Modern Drama

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. George’s wife, 52, loud and brash. Angry with George for never becoming head of the university. Daughter of the head of the university. Lies to Nick and Honey and tells them they have a son when they don’t. Tries to sleep with Nick

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Martha’s husband, 46. History professor at the university. Often sarcastic and passive aggressive. Might have been head of the history department or the college, but was only allowed to head the history department briefly while others were off at war. Targets Nick and Honey in fights as well as Martha. “kills” his and Martha’s son. His name as well as Martha’s connect them with George and Martha Washington.

New member of the university faculty, in the biology department. Tries to sleep with Martha. Married to Honey. 28, good looking

Nick’s wife. 26. Not very bright. Is very drunk and behind on the conversation throughout most of the play. Had a hysterical pregnancy and wealthy father which was why Nick married her

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf Act I
George and Martha return, drunk, from a faculty party. They bicker, Martha reminds George that they have guests coming. Martha brings up the Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf song and is annoyed when George doesn’t laugh. She asks George to kiss her and he refuses. They begin arguing again, until the door opens and George, passive aggressively, capitulates and goes to answer them. Nick and Honey come in, things are tense but polite. George is already mocking Nick, condescending about his efforts to contemplate a painting of there. (“A quiet intensity” “A certain noisy, relaxed quality maybe”). Martha brings up song again, uses it to mock George. George starts up on how there are “easier things than being married to the daughter of the president of that university”. Honey attempts to break up the argument by asking where the bathroom is. With the women gone, George grills Nick, toying with and poking fun at him. He discovers Nick is in the biology instead of the math department, and goes off on how awful he thinks genetically engineering people is. George lets slip that Martha would like him to run the history department, but that he doesn’t, though he did briefly during the war, but lost the job when everyone else returned. George asks if Nick and Honey have children. Nick says they don’t and asks George George doesn’t answer. Honey returns and reveals that Martha mentioned a son. George is outraged. Martha comes back down in a more revealing dress. Flirts with Nick/praises his sports prowess. Insults George for being “stuck.” Tells the boxing story. George “shoots” her with a fake gun. George begins insulting Nick’s field, and they turn to jokes about whether it would be a good or bad thing for everyone to look like Nick. Honey, drunkenly, asks when their son is returning, which starts George and Martha fighting again. Martha says that George has problems with their son because he doesn’t believe it’s his. George complains about Martha’s father, Martha says he hates him because of his own inadequacies and tells the story of how they met and married. How she grew up with her father and planned to marry the man who took over the university, and how George failed to do so. George tries to drown her out by singing the song at the top of his lungs. Honey goes to throw up. Highlights: This act establishes that George and Martha’s relationship is basically continuous sparring. Heavy drinking. George’s fear/anger about Nick’s career. Reveal that George failed Martha’s expectations, that Martha wanted to “inherit” the university in some way. Hint, as George and Martha fight about son’s eye color, that he isn’t real. Martha’s sexuality/flirting with Nick

