The Devil and Daniel Webster

Topics: The Devil and Daniel Webster, New Hampshire, Daniel Webster Pages: 2 (773 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The play "The Devil and Daniel Webster" was written by Stephen Vincent Benét in 1938. Stephen Vincent Benét was born in 1898 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His education came from Yale University and the Sorbonne in Paris, France. "The Devil and Daniel Webster" has a wide array of characters, each with a distinguished personality, yet an overall temperament that would be fitting of a New England community. The main character is Jabez Stone, a wealthy New England statesman whose position was the state senator of New Hampshire. He had started out as a farmer though, but moved up in life and, when he was about thirty years of age, married the fair woman, Mary Stone- who was in her early twenties. The fiddler, though not incredibly important, was a key character in that he provided foreshadowing.When he said, "But the very devil's got into that fiddle of mine.", he was forshadowing the coming of the devil to disturb the merriments. A very key character in this play is the devil himself, which took the name of Scratch (for that was what he was called in New England communities). He had come to steal the soul of Jabez Stone, claiming that he had a right to Jabez because of a legal contract. Last- but most certainly not least in this story- is the great Governor of New Hampshire, loved by all, Daniel Webster. Daniel Webster was not only the governor, but an excellent orator. He had a way of using words to pursued the opinion of others, sometimes by conveying feelings or emotion. The play starts out in the ornate home of Jabez and Mary Stone, right after their wedding has taken place. The Fiddler, who sat upon a Cider Barrel, played a tune on the Fiddle, and all of the guests danced to it. Basically, it was a wedding reception. At first, there was nothing more than small talk going on, but by using even this smalltalk, Benét very accurately described the lifestyles of the New England residents.As the play progressed, political favor of the day was...
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