Introducing Constance - an essay on Ann-Marie MacDonald's Goodnight Desdemona (Goodmorning Juliet)

Essay by pumpkin_pieCollege, UndergraduateB-, March 2004

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Introducing Constance

In Ann-Marie MacDonald's Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), the audience is swept into the playful subconscious of the protagonist, Constance Ledbelly. Before she speaks, her imaginative nature is introduced by way of Act I, The Prologue. The chorus enters giving an intriguing monologue in which the first stages of an exciting transformation begin to unfold. The Prologue is so useful in that it gives indications of plot, theme, conflict and so on. All of which carry a heavy dramatic significance. However, Ann-Marie Macdonald suggests that the biggest use of The Prologue is in developing the character of Constance.

The chorus begins by asking "What's alchemy? The hoax of charlatans?" (5) In other words, is alchemy a transformation of base metals into gold, or just the trick of a fraud or phony? Can such transformation exist, not just in the mind, but also in reality? Such a statement indicates that there shall be a changing of sorts.

This change is seen literally as Constance's fountain pen is later transformed to solid gold. But this change is also seen as a transformation of character. From something plain, to something miraculous. Constance begins as a flighty, insecure, and somewhat foolish daydreamer. Some might call her a push-over. She is full of eccentricities and is not taken too seriously, dressed in her frumpy clothes. However, later after her encounters with Desdemona and Juliet, she becomes strong and opinionated. She opens herself to the possibility of embarrassment and mochary by speaking her mind, and interfering where she deems fit. The Prologue gives the audience a clue of the changes Constance will endure. Thus setting up her character.

In The Prologue the chorus speaks of opposites coming together. He mentions the 'merging of unconscious selves' and the 'marriage of true minds.'(6) These...