Characters Discussed

George Moore

George Moore, a professor of moral philosophy (ethics) at a British university. In a department dominated by logical positivism and linguistic analysis, George, though only in his forties, is an anachronism. This circumstance is emphasized by the fact that he bears the name of a famous philosopher of the early twentieth century, G. E. Moore. George is in many respects a caricature of the abstract thinker, deeply absorbed in conceptual hair-splitting and blind to what is going on under his nose. At the core of his ramblings, there is a worthy defense of morality as something more than mere convention, but he lacks the courage of his convictions.

Dorothy (Dotty) Moore

Dorothy (Dotty) Moore, George’s beautiful wife, ten to fifteen years his junior. Dotty, once a star of musical comedy, retired prematurely after suffering a nervous breakdown during a performance. She, too, is a caricature: the bored, disillusioned neurasthenic, at once vulnerable and dangerous. When a murder occurs at a party in her flat early in the play, she apparently believes that she is the killer, though it seems unlikely that she committed the crime.

Sir Archibald (Archie) Jumper

Sir Archibald (Archie) Jumper, the vice chancellor of George’s university, a protean and diabolical figure. As a philosopher who is also an expert gymnast, he embodies the empty cleverness of much contemporary philosophy. He...

(The entire section is 492 words.)