The Die is Cast
By Gilbert McInnis
The Die is Cast is about a young man who is faced with traditional problems in the area of love, sex, success and power. He is an explosive person and at times a monster. This is revealed in differing ways by the conflict in the play. However, this young man's dilemma begins when he realizes he is no longer living in a world dominated by males and therefore he is frustrated because he cannot solve his problems in traditional ways. He is a young student, full of ambition, willing to work hard, intelligent, and at times, absurd too. He has a desire for sex, a desire to be successful, and most of all a desire to be accepted. In fact, his “flaw” is his obsession with being accepted, not only by a woman, but also by an institution that represents success for him, the university.
But his acceptance to university represents more than success for his career: it represents his acceptance into society's most prestigious institutions, and therefore, if he was rejected, society (and more importantly the opposite sex in that society) must reject him as only a marginal person. Hence, his will to be accepted embodies a more particular will to be united with the opposite sex, and the university is the means to that end.
Moreover, the play explores how a myth of an outside male physical violence is really a mask that hides an inside psychological violence. Like many myths and rituals (if not all of them) a scapegoat is vital to its continuation, and scapegoats are usually marginalized people and sometimes monsters. Out of the spirit of our times surfaced the idea of creating a marginalized monster of male violence who is to be blamed for our current plague of violence against women. In the play, the computer, film and television, all visual media, are used to explore this violence. At first glance, technology does not seem to be a method at all, but the technology of film and television communicate to him the same violence that ends up in his dreams. Hence, technology, myth, and violence are integrated into his transcendent self via unseen forces.
Gilbert McInnis has taught drama, theatre, film and English literature for the past five years at Laval University and Chicoutimi University. He has written five full length plays, and has directed and produced four of them for the English community in the Québec region. He now teaches drama and literature at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.
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