Representation Of Wit In Margaret Edson's Play Wit

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Q. How is Margaret Edson's play W;t a representation of wit. Consider play structure, characterisation, language and themes. REPORT ON W;T BY MARGARET EDSON In the play 'W;t' by Margaret Edson we are presented with Vivian bearing, a professor specialising in the holy sonnets by Donne. The protagonist, Vivian, is dying of stage four metastic ovarian cancer, and therefore the play is situated in the hospital. She is a complex character; she is intellectual, literal, flippant, arrogant, and witty. Throughout the play Vivian uses her humour, sarcasm, irony and puns to hide behind her intellect - which she learnt from Donne's sonnets - to hide her emotional side. Thus by the end of the play she realizes to regret her philosophy of 'life and text being the same'. Her use of intellect makes the play witty - a metaphysical conceit. Edson clearly conveys the concept of 'Wit' through the structure, characterisation, language and themes of the play. Play structure: The title of the play reinforces the idea of 'W;t'. The use of a semicolon ';' in place of the letter 'i' gives wit as one representation of the play's title. In the context of the play, the semicolon…show more content…
The flashback of the interchange with her professor shows when she decided life can be represented through literature. She uses her literature and knowledge as her only form of defence against cancer. The use of her wit and intellect throughout the play is her inner journey of spirituality which allows her to have a fuller and humane understanding of life. This is shown by her need for empathy from the doctors. In the end she learns the understanding of compassion and therefore wants simplicity, not complexity like Donne’s sonnets. This shows her journey of change in literature, she is now aware that Donne has outwitted her and greatly regrets choosing words over
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