all the characteristics of the plays before Marlowe.

Here to say more that by introducing the tragic hero and genuine blank verse to English tragedy, Christopher Marlowe created the skeleton and soul of English drama to which Shakespeare added a robust body with beauty and fragrance forever. In other words, it was Marlowe who paved the unknown path of English tragedy to which Shakespeare added plaster with gold and diamond. 0 0 0

World Drama Criticism 

Norman Mackinnel’s One Act Play ‘The Bishop’s Candlesticks’ –An Analytical Study

Norman McKinnel (1870-1932) was a Scottish actor and playwright. He earned fame as a popular actor of his day. Through his plays, he tried to show the ugliness of society, and thus he wished to exhibit the holes and pinches of society. The present play ‘The Bishops Candlesticks’ is a one-act play. It is not his original work, but an adaptation of the story of the first few chapters of Victor Hugo’s celebrated novel ‘Les Miserables’. The play gives a vivid picture of the social scene of France in the last century. During that century how the people of France, especially the proletariat had lived a suffered life—is typically portrayed in the play. Cruelty and mercy is the main theme of the play. The main character of the play is a convict who, being poor and helpless, had stolen a piece of bread and was caught by the police and was sent to jail for ten years. Later on, he escaped from jail and came to a Bishop’s home where he was shown pity and favour, but the convict stole the valuable candlesticks of the Bishop and ran away. The police caught him and brought him back to the Bishop. But the Bishop forgave him giving him the candlesticks as a gift and turned him into a good man. Thus the playwright shows how poverty breeds crime and in turn how pity, love and sympathy can convert a miscreant into a good man.

The main attraction of the play goes not to the convict but to the Bishop. He is a philanthropist and kind to everybody for which he treats well with the thief. The Bishop loves everybody as a Christ and hence he gives away his belongings to those who seemed to be more needy. He says to his sister Persome while she forbade her brother, the Bishop to give away the candlesticks to the convict:

…….The candlesticks were mine, they are his now. It is better so. He has more need of them than I.

The second important character is Convict. But he draws less sympathy because his dealings with the Bishop are too harsh and inhuman. The readers’ sympathy goes to him only then—when he tells that he stole for being too poor not willingly and the officials of the jail had turned him into a thief.

The third character Persome is the widowed sister of the Bishop, who typifies women in general. He loves his brother the Bishop and takes care of him as a sister.

The fourth character ‘Marie’ is a maidservant to the Bishop’s home. He is stupid and is always afraid of Persome and acts upon what Persome orders and compels her to do.

As the main aim of the playwright is to portray the kindness, benevolence and Merci of the Bishop so the arts and plot of the play suffer from weakness. It has no complications. The climax is also feeble. It has only denouement and conclusion.

The Dialogues especially between the Bishop and the convict are more meaningful and often poetic which draws our attention. The soliloquies made by the convict just before he steals and runs away with the candlesticks are emotional, psychological and somewhat poetic.

In conclusion, it is well to say that the play ‘The Bishops Candlesticks’ is a humanitarian one-act play with less artistic success. 0 0 0

World Drama Criticism

Samuel Beckett’s Play ‘Waiting For Godot As An Existential (Absurd) Play

The term ‘Existential’ may be defined as a branch of philosophy based on the conception of the absurdity (completely unreasonableness and inappropriateness) of the universe and the consequent meaninglessness of human life and action. It emphasizes on – (i) the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile and indifferent universe and (ii) it regards human existence as inexplicable and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequence of one’s acts. Existentialism as a school of thought rose after World War II as a reaction against realism. Some writers were influenced much by this existential philosophy and gave rise to a new genre of literature, though short-lived, which is called Existential Literature. The dramas written on this philosophy are called Existential Dramas. The main Features of Existential Dramas that are traced to be common to all the dramas of this genre are- (i) the main theme is the meaninglessness and purposelessness of life in this absurd world, (ii) characters are few but types are drawn from the middle or lower class of society, (iii) free from the conventional dramatic structure and unity, (iv) there is no stage direction nor change of spots nor scene, (v) queer and incoherent linguistic device and (vi) comic and humorous in character.

