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Calvary


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A: W. B. Yeats Pf: Not known Pb: 1921 G: Drama in 1 act; blank verse and irregular verse of 3- and 4-stressed lines S: The road to Calvary, ad 30 C: 6m, 3 musiciansOn the way to his crucifixion, Christ encounters Lazarus, who reproaches him for denying him his death and bringing him back to life. He then meets Judas, who argues that, by betraying Jesus, he has at last proved that he has free will. Even if Christ's betrayal was preordained, Judas insists that he chose to be the betrayer. Three Roman soldiers, who will play dice for Christ's cloak, perform a dance for him as Christ hangs on the cross.

A: W. B. Yeats Pf: Not known Pb: 1921 G: Drama in 1 act; blank verse and irregular verse of 3- and 4-stressed lines S: The road to Calvary, ad 30 C: 6m, 3 musicians

This brief poetic re-enactment of the Crucifixion forms the last of Yeats's Four Plays for Dancers, and as At the Hawk's Well, calls for masked performers in the manner of oriental theatre. As in Oedipus the King, a version of which Yeats had staged in 1926, there is opposition between predestination (represented by Christ) and chance (the Roman dice-players). Christ's philosophy is associated with suffering, while the Romans enjoy a jolly dance.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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