The play the Stronger

Two women are presented to us in the drama The Stronger, one of whom is speaking while the other is silent. Mrs. X and Miss Y are the two characters that interact with one another throughout the performance.

She is married and the only speaker in the performance. It is clear that Miss Y permeates the entire play to the point where her monologue is presented as an epic. Mrs. X refuses to give Miss. Y an opportunity to speak at any point in the play. Furthermore, the character appears to take great joy and satisfaction in pointing out Miss Y's social failings. Throughout the play, it emerges that Mrs. X interacts with judgment as well as superiority due to her haughty and self-absorbed nature. When her superiority is at stake, she manages to find a way to look down at 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). She 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 directly confronting her friend, she chooses to sit silently like a cat and outwait it merely. Remarkably, Mrs. X seems to contend the loss of her husband to Miss Y. However, Mrs. X chooses to ignore the premonition and consoles herself with the fact that her marriage is the strong one and she has a happy family. Miss Y is disturbingly 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.

The Protagonist

Miss Y is the protagonist. She maintains her calm amid the strong provocations by Mrs. X. Therefore, the peace maintained by Miss Y asserts that she is both strong and wise.

The Antagonist

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. Although Mrs. X hated tulips, she decorated most of her stuff by that shape knowing they were Miss Y’s favorite flowers. She tries to imitate Miss Y’s father name as well as wear her colors among other things. According to Strindberg (1980), "That is the reason I had to embroider tulips which I hate … we go to Lake Malaren 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..." (p.120). 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 with 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 which 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. Mrs. X 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 during a period when women were forced be into positions where they were viewed as wicked and selfish if they did not conform to the values of society (Houe, Rossel, & Stockenström, 2002). Ultimately, the play acts as a significant depiction of how people may think through the contradictions of their lives, how people use others to highlight their inner feelings 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 on February 3, 2017 from

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

Strindberg, A. (1980). Three plays (1st ed.). Boston: Branden Books.


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