Martin Esslin has termed the Existential Plays as Absurd Plays because of their absurdity both in theme and devices. Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ is an Existential (Absurd) play. It bears all the common features of an Existential Play in full. Let us illustrate this play as an existential play as below: 

First, the play ‘Waiting for Godot’ deals with the theme of the meaninglessness of life. The two main characters: Estragon and Vladimir say at the beginning of the play- “Nothing to be done.” And throughout the play, through their speeches and actions, we hear the same message- “Nothing to be done”. They seem to be in a state of absurdity where they find themselves as meaningless and so are their action. Estragon desperately utters: 

”What’ll we do, what’ll we do?

Vladimir replies:

There is nothing we can do.”

Secondly, in the play, there is neither a specific plot nor a specific action. The play portrays no story,  no morality. It shows only the eccentricity of the troubled mind without any artificiality. Estragon, once says:

”Nothing happens, nothing comes, nobody goes, it is awful.”

Thirdly, there are a few characters such as Estragon, Vladimir, Pozzo and Lucky. They belong to the lower class of society. Estragon and Vladimir are vagabonds. Pozzo, as his speech reveals, is a peasant and Lucky is his servant. The characters are the types of restless, eccentric humanity who have been losing their purpose in the universe. The characters are always static. Their personality and characters have got no development. Estragon says:

”Very lucky. They all change.

Only we can’t.”

Fourthly, the play ‘Waiting for Godot’ by Samuel Beckett is devoid of any conventional dramatic structure. Conventionally a play should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. But it has only a beginning and neither a middle nor an end. At the beginning of the play, we see that the two main characters are waiting for ‘Godot’ and this waiting continues till the end without any solution. Estragon and Vladimir talk between themselves, as:

Vladimir: No further need to worry.

Estragon: Simply waiting.

Vladimir: we’re used to it.

Fifthly, the play consists of only two Acts. Though Act II echoes the same tenet of Act I, there is no change of the scene nor of the spot. Wherever the characters go or do, they happen to remain in the same spot and in the same environment. The characters seem to be in a state of changelessness. Time passes but they remain in the same spot. 

Sixthly, the linguistic device of the play is unconventional and incoherent which may be termed as ‘queer”. The dialogues among the characters playing their role often seem to be irrelevant to their actions. For example, we can quote the following dialogues between Vladimir and Estragon:

”Vladimir: where are your books?

Estragon: I must have thrown them away. 

Vladimir: When?

Estragon: I don’t know.

Vladimir: Why?

Estragon: I don’t know why I don’t know.”  

In addition to this linguistic incoherence, the dramatist Beckett employed mime, gestures, and silence as dramatic devices.

Seventhly, the play is comic and humorous in character. The action shown by the characters is fully humorous. There is not a singles action, pose, and attitude that can be called serious or tragic. In the very opening of the play, we see that Estragon tries to take off one of his boots and temporarily gives up his effort feeling exhausted. He resumes the struggle and fails again and says: “Nothing to be done.” Then Vladimir is seen to take off his hat, peep into it, feel inside it, shake it, puts on it again and says: “Nothing to be done”. Thus is the Pozzo-Lucky scene, the imitation of their actions by Estragon and Vladimir, and their plan to commit suicide by hanging from a tree- all are comic in character.

Thus from the above illustration, we see that the play entitled ‘Waiting for Godot’ bears all the chief features of an existential play in full and hence it may be treated as a fine specimen of an existential as well as an absurd play. 0 0 0

World Drama Criticism

Historical Background to T. S. Eliot’s Play ‘Murder in the Cathedral’

The term ‘Background’ refers to the thing, event, or circumstance basing upon which something else takes birth, grows up, or survives. T. S. Eliot’s play ‘Murder in the Cathedral’ is a historical as well as religious play which is based on an apparent historical event that dates back to the late twelfth century. The play portrays the murder of Thomas Becket the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1170 A.D. under the behest of King Henry II, following a conflict between the church and the royalty. Through this play, the playwright T.S. Eliot glorifies the life of Thomas Becket and the cause of Christianity. The play was composed for the occasion of the Canterbury Festival of June 1935, the purpose being to secure funds for the Parish. The outline of the historical background of the play is as below:

