chapter  12
16 Pages

The Laboratory Theatre in New York, 1969: A set of critiques

Stefan Brecht

DO MEN GATHER GRAPES OF THORNS, OR FIGS OF THISTLES? Calderon's Constant Prince is a devotion to absolute monarchy, the Christian knight, and Christianity. These three are what the Prince is constant to. The first is still the degradation of nations; the second, thirty years after Cervantes' exposition, was worn-out camouflage for the auri sacra fames of colonial adventurers; and Christianity, in the conscious motivations of the play's characters, appears as what it was: Europe's claim to world empire - with specific reference to the white man's first action on this claim, fifteenth-century Portuguese colonialism in Africa. But the cunning of genius distills their inward truth from these vile fictions and presents it as the virtue and wisdom of the Prince. A captain, generous, cool. A Franciscan knight. A noble man.