Critical Evaluation: Roses of Eyam

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  • Topic: Death, The Plague, Plays
  • Pages : 3 (1268 words )
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  • Published : November 8, 2012
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“Roses of Eyam”
Critical evaluation
“The roses of Eyam” by Don Taylor is a play that describes 17th century Eyam where the plague broke out. The villagers then decide to quarantine themselves to stop the plague from spreading. Don Taylor’s play is based on an actual event. In my critical evaluation I will explore the relationship between Mompesson and Stanley and human behaviour in the face of adversity. At the very beginning of the play, the author gives the impression that Mompesson is very idealistic and has high expectations. “I’m grateful of course, but I did hope . . . What London? Lesser men have done it.” He had very high expectations and he had actually hoped for London. Mompesson felt that ten years of studying at Cambridge would be sufficient foe London. You can sense his disappointment and his attempt to mask it. Stanley was the last rector in Eyam and is still relatively indignant that he lost his job and his house. The first meeting between the two of them occurs when they meet at Emmot and Rowland’s engagement party on Sunday. Mompesson at first is fairly gracious asking Stanley to dine with him at the rectory. But Stanley immediately rejects him “I left that house five years ago on the arms of the king’s soldiers. If I ever return to it, it won’t be as a guest.” This remark by Stanley shows that he still feels resentful even after five years. He also very publicly rejects Mompesson’s offer. I believe he did this because he wanted to show the villagers that he wished to have nothing to do with Mompesson. I think the cool detachment they’re both displaying towards each other especially Stanley is caused primarily by two things; religion and politics. Mompesson is on the king’s side and Stanley is in opposition to the king. Stanley remarks “Oil and vinegar in the same jar won’t mix without a beating.” What Stanley is essentially saying is that just as oil and vinegar cannot be united without hard work and effort to form into one mixture, Stanley...
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