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf Act II
George and Nick are onstage together, they almost argue but end up in a semi-amicable conversation. Nick reveals that he married Honey because she was pregnant George tells the story of his “friend” who killed his mother with a shotgun and then his father in a car accident, and who went crazy in the hospital and was unable to stop laughing, and then was sent to an asylum and never spoke again. Nick confesses, after George’s prodding, that he married Honey partially for her money. Her father was a popular preacher. George says that Martha also had money. George, originally jokingly, tells Nick that he is a direct threat to him, being young, athletic, and good looking, and will sleep with important faculty wives. Nick jokes that Martha is an important faculty wife. It is suddenly not such a joke. George laments that Nick is going to overtake him, and suggests that someone will eventually overtake Nick. Martha and Honey reappear. Martha and George argue over who bothered their son more, Martha saying he used to throw up whenever George was in the room, George saying she used to corner and badger the child. Martha brings up the book George tried to publish, and George changes the subject with dancing. They dance, Nick and Martha in a sexual manner. Martha then gets back on the subject of the book and reveals that her father rejected a book George wrote, and that George said it was a true story. George is so angry he physically attacks Martha and they have to be pulled apart. George switches to a game of “Get the guests” telling all the information Nick told him about Honey’s pregnancy and money. Honey, when she finally catches on, is furious, and runs offstage to vomit. Nick, very upset, goes after her. Martha scolds George, says that she only targets him because he can take it, because he married her for it. Martha says that she has “snapped,” that she was at the party with George and he just wasn’t there. They agree to total war. Martha seduces Nick. George walks in on them but ignores. George tells them to go ahead, to Martha’s distress. Martha and Nick go into the kitchen to have sex. Honey comes back, upset, revealing accidentally that she probably had an abortion when she says she doesn’t want to have children. George comes up with the idea for the exorcism.
Highlights: Title “Walpurgisnacht” = night when witches meet and wreak havoc. Power of parents over children, George’s story/money in marriages. Power of children in lives, marrying Honey because she was pregnant. Nick allowing himself to temporarily side with George, peeling layers away from his perfect exterior. Furthered in “get the guests”. Role of children comes up again with Honey. Failure to live up to ideal of perfect marriage. Idea that George and Martha’s sparring could be something they want.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf Act III
Martha and Nick return. Martha mocks Nick for not being able to get it up. George comes in with snapdragons which he throws. Both George and Martha mock Nick. George announces a new game “bringing up baby” and demands that everyone come on stage. Martha is afraid of this game and they share a moment of tenderness before it begins, then he riles her up, attempting to get her angry. He and Martha then tell, George letting Martha lead, the story of their son’s birth and early life. He recites a prayer in Latin as she gets angry, claiming that their son is the one thing she has tried to preserve and protect through their marriage. George then tells Martha that their son is dead. Martha, enraged, tells him this is against the rules. George tells her it was against the rules to mention him. Nick and Honey go home. George and Martha seem almost relieved by their catharsis, George tells Martha that this will be better. He sings “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and she responds “I am”
Highlights: Reveal of son. Martha’s mocking of Nick’s masculinity. Uncertain of what is true and what isn’t. Title Exorcism= catharsis. Possibility that George and Martha could be better now. The fact that Martha has relied on this false idea of a son. Reveal of the extent of the falsehoods in their marriage.

Waiting for Godot. One of the main characters. Also called Didi. Seems to be the more responsible and mature of the two. The more philosophical/moral. Has problems with his genitalia

Waiting for Godot. One of the main characters. Also called Gogo. Seems weaker than Didi and in need of his protection. Seems to have a poorer memory than Didi. Has foot problems

Waiting for Godot. Comes through the place where Vladimir and Estragon are waiting, providing a diversion. When he returns in Act two he is blind and does not remember Didi and Gogo

Waiting for Godot. Pozzo’s slave. Carries Pozzo’s bags and stool. Entertains them with dancing and thinking in Act I but is dumb in Act II

Waiting for Godot. Appears at the end of each act to inform that Godot is not coming, but will be there the next night. In Act II he insists he was not there the night before.

Waiting for Godot. Man for whom Didi and Gogo are waiting. Never appears. May represent hope or opportunity.

