Arsenic and Old Lace Questions and Answers

Arsenic and Old Lace

A delightful combination of the sinister with the farcical, Jonathan Kesselring's play was so often performed by senior classes in high school's across the country in the 1950s and 1960s. THE...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2011 11:49 am UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic and Old Lace is a dark comedy that focuses around the Brewster family. The two elderly Brewster sisters believe that they are doing an act of kindness by serving poisoned elderberry wine to...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2018 9:53 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Arsenic and Old Lace

The play's ending is different from the movie's on a couple of points. When Mortimer learns he is not a Brewster relation whatsoever but an illegitimate child taken in by them out of pity; in the...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2019 9:59 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Arsenic and Old Lace

In Act II of Arsenic and Old Lace, Dr. Einstein discovers twelve dead bodies in the cellar. The aunts refuse to let Jonathan bury a stranger with their friends. Angered that his relatives have...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2011 6:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic and Old Lace draws much of its comedy from irony, and it's chock full of multiple types—verbal, situational, and dramatic. Situational irony occurs when events turn out the opposite of what...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2019 1:30 am UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

The press is on hand when Mortimer Brewster arrives with Elaine Harper at the marriage license bureau to get married. When the reporters realize it is him, Mortimer Brewster, the confirmed bachelor...

Latest answer posted April 24, 2019 12:54 am UTC

2 educator answers

Arsenic and Old Lace

In act 1 of Arsenic and Old Lace, Mortimer's sociopathic brother, Jonathan Brewster, arrives. He startles his aunts, who do not recognize him because he has had surgeries on his face to disguise...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2017 12:13 am UTC

2 educator answers

Arsenic and Old Lace

Act I of this farcical and macabre play takes place entirely in the Brewster house in Brooklyn where the two spinster aunts of Motimer Brewster reside. Mortimer, ironically, a dramatic critic,...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2011 5:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

A farcical play with macabre overtones, Arsenic and Old Lace, written in 1939, portrays two eccentric spinster aunts, who charitably murder lonely and alienated people. When their nephew Mortimer,...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2013 10:21 am UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

The play Arsenic and Old Lace takes place on a September day in "present time," which, when it was written, was 1939. The play opens in the afternoon. Act II of the play takes place "later that...

Latest answer posted May 18, 2016 5:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

In the play version I saw of A&OL, the house looked a bit dollhouse like. In the film version the house looks somewhat dollhouse like. I suppose it could be argued that since the interior is...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2010 12:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

With Arsenic and Old Lace being a dark comedy as well as a somewhat scary murder mystery too, the window seat becomes a source of both horror and comedy because it's where the bodies are stored...

Latest answer posted February 17, 2010 12:37 am UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

I believe Kesselring's Arsenic and Old Lace, set somewhere in England—with certain aspects of the play changed—would work very well! First of all, the aunts Abby and Martha Brewster are spinsters,...

Latest answer posted May 31, 2012 9:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

O'Hara is a policeman who sees a crime being committed right before his eyes and yet he has no clue. Even though Mortimer, bound and gagged, tries to send him nonverbal clues, O'Hara sees nothing...

Latest answer posted August 12, 2010 11:38 am UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

The three residents of the Brewster house are Abby Brewster, Martha Brewster, and Teddy Brewster. Abby and Martha are sisters and Teddy is their nephew. Abby and Martha's theater critic nephew,...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2016 7:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

This is a very interesting question to consider, because both Abby and Martha on the one hand are not given some of the most hilarious lines of the play, which are of course given to Mortimer...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

Mortimer Brewster is the very symbol of bachelorhood. In his capacity as drama critic, he has sneered at every love scene in every play. He has written, by his own estimation, four million words...

Latest answer posted November 11, 2019 8:25 am UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

We know Teddy is mad pretty quickly because the actor looks like Teddy Roosevelt and after only a moment into the film upon meeting him, he shouts "Charge!" and runs up the stairs. We learn that...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2010 11:52 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

The play (and video) is set in 1941 right before Christmas. This is significant because many people travel to spend time with their families at Christmas time, and so it is not unusual that the...

Latest answer posted February 14, 2010 4:52 am UTC

1 educator answer

Arsenic and Old Lace

The character description of Jonathan says that he has a face "botched" by plastic surgery so that he looks like the screen villain Boris Karloff. Jonathan shows tension and upset about his face...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2021 12:20 am UTC

1 educator answer