| "MASTER HAROLD"
...and the boys
Close up his eyes and draw the curtain close;
William Shakespeare, King Henry VI. Part II.
WORTH A LOOK
- What's the significance that Willie's on his knees at the very beginning of the play?
- What's the significance in the opening stage directions of the single table and chair?
- Sam and Willie are almost always on their feet--cleaning, polishing, stacking chairs, waiting on Hally, helping with Hally's homework, answering the phone, tidying up, etc. When do we see Sam and Willie sitting, and why are these very significant dramatic moments?
- What's the significance of Sam wearing a white jacket?
- What is the significance that the play takes place in a tearoom?
- What is the significance of Hally not getting the "vet" joke?
- How does the opening scene of the play, before Hally comes in, foreshadow the basic pattern of the play?
- How does Hally's picture of his teacher function as foreshadowing?
- The central metaphor of the play is ballroom dancing. What is the significance of this metaphor?
- This discussion about the beauty of ballroom dancing prompts Hally to consider this topic for one of his upcoming essays. Is Hally's choice of an essay topic a compliment or an insult to the blacks?
- What's the significance of the comic books?
- What's the symbolism inherent in the kite joke?
- Hally is the "master" and Sam is the "servant." Uusally the master teaches the servant, but which one is really the teacher?
- Speaking of teaching, what is the irony behind Hally teaching Sam the word "magnitude?"
- Why is it ironic that Hally has hidden Darwin in the Theology section of the library? And why is it further ironic when this topic prompts Hally to say, "it's the likes of you that kept the inquisition in business?"
- What's the significance surrounding Hally's memory of his chess playing with Willie and Sam?
- What's the significance of Sam mentioning to Willie that now is the time to pay the price for losing his temper?
- What's the significance of the ruler episode?
- What's the significance that they only have enough money for bus fare?
- What is the dramatic purpose and net effect of the two telephone conversations?
- What's the significance of the last song?
- What is the overall point of the play?
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