Waiting for Godot Act I
Estragon is on stage trying to take off his boot. Didi enters and they greet eachother. They discuss versions of the story of the two thieves in the gospels, Vladimir speculating over whether one of the thieves was saved at all. Estragon wants to go, Vladimir explains that they are waiting for Godot and are supposed to meet him here. They wonder if they are in the right place at the right time. Estragon goes to sleep but Didi wakes him. Estragon is upset to be woken, but Didi is lonely. Estragon starts to tell him about a dream and Didi tells him not to. They argue, Vladimir leaves, Estragon goes after him, he comes back. They consider hanging themselves, but decide to wait for Godot. Vladimir gives Estragon a carrot for his hunger. Discussion of their desperation and how they need Godot. Enter Pozzo and Lucky. Pozzo ordering Lucky to put his stool down and eating chicken. Estragon asks for the bones from Pozzo’s chicken, and is told to ask Lucky. Lucky does not answer and Estragon gets the bone. Vladimir is furious with Pozzo’s treatment of Lucky, but then seems embarrassed by his outburst. Gogo asks why Lucky doesn’t put down his bags, after a long convoluted answer Pozzo says Lucky wants to impress Pozzo so he’ll keep him. Then says he is going to a fair to sell Lucky. Lucky begins to cry. Gogo goes to wipes his tears but is kicked in the shins. Didi examines his injury and promises to carry him if necessary. Vladimir gets angry with Pozzo for turning Lucky away after sixty years of service, then at Lucky for not being a good enough servant for Pozzo. Pozzo gives a speech about the night, asks how he did. Offers to have Lucky perform for them. Makes him dance for them. Gogo is unimpressed. Didi asks him to make Lucky think. Didi puts Lucky’s hat on his head and he begins to think aloud, spewing a lot of clearly educated gibberish. The other three are outraged and throw themselves on him, yanking off his hat. Pozzo tries to leave, can’t, decides to take a running start, drives Lucky offstage. Didi mentions that Pozzo and Lucky have changed as if he’s seen them before, Gogo does not seem to remember them but agrees because “they all change”. A boy arrives to tell them that Godot is not coming, but will surely come tomorrow. Didi asks the boy how Godot treats him. Boy says he minds the goats and that Godot does not beat him, but beats his brother. Godot feeds him. The boy does not know if he’s happy or not. It becomes night. Didi tries to take Estragon offstage to shelter, Estragon says he wants to part. They decide to stay together because it is not worth it to part now.
Highlights: Gogo’s dependence on Didi. How long they have known eachother and how exhausted they are by routine without wanting to leave it. Didi and Gogo will often repeat eachother or act in similar ways which make them seem somewhat interchangeable. Estragon’s memory problems, repeatedly asking to go, forgetting why they are there. Fact that they are waiting for help from Godot. Vladimir’s indignation but also being quick to change his mind . Estragon gives his name as “Adam”. Changing names might represent applicability to all of humanity. Pozzo and Lucky are a way to pass the time. It becomes clear from conversation with the boy and memory of Pozzo and Lucky that they have done this before. They end the act with “Yes, let’s go” but do not move. Hopelessness/inaction.

Waiting for Godot Act II
Vladimir comes on stage, where Estragon’s boots and Lucky’s hat still are. Estragon enters , seeming upset. Didi is worried about him and suggests Estragon can not protect himself. Estragon does not remember the day before, and he and Vladimir argue about the past. Estragon again suggests they should part but does not go. Vladimir notes that the tree has more leaves than yesterday, but Gogo continues to claim they weren’t there yesterday. Vladimir points out his boots, but Gogo denies they’re his. Vladimir offers Gogo some food, but only has radishes, which Gogo doesn’t like. He says he will go get a carrot and does not go. Gogo goes to sleep and Didi sings him a lullaby. He wakes from a nightmare and Didi comforts him. Didi finds Lucky’s hat and they switch their hats around for a while. The play at being Pozzo and Lucky briefly. Estragon leaves but returns, hearing someone coming. Didi hopes it’s Godot but it is Pozzo and Lucky. They fall with their baggage. Pozzo calls for help, but Vladimir and Estragon discuss asking him for a bone before helping him. Eventually Didi decides to help him but falls trying to pull him up. Gogo threatens to leave but Didi begs for help and Gogo falls trying to help him. Didi and Gogo nap. Pozzo wakes them shouting. Didi strikes him to make him stop. Didid and Gogo decide to get up and then help Pozzo up. Pozzo is blind now, and gets angry when questioned about the loss of his sight. Pozzo does not remember if they met yesterday. Tells them Lucky is dumb. They exit and Didi sees them fall offstage. Estragon falls asleep again, Didi wakes him because he is lonely. Estragon tries to take off his boots as he did in the beginning of the play. Boy comes back. Didi recognizes him but boy claims not to recognize Didi. Says Godot is not coming. Leaves. Estragon wakes up, takes off boots and puts them down on stage. They discuss hanging themselves but decide to wait for Godot. They decide to go, but do not move.
Repetitiveness of hat switching, dragging on until an ends is arbitrarily put to it. Vladimir being protective of Estragon and feeling this is central to their relationship. The stage direction “does not move” recalls fruitlessness. Human selfishness=wanting to get something. Inaction=how long they take to help Lucky and Pozzo, staying on the ground themselves even though they can clearly stand. Biblical allusion with calling Pozzo and Lucky Cain and Abel. Vladimir needing Estragon’s help. Vagueness of past creating dreamlike quality. Repetitiveness of dialogue towards the end. Vladimir already knowing what boy will say. Conclusion same as that of act one.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Called to uncover the cause of Hamlet’s strange behavior. Carefree and artless personality

