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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sweeney Todd

So Caitie and I had a pretty intense discussion about Sweeney Todd on the way home from the show. The subject of the discussion - was Anthony going to treat Joanna the way she's always been treated by "keeping her in a room." Caitie's argument - rather than have her go with him to get the carriage to Plymouth he tells her to wait for him in Sweeney's shop, thereby continuing her pattern of being caged by the men in her life. I say that it's simply a matter of him trying to keep her safe - he's not caging her, just trying to protect her. Anthony's whole character is about rescue: he alone gives money to the beggar woman, the first time we meet him we hear he just saved Sweeney's life. This is just another case of an attempted rescue, and I don't believe (as Caitie does) that he'll just lock her away as soon as he gets the chance. Another point - when he goes to rescue Joanna from the asylum, he can't pull the trigger to kill Fogg - Joanna has to do it. After all, it's in her blood, but though he's trying for the rescue, he doesn't have it in him to kill. This, to me, would point to his being "good." On the other hand, it could go to the other argument that since he's incapable of protecting her, he would need to lock her away...

What do you think -- is Anthony the one good character in a play full of people who get their comeuppance at the end, or is he as bad as everyone else?

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