Misbehavior

“Aria Da Capo” is a very short play by Edna St. Vincent Millay. I somehow suspect that this one act play with an incomprehensible title is based on the infamous Stanford psychology experiment. Once people get into a situation, in this case an artificial wall and in Stanford’s case an artificial prison, people tend to act according to the new norm established in the situation, no matter how temporary, how artificial, how ridiculous. Our brain is so eager to digest the world in an ordered manner that it will accept the most ridiculous order possible. This play can very well been transformed into a modern family with a looming Greek tragedy. For example, two loving brothers change from their loving nature and their mutual respect to two fighting monsters when they come back home to divide their inheritance. As they fight each other, one strangling another while not knowing he himself is being poisoned already, a lawyer shows up to announce that their father didn’t pay taxes on this and that for years and the whole estate is under government investigation. That put an end to the brothers’ fight. How ridiculous they are as they look at each other and both pass out on the floor.

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