Thomas Becket was born in London in 1118 A.D. of Norman parentage. He was trained in Knightly exercises, studied theology and worked for a time in a lawyer’s office. He became a personal friend and confidant of Henry II, the King of England who appointed him to the high office of Lord Chancellor. Thomas was loyal and devoted to the king. In 1162 Henry II was involved in a conflict with the clergy over the question of whether the king had legal authority over the clergy. When the king appointed Thomas to the post of Chancellorship, the king hoped that Thomas Becket would continue his loyalty to the king.

Thomas accepted the post reluctantly. Once he became the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas reversed his position and opposed the king’s measures against the special authority of the clergy. The struggle between Henry II and Thomas Becket became a long and bitter one. Thomas was finally forced into exile. He lived in France for seven years. He returned to England after a reconciliation with the king,  but the peace was of short duration.

By custom, the Archbishop of Canterbury along had the power to crown a new king in England and this custom was supported by a Papal Mandate to protect Canterbury’s rights. While Thomas was in exile, Henry II became impatient to have his eldest surviving son crowned as successors in his own lifetime, and ordered the Archbishop of York to crown the young prince. In June 1170 A.D. this ceremony was duly performed. On the other hand Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury with the Pope’s support immediately threatened an ‘interdict’ (an order closing all the churches of England). 

The king in a fit of anger made a hasty decision and sent four cruel Knights to murder Becket. They followed the king’s behest duly and murdered Thomas Becket on December 29, 1170, A.D. He met his death with splendid courage. Later on, his grave becomes the most famous shrine in Christendom. Thomas Becket was canonized in 1173 A.D.

Basing upon this historical tragic event, the playwright T. S. Eliot has written out his ‘Murder in the Cathedral’. But the event is not the transcription (exact copy) that he deals with within the play. He has fused the historical background with the idealistic philosophy of Christianity and gives dramatic shape to the event. He has trimmed everything superfluous keeping the background as the basis, T. S. Eliot shows that the saint suffered not for his own good but for the good of humble suffering humanity. But as a play, it suffers from some striking flaws as- there is no conflict, suspense, no real hero, no comic interlude, and no full-length characterization. Despite this, it may be said that such flaws are merely minor blemishes in a play of much popular appeal. 0 0 0

World Drama Criticism 

Bernard Shaw’s play ‘Pygmalion’ As  A Social Critique


Man-woman Relationship in Bernard Shaw’s play ‘Pygmalion’

George Bernard Shaw (1856- 1950) is the originator of a new genre of drama termed as the ‘Drama of Problem ‘or ‘Drama of Ideas’. In this genre of drama, he has made a critical assessment of some existing social problems or problem-faced social ideas, conventions, customs or social follies and vices to make his readers aware of these problems and to think out solutions to these problems.

His play entitled ‘Pygmalion’ is such a problem play where he has made a thorough critical assessment of the man-woman relationship, their attitude towards the opposite sex, and the class struggle between the middle class and lower middle class concerning their economic and social status. Let us illustrate these through the analysis of the theme and his major characters as below:

First, the dramatist Shaw criticized the age-long reserved outlook of men toward women through the depiction of relationships between Higgins the professor of phonetics and Eliza Doolittle the flower girl. Though Higgins undertakes Eliza to raise her to the position of a duchess by teaching her fashionable English, he cannot raise her status. He uses her as a tool to carry out his experiment on phonetics. When the experiment is over she is of no value to him. He says:

‘You have had a thousand times as much out of me as I have out of you.’

