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The Suicide

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A Critique of The Suicide

Irony, ridicule and nonsense combined with an

unimaginable plot and unthinkable characters make

the farce one of the one of the more entertaining

genres. Although it is not what you might call

knee-slapping humor, The Suicide certainly does

have its comical moments. Unfortunately it also

has its slow points as well. The Suicide was

apparently not so humorous to the Russian

leadership during the Communist era as Lennin

promptly banned the play after seeing the

performance. This was certainly not a rare

occurrence during the Communist era as many works

of art and information were banned including plays

written by Chekov and Bulgakov. It’s not very hard

to understand why the play was banned because it

absolutely ridicules every aspect of the Soviet

society and the various segments of people that are

in conflict with each other.

The story focuses around Semian who is an

unemployed Russian living off of his mother. He

basically feels lowly and worthless as he is much

to old to be living with his mother. He hasn’t

seemed to find his place in life yet and almost

seems like he has given up and is a loser. Semian

does see himself as able to do great things though

and thinks he should be famous. When the

opportunity to become a hero arises the audience

takes the journey with him to make his final

decision. Semian is asked to commit suicide for

the cause and by doing this unthinkable feat he

would die a hero and a famous man. Because Semian

does not have a job and feels like he has no

purpose in life he actually does consider killing

himself. Although I found this unrealis...

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expect more inner turmoil. Some other individual

performances that impressed me were the clergyman

and the postman. The clergyman did a good job of

portraying a drunk; it was so convincing that I

wouldn’t be surprised if he actually was drinking

vodka. The Postman was an entertaining character,

every time he saw a woman and acted like a dog the

audience broke into laughter.

I thought the technical elements were all well

done. At first I was unsure about all the doors on

the stage but then I saw their purpose when they

signified different rooms. The lighting was very

effective and so were the costumes, which were

quite convincing of the time period.

Overall, The Suicide was an entreating farce,

which made a good social point and was well worth

my time.

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