Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Four Speakers

Four Speakers, a mixed group of men and women. None of the four characters in this play assumes a “role” in any traditional sense. The speakers remain merely anonymous actors who address the audience in the author’s words. They are also largely indistinguishable from one another and even from the members of the audience. Their clothing is ordinary casual dress. It is expected that the men, in both the audience and on stage, will be wearing dark jackets and white shirts with plain ties. Women are expected to be dressed in subdued colors. During their time onstage, the four speakers address the audience directly without singling out any specific individuals. They speak in a bland litany, free of emotion, vocal inflection, or any significant gestures. Nor are any specific lines assigned to the individual speakers. The characters merely pick up and leave off the discourse in a random order, speaking for varying lengths of time. Frequently, and without explanation, they contradict themselves and one another. In doing so, however, they give no indication of their own feelings about what they are saying beyond a general statement to the audience that their opinions may (or may not) be the same as those of the author. At the end of the performance, the four speakers react to the audience in exactly the same manner regardless of whether the audience’s response to their work has been favorable or unfavorable.