Trifles Character Analysis

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Trifles by Susan Glaspell is a play written in 1916 about a murder in a small town. There are seven roles, five of them speaking. Sheriff Peters, his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Hale, and the County Attorney Henderson are all trying to piece together what happened to Mr. Wright, who Mr. Hale found hanging from a rope in his home. Mrs. Wright, who doesn’t have stage time, is the main suspect in her husband’s death. It is understood she committed the crime by the end of the show. Small lines and actions give clear insight to the theme of a struggle for power between genders.Through lack of following the script, ignoring stage direction, and undeveloped characters the production of Trifles directed by Nancy Greening is an insufficient presentation of a…show more content…
When this is brought to life that is what make a difference between a good and a bad show, a key component. Mr. Hale is the character that was portrayed in the worst way, his mannerisms made him childlike and unintelligent. This could reflect the time period but the character had just found a dead body reporting his findings to the officers, he could have been more nervous. Sheriff Peters sent a man to into the Wright home and started a fire there so they could all be warm while investigative a motive, this leads an audience to believe his character was very lax about some procedure and didn’t quite follow all of the rules. The way he was portrayed in this show was more stiff and not so much that way. These ill portrayed characters make their development imprecise or inaccurate for the understanding of the them Glaspell was trying to get across.
At the start of the performance by the d’moiselles company, the actress playing Mrs. Peters, Melinda Grahm, comes out and performs a short monologue as the playwright, Glaspell. During the original production of Trifles, Glaspell performed the role of Mrs. Hale. This added scene Greening contributes to the understanding of the play and how Glasspell did intend to be apart but it should be questioned why the role of Mrs. Peters was played by the same actress instead of Mrs. Hale. The monologue opens up with Grahm walking onto a dark stage introducing
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Peters and the play begins. It is a large change to differ the characters from Glaspell’s original idea. Mrs. Hale is referred to as “married to the law” (Glaspell 989) by the County Attorney because she is the Sheriff's wife. Because a large part of the show is done without the men in the room the characterization of these two women are very clear, and very different. Mrs. Hale is very quick to talk against the men, when they are not around. The reason for the murder is what the men are trying to find, she speculates that Mr. Wright killed the bird they had found as soon as they started to investigate. Then Mrs. Peters becomes defensive repeating “we don’t know” in different lines. This is a major confusion to the audience as these two characters hare having very different moral struggles throughout the show and it should have been clear the character Glaspell
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