Lazarus Laughed

Lazarus Laughed

by Eugene O'Neill

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Overview

In appearance Lazarus is tall and powerful, about fifty years of
age, with a mass of gray-black hair and a heavy beard. His face
recalls that of a statue of a divinity of Ancient Greece in its
general structure and particularly in its quality of detached
serenity. It is dark-complected, ruddy and brown, the color of
rich earth upturned by the plow, calm but furrowed deep with the
marks of former suffering endured with a grim fortitude that had
never softened into resignation. His forehead is broad and noble,
his eyes black and deep-set. Just now he is staring straight
before him as if his vision were still fixed beyond life.

Kneeling beside him with bowed heads are his wife, Miriam, his
sisters, Martha and Mary, and his Father and Mother.

Miriam is a slender, delicate woman of thirty-five, dressed in deep
black, who holds one of his hands in both of hers, and keeps her
lips pressed to it. The upper part of her face is covered by a
mask which conceals her forehead, eyes and nose, but leaves her
mouth revealed. The mask is the pure pallor of marble, the
expression that of a statue of Woman, of her eternal acceptance of
the compulsion of motherhood, the inevitable cycle of love into
pain into joy and new love into separation and pain again and the
loneliness of age. The eyes of the mask are almost closed. Their
gaze turns within, oblivious to the life outside, as they dream
down on the child forever in memory at her breast. The mouth of
Miriam is sensitive and sad, tender with an eager, understanding
smile of self-forgetful love, the lips still fresh and young. Her
skin, in contrast to the mask, is sunburned and earth-colored like
that of Lazarus. Martha, Mary and the two parents all wear full
masks which broadly reproduce their own characters. Martha is a
buxom middle-aged housewife, plain and pleasant. Mary is young and
pretty, nervous and high-strung. The Father is a small, thin,
feeble old man of over eighty, meek and pious. The Mother is tall
and stout, over sixty-five, a gentle, simple woman.

All the masks of these Jews of the first two scenes of the play are
pronouncedly Semitic.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013763043
Publisher: WDS Publishing
Publication date: 01/16/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 85 KB

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