Secondly, the dramatist has brought about his  Theory of Life-force through Eliza and Higgins, which criticizes their attitude towards marriage. According to Shaw’s philosophy – Life-force works in two ways as: first, in a woman, the life force instigates her to multiply life through producing children.  Man succumbs to her romantic charm and sex- appeal. On the other hand, there are certain rare men of genius who do not succumb to the wills of women. Their purpose of life-force is not to multiply life but to raise life to a higher level. To them a woman is nothing, but a tool to make life higher. This theory of life-force holds good for Eliza- Higgins relationship. Eliza is positively a victim of life-force and hence, she falls in love with Freddy. She declares:

‘I want little kindness. I know I’m a common ignorant girl……but I am not dirt under your feet.’  

Again she says: 

‘Freddy…..he’d make me happier than my betters that bully me and don’t want me.’ 

On the other hand, Higgins is a victim of the Oedipus complex. His ideal woman is none but his mother. He says:

Oh, I cannot be bothered with young women. My idea of a lovable woman is somebody as like you as possible.

Thirdly, the dramatist has made a critical assessment of the social and economic status of the lower middle class. The families like that of the Doolittle’s are the victims of poverty and social status. They cannot by any way rise up to the fashionable middle-class life- status. Eliza and her father Mr. Doolittle serve the best examples in this respect. Higgins by giving the lessons on phonetics fits her to the middle class, but he is blind to provide her with the status and environment of the middle class. Thus she loses her identity in a middle-class fashionable society.  She regrets:

”I sold flowers. I did not sell myself. Now you’ve made a lady of me. I am not fit to sell anything else. I wish you had left me where you found me.”

Thus her father Mr Doolittle also becomes the victim of middle-class morality. When he owned a huge amount of money as a legacy from his relatives, he was pressed to rise up to middle-class morality. But it caused him to lose his identity. He says:

”I have to live for others and not for myself: that’s middle-class morality……. I’ll have to learn to speak middle class language from you, instead of speaking proper English.”

Thus the dramatist George Bernard Shaw has brought about a critical assessment of some social problems through the relationship among his major characters, but he has put forward no specific solutions to the problems; he leaves the solutions to be thought out by his readers.0 0 0

World Drama Criticism 

The Use of Symbolism in Osborne’s Play ‘Look Back in Anger’

‘Symbol’ is an object –animate or inanimate- that stands for something else. In a general sense, everything is a symbol of what it means or signifies. But in literature, when an object is used to represent, to illustrate, to clarify, to deepen, or to intensify the meaning or significance of something else is called a symbol. In brief, to say, the use of symbols in literature is a device to represent or reinforce the effect or circumstance of a thing or idea or feeling. John Osborne, in his play entitled ‘Look Back in Anger’, has employed a number of symbols as parallel to the story through which the playwright has effectively portrayed and vivified the mental as well as the physical world of his hero and heroine. The objects of symbols employed by the author of the play are – a toy bear, a toy squirrel, the beast game, the ironing of clothes, the ringing of the church bell and the blowing of the trumpet. Different critics have interpreted the significance of these symbols in different ways. However, we can illustrate their significance as below:

First, the ‘toy bear’ (teddy bear) represents masculine strength and ferocity. Here it stands for Jimmy Porter the hero of the play who is by nature very vehement, irritant and ill-mannered like a male bear.

Secondly, the ‘toy squirrel’ symbolizes feminine softness, gentleness and submissiveness, and here it stands for Alison Porter (the wife of Jimmy Porter) who very calmly and patiently submits to the overbearing treatment of her vehement husband.

Thirdly, the ‘beast game’ played by the couple Jimmy Porter and Alison symbolizes the world of animals or wildlife where the couple takes shelter or escape from the cruel realities of life. In other words to say, the ‘bear- squirrel game’ is a refuge where they imagine themselves as animals and wish to adjust themselves to each other in a harmonious relationship like animals who have limited pain and pleasure. While playing the ‘bear-squirrel game’ Jimmy calls  Alison: “….a beautiful great eyed squirrel, hoarding nut mincing squirrel,….with highly polished fur.”  On the other hand, Alison calls Jimmy, “A jolly super bear; a really marvellous bear.” Thus the game stands for a fantasy world of animals that illustrates the theme of their unhappy married life. They only wish to compensate for the failure of their married life through the playing of the game. Again in Act III, Scene II, we see that both Jimmy and Alison resume the beast game which symbolizes their reconciliation. 

