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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 289

The drama “Largo Desolato” by Vaclav Havel is about a man named Leopold Nettes who is being harassed by an authoritarian government that he irritated due to a book he wrote recently. His family wants him to stand strong against the government, whereas the government is threatening him if he doesn’t retract the boo and essentially apologize for it.

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Since the play is in large part about Leopold’s distress, it might help the case of your paper to find some quotes that demonstrate this, if you are picking something related to this as a topic. An example would be:

I was up by about eight today—I felt like doing something—I was thinking of making a few notes—I had a piece of paper all ready but nothing came—I wasn’t feeling up to scratch again. Those shakes I had yesterday came back.

This is from the third scene, about a page down, after Edward finally shows up to greet Leopold. The whole point of the first part of the third scene is Leopold being comforted by Edward’s arrival. He says to Edward when the latter arrives

I feel better when there’s someone here, Come in . . . .

As the scene continues, there’s also quotes about the pressure Leopold’s friends are putting on him, such as when Bertram, a friend, says, “Your friends . . . we’ve all—for some time—begun to question whether you might not crack under the strain.” In other words, Leopold’s friends see him as a hero resisting the government and are afraid he will change his mind. There are many such quotes in this part of the play that could help you establish the situation in your essay.

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