Please analyze Serious Money by Caryl Churchill.

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A lot can be extracted from the title of Caryl Churchill's 1987 play, Serious Money . Primarily, the title encapsulates the greed it satirizes in the play. Secondly, it is a sharp observation on how the concept of money, specifically accumulation of wealth, has become an extremely serious matter...

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A lot can be extracted from the title of Caryl Churchill's 1987 play, Serious Money. Primarily, the title encapsulates the greed it satirizes in the play. Secondly, it is a sharp observation on how the concept of money, specifically accumulation of wealth, has become an extremely serious matter in human civilization. So much so, in fact, that people are murdered over it.

The protagonist's brother is killed by a mysterious figure for running an underground trading scheme, and she is determined to find out who the culprit is. However, the play is not a whodunit mystery in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes; it is an investigation and exposition on the global financial system. It is a system that is inherently corrupt due to the nature of what it is trading. The play is also a psychological profile of traders, financiers, and brokers.

The play suggests that humans are overall predictable when determining how bad behavior (i.e., greed) can be created in a competitive environment. An attempt at a company takeover in the second part of the play emphasizes this notion. It is not as simple as greedy people wanting money to survive or even to live a luxurious life. What drives the nefarious characters in the play is the desire to attain power and to be the alpha hunter, and more money and power are the prey. They are addicted to the feeling of godliness because they are such an integral part of the global economy.

This hubris and sociopathic tendency was exacerbated by the deregulation of the financial markets in the United Kingdom during the 1980s, termed popularly as the "Big Bang." In essence, the play is a reaction and criticism towards the "Big Bang." Churchill opens the play with a scene from a satirical comedy about stock jobbers, which was written in the seventeenth century. She begins her thesis with this excerpt to show that not much positive change has occurred since that time, and that greed and corruption are cyclical.

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