Commented Mr. Siegel, "While Mrs. Boyle is
kind hearted, she does have a tongue. Her linguistic powers
in the field of excoriation and invective are quite good."
She says of her husband and his buddy, Joxer Daly:
This is "the first time 'shoulder shruggin' has
been used as an expletive" Mr. Siegel pointed out. And he continued,
“As Aesthetic Realism sees it anyone given to excessive 'shoulder shruggin'
has already made up his mind that the world is not too interesting and
you can't expect too much from it,” As the scene continues Boyle
and Joxer return home and Mr. Siegel read the following:
There'll never be any good got out
o' him so long as he goes with that shoulder shruggin' Joxer. I killin'
meself workin', an' he sthruttin' about from mornin' till night like a
Mr. Siegel commented "It seems Joxer has
two tendencies, he shrugs his shoulders and he wants to like things very
much with that word "daarlin."
[…Captain Boyle is singing
in a deep, sonorous, self honouring voice.]
The Captain. Sweet
Spirit, hear me prayer!
Hear…oh…hear…me prayer…hear oh, hear…Oh,
Joxer. Ah, that's
a darlin' song, a daaarlin' song!
Captain Boyle finds
out that Jerry Devine, a young labor leader, who cares for Mary, has been
looking for him, to tell him about a job he might get, and O'Casey has
"This is part of the cruelty in comedy," Mr.
Siegel said. As he read O'Casey's lines, often in a wonderful
Irish brogue, and commented, on them with such depth, humor and feeling--showing
how the comic and tragic are one we laughed and at the same time
felt tearful. We saw, at the same moment the petty, the awry,
the ridiculous in people, and the suffering they have endured from an unjust
catching his thigh) U ugh, I'm afther getting' a terrible twinge in me
Mrs. Boyle. Oh, it won't
be very long now till it travels into your left wan.
the end of Act I, the Boyles learn a distant relative has died.
It seems there is a will and that Jack Boyle is entitled to a large inheritance.
However, this will, the Boyles learn later, does not exist. It was
invented by a man named Charles Bentham because of his interest in Mary.
But at this point Mrs. Boyle, very excited, tells her husband to go take
off his work clothes his "moleskin trousers" "an' put on a collar
an' tie" because a visitor is coming and he has great news.
Mr. Bentham enters with Mary. As Mr. Siegel read these lines I felt tragedy
and comedy as one thing:
"That is one of the metrical lines" commented
Mr. Siegel. "It's as good a line as any for studying meter.” “I’m
takin’ off me moleskin trousers!” As he discussed the words, the
stage directions of this play, Mr. Siegel showed one of the most hopeful
things: that two aspects of reality people have seen as painfully, utterly
apart the comic and tragic can make sense, are in a deep relation,
an aesthetic relation. In the discussion following this lecture,
Ellen Reiss commented on the value of what Mr. Siegel was showing, and
what she said represents what I felt hearing this talk:
Mrs. Boyle. An'
to think of you knowin' Mary, an' she knowin' the news you had for us,
an' wouldn't let on; but it's all the more welcome now, for we were on
our last lap! Voice of Johnny inside. What are
you kickin' up all the racket for? Boyle (roughly).
I'm takin' off me moleskin trousers!
here for conclusion
I do feel this is one of the kindest
things in the world. ... How Aesthetic Realism has you like the world is
technically what we were experiencing we were seeing, hearing, feeling
these opposites as one thing.