Doubt By John Patrick Shanley: Play Analysis

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“Doubt requires more courage than conviction does, and more energy; because conviction is a resting place and doubt is infinite—it is a passionate exercise ” (Shanley). John Patrick Shanley wrote the play Doubt, which takes place in a Catholic Church and school in Bronx, New York during1964. In Doubt, the school’s strict and heinous principal, Sister Aloysius is convinced that the priest, Father Flynn, is expressing inappropriate behavior towards Donald Muller, who is the school’s first black student. To help aid Sister Aloysius in finding proof about the conviction and keeping a close eye out for students, the naïve teacher, Sister James, is indecisive on whom to believe in this situation, but she still provides insight to both Sister Aloysius and Father Flynn. As the situation thickens, Sister Aloysius is using all of her power…show more content…
It is that crucial moment when I renew my humanity or become a lie” (Shanley). Throughout the play Sister Aloysius had doubts about Father Flynn and her doubts grew bigger and bigger because from the get go, Sister Aloysius knew there was something odd and dubious about Father Flynn.Father Flynn had freakish reactions towards Sister Aloysius whenever she brought up Donald Muller, he managed to manipulate Sister James’ thoughts about the situation and convinced her that he was innocent, and lastly, Father Flynn took advantage of a vulnerable boy by becoming a part of his life and having a strong “friendship” with the boy. Is Father Flynn innocent? On the second to last scene of the play, Sister Aloysius claimed that she talked to the last parish, Father Flynn worked at and he blew up and started to worry by asking several questions and begging not to lose his reputation, which did not work out so well for the fella. Sister Aloysius’ stated, “ But if he had no such history, the lie wouldn’t have worked. His resignation was his confession. He was what I thought he was. And he’s gone”
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