Summary (Masterplots, Definitive Revised Edition)
Dinner was over, and the ladies of Lob’s house party returned to the drawing-room after leaving the gentlemen to their cigars and wine. Matey, the butler, had stolen jewelry from one of the guests. The women called him in to tell him they knew he was the thief. When Matey returned the jewelry, the women stated that they would not report him if he told them why they were guests at the house. Matey either could not or would not give them a direct answer. In the course of the conversation it was learned that their host was mysteriously ageless and that Lob was another name for the legendary Puck. Matey admitted that Lob always asked a different party of guests to his house for Midsummer Week. He warned the women not to venture outside the garden on this Midsummer Eve. When he left them with the warning not to go into the wood, the women were puzzled because there was no wood within miles of the house.
Host Lob entered thoughtfully. He was followed by old Mr. Coade, who was collecting notes for a projected work on the Feudal System, and Mr. Purdie, an intellectual young barrister. Coade and Purdie suggested that the group take a walk to discover a mysterious wood. Lob said slyly that the villagers believed that a wood appeared in a different part of the neighborhood each Midsummer Eve. He pretended skepticism to sharpen the curiosity of his guests, who went to prepare for the adventure.
Among Lob’s guests was Lady Caroline Laney, unmarried and...
(The entire section is 1056 words.)
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Dear Brutus explores what might happen if ordinary men and women, mired in unhappiness, were given the magical opportunity to remake their lives, or, as the butler Matey says, the chance to "take the right turning." The play addresses the human proclivity to blame others or fate for their failures and unhappiness, and provides the audience with penetrating insights into human nature.
(The entire section is 62 words.)