Fourthly, the act of throwing off the ‘teddy bear’ on the floor by Jimmy signifies Jimmy’s reaction to Alison’s reluctance to accompany him to Mrs Tenner Houg who was dying in the hospital. Again we see that Alison while leaving her home for her parental home, picks up the ‘toy squirrel’ from the chest of the drawer and again puts it back. This action signifies Alison’s dilemma- whether she would leave off Jimmy or not.

Fifthly, the action of ironing clothes by Alison and later on by Helena symbolizes their humdrum and troublesome daily life. In one of his early speeches Jimmy complains:

‘Always the same ritual. Reading the papers, drinking tea, ironing…’  

Sixthly, the ringing of the church bell to which Jimmy reacts and says,  “Oh, hell! Now the bloody bells have started.” It signifies Jimmy’s opposition to religious practices and rituals. Later on, we see that he hinders Alison from going to the church. It also signifies Jimmy’s unhappiness and disorderliness of mental and physical life.

Seventhly, Jimmy’s blowing on his trumpet symbolizes Jimmy’s vain endeavour to escape from the irritant routine world. Alison in reaction says:

‘God, I wish he’d lose that damned trumpet.’ 

Thus the playwright Osborne has employed plentiful objects as symbols that parallel the depiction of Jimmy and Alison’s unhappy married life. The symbols used in the play have deepened and intensified the exhibition of Jimmy and Alison’s internal as well as external world. If the symbols are kept aside, then the play would turn into failure as a play on the stage. 0 0 0

World Drama Criticism

The Theme of J. M. Synge’s play’ The Playboy of the Western World’

The play entitled ‘The Playboy of the Western World’ by J. M. Synge (1871-1909) is based on a story (myth) that the author happened to hear from an old man during his stay in Aran Island which is situated at the Western Coast of Ireland. The author added fertile imagination and realism to the myth and wrote out this superb playmaking a poetic depiction of the life and minds of the islanders. Violence, gallantry, love and rivalry in love are the principal themes of the play. Through these themes, the author has illustrated that women are generally hero worshippers. They prefer heroic young boys as their husbands.

One night, a young boy, about twenty, named Christopher Mahon (briefly Christy) arrives at a shebeen in the sea-side village of Mayo in Ireland. He seems to be very tired of long walking for ten or eleven days. He seeks refuge in the shebeen. He tells the people, who are present there, the story of how he quarreled with his father and murdered his own father. The people, hearing that he has killed his father, begin to treat him hospitably because they believe that there is something heroic in him. Especially Michael James the owner of the shebeen and his daughter Pegeen Mike, who was betrothed to a local young boy called Shawn Keogh, took great interest in Christy because of his gallantry in murdering his father. Michael James and Pegeen appoint Christy as a pot-boy in the shebeen to assist in running the shebeen. Pegeen who was engaged to Shawn, instantly turns her attention to Christy and almost falls in love with him. After some time, a widow by the name of Quin came and being fascinated by the valour of Christy, begins to pull him towards her. She says:

”There is great temptation in a man did slay his da… young fellow, so rise and come with me.”

Christy spends the night there in the shebeen. The next morning some village girls by the names of- Sara, Susan, Honor and Nelly- hearing the gallant story of Christy, from Shawn’s and widow Quin’s mouths, arrive there with respective presents in honour of the hero. Sara, in praise of Christy, says:

”Then my thousand welcomes to you and I’ve run up with a brace of duck’s eggs for your food,”

Susan says:

”And I run up with a part of butter.”

Honor says:

”And I brought you a little cut of cake.”

Nelly says:

”And I brought you a little laying pullet.”

Thus Christy turns into a hero overnight. And rounding him a rivalry among the girls, especially between Pegeen and Widow Quin, begins. Quin begins to flatter him to win his heart. On the other hand, Pegeen Mike begins to see day-dream with Christy as her would-be husband. Already being invited and requested by the village girls, Christy takes part in a local sports competition that evening where Christy won all the contests.

