You like convoluted plots?
Of course you do; everyone likes a little convolutedariness in their plots.
Well, this is the plot of a glorious play, the story of a petite young woman whom we’ll call Girl One, or G1. She had been in a shipwreck and found herself alone in the land. If you’ve ever been in a shipwreck you know how depressing that can be.
In those days, 4 or 5 hundred years ago, a female might find it a bit dicey to walk about alone. So our friend G1 dressed herself as a male, a bloke, and went to get a job. She was hired as a servant of a certain Duke.
She learns that the Duke, who is otherwise a fairly normal person as far as Dukes go, has a problem. Seems he has managed to convince himself that he is in love with a noblewoman whom we’ll call Girl Two, or G2.
She is a very different type of person from G1. She is of high noble rank, she’s beautiful and she’s affluent, a technical fiduciary term meaning she’s loaded.
Turns out the Duke is crazy about G2; he doesn’t hold any of the above - beauty, nobility, lots of money - against her. She, however, is chilly towards him and doesn’t reciprocate, Duke or no Duke.
He has a brilliant idea: he’ll have this young chap who recently joined his staff serve as an intermediary to carry the good news to her of how enamored he is.
If you’re familiar with the story, G2 forgets all about the Duke, who she wasn’t thinking so much about anyway. For her, it’s karma, fate, that she should meet and fall for the young intermediary guy.
To top things off, Girl One, though skillfully dressed in masculine duds, has managed to fall in love with her boss, the Duke. So what you have now is the familiar theatrical device known as a love triangle, though a bit different from the usual. Duke loves G2; G1 loves Duke; G2 loves G1.
Once you’ve got all that straight, the play is ready to begin.
It was first produced a few weeks after Christmas, which actually had a lot to do with how it was named.
What was the name of the play?
(The answer will be posted Saturday.)