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“Trifles” – the death has occurred before the action of the play, so tat doesn’t count as a catastrophe. Likewise, the protagonist, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters are not high-born characters who experience a “fall” as does Oedipus (The antagonists in this case could be equated with the male characters, and especially the County Attorney who is out to convict Mrs. Wright). Still, Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale do experience a conflict and a moment of recognition in the play.

Explain what is involved in their change from dutiful farm wives and, one, a wife of law enforcement, to individuals who are willing to subvert justice for what they regard as a higher cause.

Like Greek tragedy, “trifles” has unity of time, place and action and is limited to a single plot, and it is plot rather than character, that receives the greater emphasis in this play.

Last Updated on December 13, 2020

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