In the meantime, Christy’s father by the name of Old Mahon, who had not really died of the blow done by Christy, arrives there. His father suddenly begins to beat him calling his son, “a dirty, sluttering fellow”.  Being enraged, Christy gives a blow with a narrow spade on the skull of his father.  His father falls down unconscious. Seeing all this, the people that are present there, suddenly become hostile to Christy and tie him up with a tree and begins to beat him. After some time, Old Mahon, coming into consciousness unties his son and makes a compromise with his son that Christy would be the brave leader onwards and his father would be subordinate to his son. Then they take leave. On their departure, Pegeen Mike, who fell in love with the gallant boy, utters in grief:

”Oh, my grief, I’ve lost him surely. I’ve lost the only playboy of the western world.”

Thus, the dramatist J. M. Synge has brought about the themes of violence, love and rivalry in love in the play with success and along with this, the author substantiates that women are hero worshippers. 0 0 0 

World Drama Criticism 

Anton Chekhov’s One Act Play ‘A Marriage Proposal’–An Analytical Study

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) is one of the great writers of Russia. As a writer, he practised short-story first and gave a definite form to it as an independent genre of prose literature and contributed much to establish and popularize this branch of literature. Artistically his short stories are lively and perfect in a form that brought him international fame and a reputation as a great short story-teller. Later on, he became a model for many writers throughout the world, and being influenced by him this genre of literature has been going on to be produced till now. Besides, being a short story-teller, he was a playwright also. He produced some plays, especially one-act plays—which also got wide popularity both on stage and as fine literature. Among his successful one-act plays, ‘A Marriage Proposal‘ is one. It is neither a comedy nor a tragedy but a farce. It is full of excitable humour both in plot and characters. Through this humorous play, he portrays the foolish arrogance over trifling that makes a quarrel and thus worsens the human relationship. Artistically, this play is a perfect one-act play.

The Plot of the play is trifling but through this, he shows how the obsession with one’s belongings beclouds the common sense of one that becomes enough to set a quarrel. Here in this play, a young boy of thirty-five loses his suit (a girl whom he wanted to marry) for being so much indulged in his obstinate conduct with his suit concerning a piece of land and a pet dog.

As the curtain rises an old man by the name of Stephen Stepenovitch Tschubukov, a farmer is seen sitting in his reception room. Then a young boy by the name of Ivan Vissiliyitch Lomov enters the room wearing dress-suit. Tschubukov has a young daughter of twenty-five. Lomov is their neighbour and he goes to that house to propose marriage to Natalia Stepenovna, the daughter of Tschubukov. But Lomov hesitates to tell it to Tschubukov but at last, he tells that he has come to propose marriage to his daughter. Knowing that Tschubukov becomes glad and goes out of the room and sends his daughter Natalia to the sitting room. Here again, Lomov hesitates to tell her of his proposal. He gets no clue to reveal his desire, so he begins to flatter her, and suddenly he, by the by, says to her that a piece of land growing meadows belongs to him which joins the land of Natalia. Hearing this, Natalia interrupts and cross reply to each-other begins and it sets a quarrel between the two. Natalia says to Lomov:

“The meadows belong to us and I won’t give them up! I would not give them up! I won’t give them up!”

Their arguments reach height. Then Tschubukov, the father of Natalia enters the room and he also takes the part of Natalia and says that the piece of land belongs to them, not to Lomov. Quarrel runs on, they begin to call bad names to each other and at last, Lomov goes out of the house. 

Then Natalia comes to know from his father that Lomov had come to propose to her. Natalia then begins to lament and urges his father to bring him back as she was willing to be married to him. Then Lomov is brought back and they go to a mutual decision that they will talk about something else. Suddenly, being ashamed of her treating to him, to turn the course of the discussion, Natalia suddenly talks about hunting and about dogs. Lomov had a dog named ‘Ugadi’ and Natalia also had a dog named ‘Otkatai’. They began to argue about their respective dogs. Lomov says that his dog is superior to that of Natalia. Thus another quarrel sets up. Lomov seems to lose his sense and behaved like a madman and then he gets faint. At last, they try to come to a sense and propose marriage. They kiss the hand of each other. But Natalia was so obstinate that she tries to make him admit that Ugadi is worse than Otkatai. Lomov also seems to be obstinate and says that his Ugadi is better.

