The Divine Experience A Social reviewing of "The Divine: A play for Sarah Bernhardt"

Before heading to the Theatre, I was tasked with dressing primly and properly, so I sported my finest Florida dress. There I was, dressed in the most elegant khaki shorts and short sleeve button-down, waiting for Charles, Jasmine, and Maria to meet me in front of the theatre. Finally, my friends had arrived and we headed in to find our seats.

We walked into an incredible display of elegance and art. There were various pieces of art and prime examples of fine architecture. The scenery was incredible, and my friends and I mutually agreed that we belonged among this artwork, as we were the epitome of class. As we basked in the marvels, we were slowly alerted that time and seats were running out, so we hurried into the dark theatre.

The 5 of us proceeded to our seats, and quite quickly realized we had more friends in the audience. We briefly chatted with these background characters. As these chats died down, anticipation built as we impatiently waited for something to happen on stage. Finally, in a wave of relief, the lights dimmed and the show began.


As the play proceeded, it continued to explore interesting topics related to faith, depression, suicide, and even statutory rape. The most prevailing theme, however, was the poverty and its relation to depression. Talbot and his family are suffering to make ends meet, and their existence is based off of questionable decisions that should not have to be made. During the second act, my friends and I were shocked when we figured out that Talbot was molested as a child. We often see death in video-games and movies, but not rape, so that was startling.

Afterwards, I felt a bit of happiness to live in the current century because there are so many problems that have been corrected since that time. Civil rights have made huge gains since then, especially related to child-labor laws and women's suffrage. There was even a sense of relief that this injustice had been righted in both the play and in real life. This relief can be attributed to the topic of "katharsis" as we had now entirely succumbed to the pain that others have fought. We had experienced it and learned from it, but this was only possible through the theatre. In a sense, our lives had "come clean" as we had accepted these horrible ideas to be real and based in real life. It is almost a re-birthing.

In my opinion, the performance played an important part in exploring complex topics that are not normally discussed. It is easier to relate after you physically see the pain and torment that has affected real people as a result from pressure and child-hood torment. The play resonated a theme of acceptance in regards to my life. A lot of what the characters went through was not selfish. The characters often had experiences in which they sought to please others rather than themselves. For instance, Talbot surrendered his self-being to his mother and the church in order to be accepted.

Works Cited

Created By
Sean Pendergast

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