Patrick White’s Four Plays

... the most I can do is give you the play, and plays, of course, are only plays. Even the great play of life. Some of you will argue that that is real enough ... (very quiet and diffident) ... but can we be ... sure? (Returning to the surface, dry) Thank you. We'd better begin now.

Even in this opening address to the audience, the Young Man of The Ham Funeral has begun to conjoin several roles that he is never entirely to unite. As protagonist, he has much to learn of 'the great play of life'. And yet, if such clichés come glibly to his lips, he has already ('can we be . . . sure?') begun a rather hesitant and priggish questioning of their validity. He is to learn much, to ask more rigorous questions, and even to discern the beginnings of a…

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Published 1 June 1966 in Volume 2 No. 3. Subjects: Australian theatre, Dramatic techniques, Patrick White.

Cite as: Burrows, John F.. ‘Patrick White’s Four Plays.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 2, no. 3, 1966, doi: 10.20314/als.ef851068aa.