Thus the quarrel continues and then the proposal of marriage comes to meaningless. The plot comes to an end here. Through the plot, the dramatist has shown that in society there are some people who argue about trifles and thus the relationship with others worsens. 

In this one-act play, there are three characters amongst whom Lomov is the hero and Natalia is the heroine. Lomov is the main attraction of the play. His obstinacy to his belongings reveals that he is a fool. He is childlike in nature and argues about a piece of land and a dog. He is full of humour both in his dealing and speech. He suffers from both mental and physical disorderliness. He is hesitant to express the proposal of marriage to Natalia and it proves that he is mentally weak. He is also flattering as he wants to win the favour of Tschubukov and flatters that—

“It’s not the first time I have had the honour of turning to you for assistance, and you have always.”

As Lomov is so is Natalia. She is childlike in behaviour. In her speech, she is humorous and adds the same humour as that of Lomov to the story.

Tschubukov is also the same in nature. He is the father of Natalia and hence he should have been wiser, but he also argues over the trifling.

The Structure of the play is coherent. The plot develops through definite five steps as while Lomov enters the reception room of Tschubukov and talks with him about the proposal of marriage with Natalia makes the Exposition of the plot. Secondly, while Natalia enters after the departure of Tschubukov, then the complication begins and it reaches the climax while arguing about the land of meadows, Lomov becomes so excited and goes out of the room. While Tschubukov re-enters the room and brings Lomov back and argues about dogs and then the denouement of the plot begins and while they kiss each other with a view to getting married then the plot of the play comes to an end.

Thus the structure of the plot is coherent and logical. In constructing the plot the dramatist suffers from no-fault or weakness.

The Dialogues of dramatic persons are also very sparing and dramatic. As are the characters and their nature so are their dialogues. Each dialogue leads the plot ahead to a logical conclusion.

Humour is the main taste to be enjoyed in the play. All three characters, including the plot, are humorous. To argue about such trifles as a piece of land and dogs is certainly humorous. Lomov is the most humorous of the three. His dress is comic because he wears it gorgeously like a groom. Moreover, his physical illness and the innumerable disturbances in his limbs are humorous. While he says:

“I have a weak heart, continual palpitation, and I very sensitive and always getting excited. My lips begin to tremble and the pulse in my right temple throbs terribly. I hardly lie down and begin to doze before something in my left side begins to pull a tug and sometimes begins to hammer in my left shoulder and in my head too.”

Again while he becomes too much excited, he says:

“Where’s the hat? My heart! Where shall I go? Where is the door?”— All these speeches are certainly humours.

Natalia’s obstinacy to her demands, while she repeats waywardly, is humorous:

“The meadows belong to us and I won’t give them up! I won’t give them up! I won’t give them up!”

Thus the plot including the characters and their dialogues and dealings to each other– all give rise to nothing but only laughter. There is no slight touch of pathos. Hence the play is a humorous play — that is to say, it is a Farce— ( A Farce is a comic drama in which a trifle side of life in society is portrayed with the foolishness of the characters)

To conclude it is to say that this play, ‘A Marriage Proposal’ is a fine humorous play to be enjoyed only for laughter with all the artistic perfection of a play. 0 0 0

World Drama Criticism

The End

World Drama Criticism

Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:

  1. Advertisement Writing
  2. Amplification Writing
  3. Note Making
  4. Paragraph Writing
  5. Notice Writing
  6. Passage Comprehension
  7. The Art of Poster Writing
  8. The Art of Letter Writing
  9. Report Writing
  10. Story Writing
  11. Substance Writing
  12. School Essays Part-I
  13. School Essays Part-II
  14. School English Grammar Part-I
  15. School English Grammar Part-II..

Additional Searches:


Previous articleWorld Poetry Criticism
Next articleWorld Novel Criticism
I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here