Old Man, a “general factotum” aged ninety-five. He is an employee, or assistant, who serves in a wide range of capacities. He, like all the characters in this play, both visible and invisible, is made up of contrasts and contradictions; he is both man and child. His speech is composed of words and logical sentences as well as some nonsense words and syllables and illogical sentences. Although he is a character of flesh and blood, he sometimes appears to be more illusionary than the invisible characters. While awaiting the arrival of guests, he and his wife reminisce about earlier times and play games of make believe; for example, he sits on his wife’s lap like a little child and calls for his mother. Although he says he is bored with it all, he continues to play the same games and tell the same story night after night. He invites a large crowd of both great and ordinary people to hear his great message that will benefit humanity. Believing himself to be inadequate to communicate this message to others, he has hired a professional orator to deliver it. He greets invisible guests as they arrive and talks with these guests while awaiting the Orator. When the Orator finally arrives, the Old Man gives him a wordy ineffectual introduction. Saying that his life is now fulfilled, the Old Man jumps out of the tower window to his death.
Old Woman, the Old Man’s ninety-four-year-old wife and “helpmeet.” Like the Old Man, she is made up of contrasts and contradictions. She is both mother and wife to the Old Man. At times, she seems stronger and more mature than her husband, telling him that he could have...
(The entire section is 683 words.)