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. More meditative and philosophical. Concerned by the world around him.

The Player
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Leader of the Tragedians. Cunning and confident, seems amused by what is going on.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. A group of traveling actors, specializing in tragedy, and “blood love and rhetoric”.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Prince of Denmark. Friend of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Behaving strangely. Alters the letter so Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are executed.

Hamlet’s uncle and new king. Calls for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

Hamlet’s mother and the queen. Seems genuinely concerned for Hamlet’s well being

Father of Ophelia. Advisor to Claudius. Shifty and longwinded

Hamlet’s former beloved. Daughter of Polonius.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act I
Ros and Guil wait, flipping coin. Coin lands on heads every time. Guil has lost most of his coins to Ros this way. Ros feels slightly guilty, but is not worried about the larger implications. Guil is. He speculates about possible reasons, including the supernatural, an abnormality in time, subconscious punishment of himself, interference of a god. Asks Ros to describe his earliest memory but Ros forgets the question. Guil recalls that the pair of them were “sent for” and worries that there is something ominous/supernatural going on. Attempts to reassure himself with logic. Claims to be reassuring Ros but is really reassuring himself. Ros hears music but thinks he is imagining it, then Guil hears it too. Guil claims that people seeing something is what makes it real. Tragedians arrive. Offer to perform for them and allow them to “participate” for an extra feel. Ros misunderstands and engages with them. Player urges Alfred, a young boy, to get into a skirt. Guildenstern is disgusted and punches the Player. Ros questions them further and then is embarrassed. Guildenstern stops them with a coin toss game, which they win with the predictability. Follows with another bet that he can double any digit and get an even number. Player offers Alfred as payment. Guildenstern asks about their play repertoire. Player explains about blood, love, and rhetoric. They’re all blood. Rosencrantz removes his foot from the last coin and announces that it was actually tails. Lights go down and then come back up on them inside. Ophelia rushes past followed by Hamlet, who grabs and quickly releases her. Claudius and Gertrude enter, explain that they want their help with Hamlet. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern promise to help. Ros and Guil try to figure out what just happened. Both seem uncertain, not just of their situation, but of their memories beforehand. Guil comforts, saying they have been given a purpose. They practice questions they will be asking Hamlet, scoring eachother like in tennis, but are only further confused. Hamlet enters briefly and then leaves. Ros and Guil roleplay as Guil and Hamlet. Hamlet returns, greets them, but mistakes one for the other.
Highlights: Non-specificity of location connecting to Waiting for Godot. Readers who know Hamlet will already know what the situation is. Vague memories give dreamlike effect. Ros’s lack of concern v. Guil’s concern. Ros and Guil alternately attracted to and repulsed by tragedians. Player seems to understand that they are in a play, states that he is always in character, always on stage. Blood, love, and rhetoric. Much more comedy in R & G are Dead than Hamlet. Verbal sparring as game or comedy routine. Nobody seems to be able to tell Ros and Guil apart, including them. Gives them an interchangability similar to Didi and Gogo’s. Ros & Guil switch from modern to Shakespearean English when talking to Shakespeare characters. Stoppard gives personality to characters which did not originally have it

