A Play in Verse. Houghton Mifflin. Archibald MacLeish has shown great daring in basing his new poetic drama, J. From a strictly literary point of view, the Biblical version offers few possibilities of expansion into a full-length drama. Furthermore, the development of the argument between Job, his three friends, and Elihu is not clearly articulated. Unhappily, Mr.
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A Play in Verse. Houghton Mifflin. Archibald MacLeish has shown great daring in basing his new poetic drama, J. From a strictly literary point of view, the Biblical version offers few possibilities of expansion into a full-length drama.
Furthermore, the development of the argument between Job, his three friends, and Elihu is not clearly articulated. Unhappily, Mr. MacLeish has failed. He has tried to solve the literary problem, in part, by showing the prosperous J. And the succeeding scenes, which show J. Their presence weighs heavily on the drama. Most of their comments properly belong to J. Zuss argue out between themselves; lacking these speeches, J.
All this is not a result of Mr. But this is poetic drama—what of its poetry? I find it pale, feeble, and impoverished. Its only resources for achieving the modest and often superficial intensity it occasionally has are awkward syntax, labored alliteration, and, as a last resort, sheer automatism. Each time that Mr. MacLeish quotes from the Biblical version and he does so often , its words dominate the stage and sweep away whatever speeches he has put into the mouths of his characters. It is not.
By dwelling so long on the wager and on J. The final touch is J. He is. MacLeish is, of course, free to interpret the Book of Job as he wishes. Yet the God of Job is no simple inscrutability. As the Voice in the Whirlwind, he steps forward and discovers himself. His presence is nothing less than the total and immediate creation of the world.
A known inscrutability, I would call him. MacLeish quotes extensively from the Voice in the Whirlwind and even has J. And as Mr. The candles in churches are out. The lights have gone out in the sky. Dramatically, the question of inter-personal relations has nothing to do with the problem of Job before God, or even of J.
Morally, it suggests bourgeois humanism. For, as it stands, Mr. Is it so much a matter of what the light of love may permit modern man to see, as—the eternal question—in what light shall he see love, and, indeed, everything else? It has not been my intention here to beat down contemporary humanism with the stick of Biblical God-consciousness.
Rather, I have wanted to point out that so long as humanists like Mr. MacLeish fail to understand such God-consciousness, they will also fail in their specifically humanist task: to come to a vision of man which would create, sustain, impassion, and move the world in the same way that the God who appeared in the Whirlwind did.
Archibald MacLeish Quotes
Early years[ edit ] MacLeish was born in Glencoe, Illinois. He attended the Hotchkiss School from to He fought at the Second Battle of the Marne. He returned to America in By the s, he considered Capitalism to be "symbolically dead" and wrote the verse play Panic in response.
J.B. A Play in Verse, by Archibald MacLeish