Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Bill Maitland

Bill Maitland, a thirty-nine-year-old solicitor who runs his own legal practice in London. He is married to Anna, with whom he has two children. Maitland is facing a midlife crisis that forces him to confront his personal inadequacies, his fear of old age, and his own mortality. In an unhappy marriage, Maitland survives through his dependence on alcohol, pills, and an unusually high amount of sexual activity. Maitland has affairs with all of his female secretaries, in addition to having a permanent mistress, who also supports him emotionally. Maitland relies on everyone around him, but as he gradually is deserted by both staff and clients, he becomes an isolated and lonely figure. The play essentially is Maitland’s monologue tracing his psychological and moral disintegration. A dreamlike reality pervades his world, and Maitland continually lapses into a narrative describing his almost unconscious state. For Maitland, the world seems in a state of impermanence. As his self-destruction continues, he lashes out at everything and everyone around him, attacking their values and sense of security.


Hudson, Maitland’s managing clerk. Hudson, a comfortable and confident man, is good at his job and demonstrates a strong sense of personal integrity and morality. Although he is sympathetic to Maitland’s personal and professional crises, Hudson resists Maitland’s suggestion of going into partnership...

(The entire section is 549 words.)


(Drama for Students)

Liz Eaves
Liz Eaves is having an affair with Bill Maitland. She appears at the end of the play, worried about Bill’s...

(The entire section is 434 words.)