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act II
Hamlet claims to be mad only when the wind blows a certain way. When Hamlet leaves with Polonius they spend several minutes trying to determine the direction of the wind. Polonius, Hamlet, and Tragedians enter. Hamlet announces they will be performing The Murder of Gonzago. Player angrily accuses R & G of abandoning them in the middle of their act, thus depriving them of an audience. Claims their very identity depends on someone observing them. R & G and player discuss the play to be performed tomorrow as well as possible causes for Hamlet’s behavior. Player advises them to act natural. R & G begin discussing what happens when someone dies. “Dead in a box/alive in a box” Ros speculates. Guil is upset by this. Players rehearse Murder of Gonzago. Player says that the dumb show helps you understand the action. Player tells them they “aim at the point where everyone who is marked for death dies”. Makes references to just deserts and tragic irony. Shows R & G’s coming death. R & G see that the spies are dressed like they are. Guil claims that death is not something that can be acted but player claims it can. Lights go down, come back up on R & G in same position as dead player doubles. Claudius enters, telling that Hamlet has killed Polonius. They attempt to trap Hamlet but he tricks them and sneaks away. They now have to escort Hamlet to England. Hear the music of the tragedians and Hamlet asks them to go first. They go, saying they have come too far to turn back
Highlights: Player’s understanding of identity as dependent on audience. Discussion of death beginning. Just deserts and tragic irony reference two angles on R & G’s death. Ros begins to become upset and try to understand the situation. Guil resists the idea of fate. Foreshadowing. Reader knows we are building to R & G’s death. Lack of shock or speculation about Polonius’s death. Accepting it and moving forward. Comedic failure to capture Hamlet. Moment where they almost identify the spies. R & G lamenting people coming on/confusing them. Recognizing the plot of the play

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Act III
R & G wake on a boat. They discuss what to do and decide on nothing. Ros walks upstage, peers behind an umbrella, finds Hamlet sleeping there. Guil is frustrated by not knowing what to do. Ros plays a game with him in an effort to soothe him, telling him to guess which hand he has a coin in, but he has coins in both. Discuss how much money they will receive from Claudius. Guil gets irritated with Ros for repeating him, then comforts Ros when he gets upset, telling him everything will turn out fine. They recall Claudius’s letter, act out how they will give it to the English king. Ros opens it and discovers the execution order for Hamlet. Ros suggests that they can not carry it, being Hamlet’s friend, but Guil rationalizes guilt away, saying that more is happening than they realize and there might be good reasons for Hamlet to die. Adds that since we don’t know what happens after death, fearing it irrational. Hamlet blows out light, R & G sleep. Hamlet swaps out letter. Morning comes. Tragedians appear inside barrels. Player explains that king was so angered by the play they had to stow away. Ros laments that they only experience disconnected scenes and don’t understand what’s happening. Pirates charge the stage, and R & G and players hide in barrels. One barrel disappears in lights out, R & G and players emerge, wonder where Hamlet is. Guil is upset again, and Ros tries to appease him. They act out the meeting again, and Guil opens the letter, discovering that it now orders their deaths. Rest of the Tragedians come. Guil and player argue about death, whether it can be performed or not. Guil argues that it can not because you know you aren’t dying. He stabs the player, furiously. The Tragedians applaud and the player gets back up. Tragedians mimic various deaths. Guil repeats that real death is not theatrical but just the absence of anything. Ros realizes the end is near and despairs, asking Guil if they did something wrong and if they could just stay put. Then he disappears, leaving Guil. Guil despairs how this all began, calls out for Ros and then for Guil, unable to remember which he is, then disappears himself. Lights come up on last scene of Hamlet
Highlights: In contrast to R & G, Hamlet is certain and apparently remorseless in his actions. He has a lot of power, lighting and darkening the scene. R & G resort to games when frightened, especially games of chance. Ros tries to make Guil feel better by manipulating the odds. Mention that they can not imagine England, it is hard for them to visualize a past or future outside of their situation. Dreamlike quality. Ros and Guil as self serving, willing to kill Hamlet for money. Desperation to avoid death. Cruelty of last conflict with players. Deaths not shown on stage, real death can’t be. Play’s continuation after their deaths. Randomness of absurd events (barrel, innapropriate reacionts). Ominousness of inevitable death

Seth Holly
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Owner of the boarding house. His father also owned the boarding house. Shows prejudice against people who he sees as less civilized than him

Bertha Holly
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Seth’s wife. Often shows more sympathy than Seth.

