Thursday, March 8, 2018

To all my fellow Proctors

"Bolt of lighting out of the blue
Without forewarning the heat is on you"

MDFMK - Witch Hunt

The accusation of "overacting" is most often justified. Our contemporary socially just and politically correct society has after all been, for the past three decades, an overemotional and over-emoting milieu which breeds just such actors. This begs at least some mention, though, of situations in which "over"-acting is merely an accurate representation of a ludicrous situation.

Over and under are relative terms. Supervillains (and sometimes heroes) would likely make for appropriate grandiloquence. However, you also occasionally see the likes of the 1996 adaptation of The Crucible criticized, specifically Daniel Day-Lewis and his monumental rendition of Proctor's "because it is my naaaaame" speech. Over the top, you say?

Anyone who says so seems to be ignoring the play's social context, and I don't just mean the McCarthy anticommunist paranoia which it parodied. Even if tempted to reference the infamous Puritan self-restraint, let's not forget the characters in this play are embroiled in an honest-to-goodness WITCH HUNT!!! Their entire society was over-acting. Hard to go over the top with a source of inspiration which lacks a top, which by definition has thrown all moderation to the wind and is busily fratriciding itself into oblivion. Sometimes a cigar is a nuke you just have to ride to its destination.

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