Our Town by Thorton Wilder is probably the most profound play I will ever see. Back in November, I had the pleasure of seeing it for the first time. I didn’t know a whole lot about it, but I remember good things about it. For my literature course, we are reading it this week. A few of us also managed to make a performance last night. It is just so haunting, and definitely sticks with you. I finished reading the script yesterday at the doctor’s office. As usual, I want to warn you that this post will contain spoilers.
The play is performed in three acts focusing on three different topics: everyday life, love and marriage, and finally, death. The first act is setting the scene for what happens in the second and third acts. It really leaves you with a feeling of, “What is the point of this?” because it is so you exciting. My teacher pointed out that Wilder wanted you to leave with a feeling of simplicity after the first act, and I agree. It is just so simple and the opposite of elaborate.
The second act is more romantic. George Gibbs and Emily Webb, two of the main characters, get married in this act.
The third act is the most haunting. The topic is death, and this is truly the most important part of the play. Emily discovers how short life is, and learns a valuable message.
This play is really worth seeing, or at least reading. It is so simple, but at the same time it isn’t. The message is portrayed in a way that almost everyone could get, even people who don’t have degrees. I recommend this play to everyone mature enough to understand, because this play is definitely deep and touching. It isn’t a typical play where you leave with a good story, but a play where you leave with a life changing realization. This play will change you.
It is commonly said that William Shakespeare was born on April 23rd. It is also commonly said that he died on his birthday, April 23rd. Today is the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. He is known for writing plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet. Everyone has heard of Shakespeare, most people probably are forced to read his plays in school, but is there more to Shakespeare’s works than his well-known plays? The answer is yes, of course. Shakespeare wrote more than two dozen plays, and well over one hundred and thirty sonnets. My current favorite Shakespeare play, and one of my absolute favorite plays is the Two Gentlemen of Verona. This post is going to talk about this uncommon play. Whether you’re a student, Shakespeare fanatic, or just randomly found this post, you’re going to learn something from this.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona follows the love story of two best friends and their ladies. It is an extremely complicated story (but aren’t all of Shakespeare plays like this?), but a quick and to the point summary is below. This is by no means a complete summary, but I still must say: THIS SUMMARY WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS.
Proteus and Valentine are two best friends from Verona. Proteus loves Julia, who also loves him. In the beginning, Valentine does not understand love. Valentine goes away to Milan and falls in love with the daughter of the Duke of Milan, Silvia. Silvia is betrothed to Sir Thurio but loves Valentine. Proteus comes to Milan and instantaneously falls in love with Silvia, but conceals it from his friend. Valentine says that he and Silvia are going to elope, and tells Proteus the plan. Proteus tells the Duke, who then banishes Valentine. Valentine joins a band of outlaws. Proteus tries to woo Silvia, who will not have it. Julia comes disguised as a page named Sebastian and sees Proteus’s unfaithfulness. She works for him but is unhappy with his disloyalty. Silvia enlists the help of Sir Eglamour to bring her to her beloved Valentine. They are attacked by outlaws (Valentine’s outlaws, but he is not with them at this moment) and Sir Eglamour abandons Silvia. Silvia is saved by Proteus, and is nearly dishonored before Valentine saves her. The two gentlemen make up and are friends again, Julia reunites with her Proteus, and Valentine and Silvia are given permission to marry.
One of of the reasons I love this play so much is because I was in an adapted version of it last summer. And I prepared for the audition passionately. I read about the play, chose my character months before the audition, and practiced my monologue. I had seen the play twice the summer before. I looked for different versions of the play, and watched parts of it. I was definitely interested in getting the role I wanted: Silvia. And all that hard work paid off, because I was casted as that glorious lady. It was one of the best roles I have ever played. I loved it so much, and hope to play her in a full version one day. Some of my close friends were in it as well. It was definitely a play to remember.