Bynum Walker
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Root worker. Helps other people find their songs. Binds people together. Practices voodoo.

Rutherford Selig
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. White peddler of things and people finder. Takes Herald’s money to try and find Martha. Father hunted slaves

Jeremy Furlow
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Young man living in the home. Is fired from his job because he won’t pay for being a black man working there. Dates Mattie briefly but goes away with Molly

Herald Loomis
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Was taken by Joe Turner’s chain gang. Tried to find his wife after he was let go. Has lost his faith in Christianity. Finds his song of self sufficiency at the end. Ends up with Mattie.

Zonia Loomis
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Herald’s daughter. Makes friends with Reuben.

Mattie Campbell
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Woman who was abandoned by her boyfriend, asked Bynum to bind her, but Bynum said it wouldn’t work the way she wanted it to. Dates Jeremy briefly when he offers to keep her company, but falls for Herald.

Reuben Mercer
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Boy who lives next door. Promises to find and marry Zonia when they’re adults

Molly Cunningham
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. A more sexual woman, possibly a prostitute, who becomes a resident. Leaves to go on the road with Jeremy.

Martha Loomis
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Herald’s wife who moved with her church after he was taken. Very devoted to her religion.

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone Act I, Scene i.
Seth and Bertha are in the kitchen. Seth complains about Bynum’s voodoo. Bertha tells Seth to leave him alone. Talk about Jeremy being arrested for supposedly being drunk in public. Seth complains about black people he sees as foolish coming up north for jobs that aren’t really there. Selig arrives to order pots and pans. Bynum tells him about seeing the shiny man and being told his binding song. Selig isn’t really listening. Selig leaves, Jeremy enters, claiming that he was picked up for no reason. Herald and Zonia enter, looking to stay, and revealing that Herald is looking for Martha. Jeremy tells a story of how he was cheated out of money playing guitar for white men. Bynum convinces Jeremy to try again. Seth says he thought Loomis was “mean looking” and didn’t want to help him. Mattie Campbell comes in, asking Bynum to bind her to her boyfriend, jack, who left her. Bynum explains ehe can only bind people who were meant to be bound. Jeremy offers to stay with Mattie to cure her loneliness.

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Act I, Scene ii
Zonia and Reuben meet, and Reuben explains that his friend Eugene used to sell his pigeons to Bynum for blood rituals, and says Eugene made him promise to let his pigeons go when he died. Reuben takes her to see the pigeons.

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Act I, Scene iii
A week later Seth worries about Loomis’s intention. Reveals he suspects he knows who Martha is, but isn’t going to tell Loomis. Selig comes to pick up pans Seth made him and Loomis pays him to try and find Martha.

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Act I, Scene iv
Next day, Seth is upset because no one will loan him the money to make a pot and p an factory. Bynum and Jeremy talk about women and what it means to love a woman. Molly Cunningham enters. There are implications she’s a prostitute. Jeremy finds her attractive.

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Act I, Scene v
Group has had a good dinner, Seth selects they juba (a call and response dance). Loomis enters and goes into an episode where he has hallucinations of skeletons walking across the water. Bynum calms him down and takes him upstairs

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Act II, Scene i
Seth tells Loomis he has to leave because of his episode. Loomis and Zonia have until Saturday to leave. Molly claims she will always be a strong, independent woman, disparaging Mattie a little for having to work cleaning and ironing. Jeremy returns, having been fired for not giving a white foreman fifty cents to keep his job. Seth thinks his choice was stupid. Jeremy decides to travel around and asks Molly to go with him. Molly agrees but refuses to go South.

