Kuvaus

Faber and Faber 1958 Kovakansi

The Cocktail Party is a play by T. S. Eliot. Elements of the play are based on Alcestis, by the Ancient Greek playwright Euripides. The play was the most popular of Eliots seven plays in his lifetime.

Edward and Lavinia Chamberlayne are separated after five years of marriage. She leaves Edward just as they are about to host a cocktail party at their London home, and he has to come up with an explanation for why Lavinia is not present, in order to keep up social appearances.

Lavinia is brought back by a mysterious Unidentified Guest at the party, who turns out to be a psychiatrist whom Edward and Lavinia both consult. They each learn that they have been deceiving themselves and must face lifes realities. They learn that their life together, though hollow and superficial, is preferable to life apart. This message is difficult for the plays third main character, Edwards mistress, to accept. She, with the psychiatrists urging, also moves on towards a life of greater honesty and salvation and becomes a Christian martyr in Africa. Two years later, Edward and Lavinia, now better adjusted, host another cocktail party.

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