a one-act Play - The Stronger

When an author writes a dramatic composition, he or she does so with the intention of having it performed.

Pick two characters from the play and describe them briefly.

We are met with two women in the Play the Stronger, one speaking and the other mute.

Mrs. X and Miss Y are the two characters who converse throughout the play.

She is the play's only speaker, and she is married. The character of Miss Y pervades the entire play to the point where it is given as an epic monologue. Throughout the play, Mrs. X is not willing to offer a chance to Miss. Y to speak. Further, the character seems to derive immense pleasure as well as happiness in highlighting the social failures of Miss Y. Throughout the play, it emerges that Mrs. X interacts with judgment as well as superiority due to her haughty as well as self-absorbed nature. When her superiority is at stake, she manages to find a way to look down to her companion, squashing the competition while shaping the narrative in a way that she emerges the victor again. Mrs. X cherishes the thought of being able to have a family and enjoy the love (Aziz, 2010). Mrs. X holds material things as well as the outward appearance of things at heart, bearing that in mind, she views herself as the ultimate winner considering that she has a family to return to, leaving Miss Y behind at the café.

Miss Y

On the other extreme, Miss Y, rather than going after her prey7 head on, she chooses to sit silently like a cat and outwait it merely. It is worthwhile to note that Mrs. X may as well be announcing the loss of her husband to Miss Y, but rather she has contended withy the fact that her marriage still stands thus assuming the unconscious premonition. Miss Y is unnervingly quiet, she does not speak throughout the entire play, and she maintains her part in the development of the action by pantomime, facial expressions as well as occasional laughs.

Identify the Protagonist. Support your answer.

Miss Y is the protagonist

Miss Y maintains her calm amid the strong provocations by Mrs X, “well, they are not altogether the same thing, looks up scornfully… my piggy wigs up a doll. Miss Y laughs aloud. Shrinks with laughter… won’t sit at the same table with you.” Therefore, the calm maintained by Miss Y asserts that she is both strong and wise.

Identify the Antagonist. Support your answer.

The antagonist in this play is Mrs. X

One may think that because she is the only speaker in the play, she can be the stronger one. Mrs. X proves to be a female babbler who finds herself into a cocoon of her statements and thus becomes entangled. Mrs. X embroidered tulips that she hated, however, they were Miss Y’s favorite. She tries to imitate Miss Y’s father name as well as wear her colors among other things. "That is the reason I had to embroider tulips which I hate … we go to Lake Malarn in the summer, because you don't like salt water; that's why my boy is named Eskil- because it is your father's name; that is why I wear your colors, read your authors, eat your favorite dishes, drink your drink, chocolate..." Considering Mrs. X’s statements to Miss Y, it becomes apparent that the latter has had a great impact on her life. Moreover, Mrs. X compares Miss Y to various things including a worm, snake as well as a giant crab.

Where is the setting for this work?

Strindberg's play, The Stronger, is set in a continental café

At the corner of a ladies’ café, with two little iron tables, a red velvet sofa as well as several chairs.

What can you tell about the characters based on how they react to one another?

Mrs. X is proud, provocative and self-absorbed. She speaks through the entire play, confronting Miss Y. The continued silence of Miss Y makes her highlight their shared past that includes the affair that Miss Y had with her husband. On the other hand, Miss Y proves to be strong, calm and thoughtful, and she does not confront Mrs. X directly regarding her patronizing statements about her family as well as children. In fact, she is more interested in her paper and occasionally reacts by facial expressions as well as laughs. Miss Y proves to be strong in her silence and never once did she retaliate.

What is the Emerging Theme or message in this work?

The play represents various features of the two ladies.

Mrs. X is married while Miss Y is unmarried. The former demonstrates anxiety regarding her husband while the latter is not concerned. Therefore the central theme of the play is about the economic as well as social conditions of a period where persistent driving of women into a gradually selfish as well as wicked position (Houe, Rossel, & Stockenström, 2002). Ultimately, the play acts as a significant depiction of how people may think through the contradictions of their lives, through others as a mere sounding board for their thought processes as well as the basic conditional nature of facts. The play pays attention to the role as well as the significance of women at the turn of the twentieth century.


Aziz, F. (2010). August Strindberg's "The Stronger” as Monodramatic Situational –Plot Structure: A Stylistic Study. Journal of the College Of Arts. University Of Basrah, 52. Retrieved from http://www.iasj.net/iasj?func=fulltext&aId=56391

Houe, P., Rossel, S., & Stockenström, G. (2002). August Strindberg and the other (1st ed.). Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Strindberg, A. (1889). THE STRONGER a play in one-act (1st ed.). New York: Pierre Loving.

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