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Act II, Scene ii
Bynum sings about Joe Turner. Loomis is uncomfortable with the song. Bynum reveals he knows about Loomis’s past. Loomis tells them his story, how he was taken, how he searched for his wife when he got back and found Zonia living with her grandmother. He is skeptical of Bynum’s voodoo.

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone Act II, Scene iii
Bertha reassures Mattie. Loomis tells her that she’s noticed her watching him, and attempts to be intimate with her, but can’t do it. Saying he has forgotten how to touch

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone Act II, Scene iv
The next morning, Reuben tells Zonia that the ghost of Seth’s mother told him to keep his promise and release the pigeons. They bemoan that Zonia is leaving, and Reuben asks to kiss her. She lets him, and he makes a promise to find her and marry her later in life.

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Act II, Scene v
Loomis and Zonia prepare to leave. Bertha tells Mattie all she needs in life is love and laughter. They all start to laugh. Selig brings in Martha, looking for Loomis and Zonia. They enter, Loomis recounts his search for Martha and the heartache it caused him. Martha tells him she has moved on, but says she had Bynum bind her to Zonia so they could find eachother. She tells Loomis to find religion. Loomis, outraged, slashes his chest, metaphorically saving himself with his own blood. He has found his song of self sufficiency. Bynum tells him he is shining.

Rene Gallimard
M. Butterfly. Main character. French diplomat. Wants ideal “submissive oriental woman”. Tricked into believing Song is this. Falls passionately in love with Song. Ultimately commits suicide.

Song Liling
M. Butterfly. Spy who disguises himself as a woman to obtain classified information from Gallimard. Pretends to be submissive character Gallimard wants. Clearly enjoys situation and Gallimards adoration

M. Buttterfly. Gallimard’s old friend, who was more sexual and outgoing than he was. Appears in Gallimard’s memories and conversations with him are conducted in his head.

M. Butterfly. Other woman Gallimard slept with, much much more confident and outgoing than Song. Ultimately unsatisfying to Gallimard.

Comrade Chin
M. Butterfly. Communist officer who handles Song. Rigid, orderly, reflects communist morality. Disgusted by Song’s homosexual behavior

M. Butterfly. Gallimard’s wife. He was trying to have a child with her. Abandoned her for Song.

M. Butterfly. Act I, Scene i
Gallimard in prison cell monologues about how he has been humiliated and put in prison

M. Butterfly. Act I, Scene ii
Party guests laugh at Gallimard, discuss whether it is possible he was really fooled

M. Butterfly. Act I, Scene iii
Gallimard and Marc act out scene from M. Butterfly where American marries Cio-Cio-San (Butterfly). Marc’s character criticizes the callousness of Gallimard’s character. Gallimard says in real life things were usually the opposite

M. Butterfly. Act I, Scene iv.
Marc invites Gallimard to an orgy (in flashback). Gallimard, embarrassed, declines.

M. Butterfly. Act I, Scene v.
Gallimard begins telling Butterfly’s story. Switches briefly to masturbatory magazine story, then back to Butterfly, abandoned, with her baby. Gallimard switches to telling how he married Helga, despite having no real feelings for her

M. Butterfly. Act I, Scene vi
Gallimard describes meeting Song as he performed the death scene in Madame Butterfly. Explains death scene (Butterfly’s suicide) and how seeing Song perform it moved him. He and Song flirt a little in flashback. Song, annoyed, tells him that Butterfly is a western imperialist fantasy.

M. Butterfly. Act I, scene vii
Gallimard complains to Helga about the arrogance of the Chinese

M. Butterfly. Act I, scene viii.
Gallimard, curious, goes to see Song perform in a chinese opera. They flirt.

M. Butterfly. Act I, scene ix
Gallimard gets home late, lies to Helga about where he was, holds fantasy conversation with Marc about Song.

M. Butterfly. Act I, scene x
Gallimard goes to the opera again, and then Song’s apartment. They flirt much more. Gallimard thinks she feels inferior to Western women, and himself.

