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Wedding


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AT: The Marriage; The Wedding Ceremony A: Witold Gombrowicz Pf: 1964, Paris; 1976, Wroclaw Pb: 1950 Tr: 1969 G: Drama in 3 acts; Polish prose S: France, Second World War C: 6m, 2f, extrasHenryk, a Polish soldier fighting in France during the Second World War, dreams of returning to his homeland. Arriving at an inn, he finds that his parents are the innkeepers and that his fiancée Maria is also there but avoiding him. A Drunk and his companions abuse Henryk's father and calls Maria a whore. Suddenly, Henryk's Father declares that he is King; the inn becomes a palace, and the Drunk the Royal Ambassador. The Ambassador encourages Henryk to seize power by overthrowing the King. Since he cannot bring himself to believe in the reality of what is happening, Henryk removes his Father from the throne by touching him. When he comes to marry Maria, however, the Drunk behaves as though she is already wed to his comrade-in-arms Władzio. With Henryk now in charge, he encourages Władzio to commit suicide, so that Maria's honour is restored. When the Drunk declares that Henryk is a cuckold, Władzio's corpse is revealed. Although Henryk protests his innocence, he has himself imprisoned and sentenced to death.

AT: The Marriage; The Wedding Ceremony A: Witold Gombrowicz Pf: 1964, Paris; 1976, Wroclaw Pb: 1950 Tr: 1969 G: Drama in 3 acts; Polish prose S: France, Second World War C: 6m, 2f, extras

The Wedding appears to be a political allegory, and although it deals with topics like the abuse of power, clearly relevant to Poland under Communism, the play's focus is not on national politics. Rather, it is a poetic drama, like Hamlet seen through the eyes of Genet, a nightmarish world where the rules of logic no longer apply and a word once uttered can determine the course of all future action.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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