The Intruder is a play by Maurice Maeterlinck. This script was originally published before 1922 and is now a public domain work. It may be performed without paying royalties. The main themes in his work are death and the meaning of life. He had written poems and short novels during his studies. With the play Aglavaine et Slysette he began to create characters, especially female characters, more in control of their destinies.

Characters Edit

The play has mainly seven characters:

  • The Daughter
  • The Father
  • The Servant
  • The Eldest Daughter
  • The Uncle
  • The Grandfather
  • The Three Daughters

Synopsis Edit

Here is a small summary of the play from the cited sources[1][2][3][4][5]:

THE INTRUDER belongs to the morbid quartette of plays, of which the other three are The Blind , The Seven Princesses , and The Death of Tintagiles . Each is a study in the approach of death, and the emotions which are experienced by the subject, or which affect the onlookers. The old man is keenly alert, scenting the presence of death in their midst as surely as cats are said to realize the approach of the shadowy wing of the dark angel. There may be a physiological basis for the ability to perceive the approach of death. There is an odor peculiar to those who are dying, and some who have more highly developed organs of smell may detect this aroma, and so have the ability which ignorant people would term second-sight or clairvoyance; it is well-known that the trained physician often detects the nature of a disease by the odor; in this same way he oft informs himself of the actual progress of a disease. Or, the grandfather may have felt death simply because his senses were keener owing to his lack of sight, and his acute ear detected movements of the nurse in the adjoining room, which conveyed to his mind the impression that all was not well.

The old man is the one important figure in this play. The others seem preternaturally obtuse and-of dulled sensitiveness. It is strange that not one seems to care to be near the Mother who lies so very ill, but that all should sit talking about the table. But strangest of all is the fact that they leave alone the tiny baby in the lonely bedroom. Maeterlinck makes a very fine comparison of the close rapport of childhood and senility (second-childhood), by making the grandfather feel the presence of death, and the babe cry out in terror at the final moment when the angel passes by.

All matter is material, and this bioplasm is also material. Therefore, the soul is material, and physical, although of so fine a substance that it is transparent and invisible. As some natures throw off a luminous radiance of phosphorescence which forms a halo, visible to some eyes, so do souls project a phosphorescent radiance of simulacrum to the fleshly body, and this simulacrum is visible to the eyes of some mortals of unusual or further developed spiritual vision. Chemistry has been the great demonstrator of physical truth, and there lies the hope that not far distant Chemistry will reveal the existence of this ethereal body, the soul. An extremely sensitive camera plate will catch impressions which go unnoticed by the human eye with its physical limitations. Already scientists claim to have recorded upon a sensitive plate the umbra of a dying rodent.

Media ArticlesEdit

Some notable references on the play from news articles are:

Los Angeles Times: Archives-" Holmes originally intended to stage Maeterlinck's one-act The Intruder, about a family sensing a ghostly presence in the house, paired with Brooke's one-act Lithuania, about a prodigal son returning home and murdered by his family. " -- Los Angeles Times - Jun 17, 1999 [6]

References Edit


External links Edit

Performances and Videos Edit

  1. ▶ The Intruder - YouTube-
  2. ▶ The Blind / The Intruder - Trailer - YouTube-
  3. ▶ The Blind and The Intruder - A Plea - YouTube-

Online script links Edit

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