M. Butterfly. Act I, Scene xi
Gallimard decides to make Song wait to hear from him. Recalls with Marc his first sexual experience, with an aggressive girl Marc paid. He clearly did not enjoy it much. He receives letters from Song, begging him to come see her again, saying she has given him her shame.

M. Butterfly. Act I, Scene xii.
Gallimard is promoted

M. Butterfly. Act I, Scene xiii
Gallimard goes to Song’s apartment, taunts her somewhat, asks if she is his Butterfly. She acquiesces. They kiss. She begs him to let her stay dressed, citing modesty.

M. Butterfly. Act II, Scene i.
Gallimard reads reviews of Madame Butterfly, saying that while men do not like Pinkerton they would all like to be him

M. Butterfly. Act II, Scene ii.
Gallimard describes how he got a flat with Song, and she asks him to tell her about his work

M. Butterfly. Act II, scene iii
Gallimard and his colleague Toulan talk about politics. He reveals he knows about Gallimard’ affair, but approves. Song and Chin come on. Rene objects to Chin’s presence, but Song says it is necessary

M. Butterfly. Act II, scene iv.
Song and Chin in the apartment. Chin admonishes Song for his methods. Rene comes on only after Chin leaves, asking if she is gone

M. Butterfly. Act II, scene v.
Gallimard recounts how the years passed, how Helga asked him to go to the doctor because they couldn’t have a baby, how Song told him that that was an insult to his masculinity.

M. Butterfly. Act II, scene vi.
Gallimard meets Renee. She is the aggressive one, and asks him if he wants to fool around. He says she is beautiful but too forward, in the way she talks directly about male biology. He says Song knew of his affair, but didn’t confront him. Toulon gives Gallimard news of a coup that could cause problems for him if it goes badly. Gallimard goes to Song’s. He tries to apologize for his affair, but she does not want the apology, saying she loves him anyway, and telling him she’s pregnant.

M. Butterfly. Act II, Scene vii.
Song tells Chin he needs a baby. Tells Chin that “only a man knows how a woman is supposed to act”. Song and Gallimard talk in the present, Song taunting him, saying how he was pardoned, and how Gallimard was his greatest act.

M. Butterfly. Act II, Scene viii
Gallimard offers to divorce his wife and marry Song. Song claims she is unworthy. Gallimard summarizes how Song went away and returned with a child. Song names him Peepee and states that he’s never going to the West.

M. Butterfly. Act II, Scene ix.
Gallimard describes changing political climate and how he is transferred. We see how Song was forced to renounce acting and admit to homosexuality

M. Butterfly. Act II, Scene x.
Song working in a commune. Chin tells him to go to France and spy again. Song thinks he will be turned away by Gallimard

M. Butterfly. Act II, Scene xi
Gallimard tells Helga about his mistress. She tells him she knew. He wants to divorce her even though he can not live with Song anymore. She’s angry and leaves. Song returns to him in France, and he gladly takes her back, telling her he has been waiting for her. At the end of the act, Gallimard begs her not to change, citing his generosity to her in this moment. She says she has to and begins removing her makeup

M. Butterfly. Act III, Scene i.
Song summarizes what happened in a courtroom, how Gallimard supported him and their “son” for the next fifteen years and gave him classified documents. Song says he doesn’t know whether Gallimard knew his real gender or not, saying he was good at his deception and men want to believe lies about women.

M. Butterfly. Act III, Scene ii.
Song addresses Gallimard the same way he did in the opera. Song taunts him about how he still wants him. Gallimard is hopeful at the idea that Song might want him back. Song begins to strip. Gallimard begs him not to, but once he has Gallimard laughs. Now he sees Song is just a man the fantasy has been broken. He tells Song, who seems desperate to have his affection again, to leave.

M. Butterfly. Act III, Scene iii.
Gallimard assumes the role of Butterfly, dressing in her clothes and makeup while monologuing about how he still maintains faith in the fantasy, and then killing himself. Song calls for Butterfly as the play ends.

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