In "Tape" by Jose Rivera: how did the structure of the plot facilitate the conflict and resolution?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Jose Rivera wrote the very short, two-man play, "Tape." A young man who read everything he could about Shakespeare, Ibsen and Moliere, Rivera presents an unusual drama that might spring from The Twilight Zone episodes that he loved to watch as a child.

The plot structure of this play is very simple. There is a room with two men: one is called the "person," who is very agitated; the other is called the "attendant." The dialogue is vague to start. It is difficult to find a context that will shed some light upon the plot developing before the audience. Because of this simplistic structure, the conflict, when it is finally introduced, speedily drives the plot toward the resolution.

It is fair to say that Aristotle would have defined this play as a tragedy: imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude...

The play is serious, and it imitates an imaginary action of enormous magnitude...but the audience is unprepared for it. The context now becomes clear: the play is based on a modern perception of hell. The person is dead, and the attendant is there to assist him in his punishment: there are ten thousand boxes of tapes; he must listen to each one.

Listening, word by word, to every lie you ever told while you were alive.


Additional Source:é_Rivera_(playwright)

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