[ENGA11H3] - Midterm Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (15 pages long)

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Published on 7 Feb 2017
School
UTSC
Department
English
Course
ENGA11H3
Professor
UTSC
ENGA11H3
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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The Balcony Review & Notes
Summary
“The play opens inside The Grand Balcony, a brothel in which customers may dress up to portray
their fantasies. Irma, the owner, coordinates the busy schedule as men masquerade as a bishop, judge, and a
general. Meanwhile, the streets outside are in the midst of open warfare as rebels claim more of the city. The
only remaining protection of the brothel is George, the Chief of Police and Irma’s lover.
Carmen, a former whore who is now a bookkeeper for the brothel, confesses to Irma that she misses
being a whore. She’s also upset that Irma doesn’t allow the women to talk about their jobs. Irma is distracted
by the absence of George but agrees that Carmen can play a pivotal role in an upcoming appointment. Irma
asks Carmen about the other girls at the brothel, especially Chantal who has joined the rebellion. George
shows up claiming that the Royal Palace has been surrounded and that the Queen is hiding. More important to
him, however, is the question of whether or not Irma’s clients ever fantasize being him, believing that imitation
will give him immortality. Her answer is no, which upsets George and convinces him to be more ruthless and
win the hearts and minds of people like her clients.
Outside the brothel, Chantal expresses her love for a plumber, Roger, among the rebels. The rebellion
has chosen her as a feminine symbol of the cause. Chantal is honored and willing to take the position, but
Roger is more reluctant.
Back in the brothel, the streets outside are more chaotic. The enigmatic Envoy of the Queen comes to
the building, stressing that most in the palace are dead or injured, including the Queen. He wants Irma to stand
in as the Queen so the populace will remain loyal and calm. George, reluctant to even pretend to appear weaker
than Irma, doesn’t approve of the idea. Irma decides to do it.
Irma makes an appearance on the brothel’s balcony accompanied by George and the men playing a
bishop, judge, and general. Chantal appears as well, but is shot by an assassin.
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For posterity, the clients playing the bishop, judge, and general pose for photographs and answer
questions on their official decisions about the current crisis. Irma walks in, still playing the Queen, and
continues the masquerade. Outside, the fighting worsens.
Carmen informs them that a client has come and wants to act as Chief of Police. George is ecstatic.
The client is Roger, who puts on the costume and fulfills his fantasy. When he is finished, he castrates himself
rather than leaving. George is satisfied that somebody has finally played him and resolves to spend the rest of
his life in the mausoleum, locking himself inside. Irma dismisses the men playing the bishop, judge, and
general and is left alone as gunfire is heard outside.” (The Balcony Summary. (n.d.). Retrieved January 27,
2017, from http://www.supersummary.com/the-balcony/summary/)
Characters
Overview of the characters and important points both from the play and the textbook
The Bishop
-Not Actually a Bishop
The Judge
-Begs to be treated as if he were a real judge (Not actually a judge)
The Executioner (Arthur)
-Sent out to search for the chief of police
-Gets shot in the head as he returns to the brothel
The General
-Not actually a general
The Chief of Police
-George
The Beggar
Roger
-Rebel leader
-Role plays as the chief of police and castrates himself
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Document Summary

The play opens inside the grand balcony, a brothel in which customers may dress up to portray their fantasies. Irma, the owner, coordinates the busy schedule as men masquerade as a bishop, judge, and a general. Meanwhile, the streets outside are in the midst of open warfare as rebels claim more of the city. The only remaining protection of the brothel is george, the chief of police and irma"s lover. Carmen, a former whore who is now a bookkeeper for the brothel, confesses to irma that she misses being a whore. She"s also upset that irma doesn"t allow the women to talk about their jobs. Irma is distracted by the absence of george but agrees that carmen can play a pivotal role in an upcoming appointment. Irma asks carmen about the other girls at the brothel, especially chantal who has joined the rebellion. George shows up claiming that the royal palace has been surrounded and that the queen is hiding.

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