The Brass Buterfly

In bursts Phanocles, an Egyptian inventor, and his sister Euphrosyne, secretly a Christian. Phanocles has invented a steamboat and a cannon. The rational Phanocles bemoans the irrational nature of man, Caesar invokes Jupiter and others try to use reason.

Play title  The Brass Butterfly  

Author (s) William Golding

Publisher Faber and Faber Limited

Publication Date 1958

Genre  Drama

Primary Discipline Technology

Scientist (s) Phanocles (Poet) Euphrosyne (Female Saint)

Source Texts Unknown

Character Breakdown  8 men, 1 woman

Mamillius, Captain of the Guard, Postumus, Emperor, Phanocles, Euphrosyne, Sergeant, Attendants

Setting Rome, in the summer home of Caesar

Time Period Third century A.D.

Synopsis of Play As in Lord of the Flies, Golding pits intelligence against irrationality, but this time the battleground is Caesar’s summer home. In bursts Phanocles, an Egyptian inventor, and his sister Euphrosyne, secretly a Christian. Phanocles has invented a steamboat and a cannon. The rational Phanocles bemoans the irrational nature of man, Caesar invokes Jupiter and others try to use reason. Via a combination of all of these, a happy climax is finally reached.  (Dramatists Publishing website blurb)

Set in third century Rome. A scientist invents an explosive missile, a steamship, the pressure cooker and  other dangerous technology far ahead of his time, but the wise emperor rejects these innovations and suggests that the scientist devote himself to gardening.   (https://sciart.commons.gc.cuny.edu/staging-science/four-centuries-of-science-plays/)

First Performance Date February 24th 1958

First Producer New Theatre, Oxford

Performance History The first performance in Great Britain of The Brass Butterfly was given at the New Theatre, Oxford, on the 24th February 1958. Directed by Alastair Sim. Designed by Edward Seago. Costumes and set dressing by Hutchinson Scott.

Links

https://www.nytimes.com/1973/06/23/archives/stage-brass-butterfly-shaw-festival-offers-play-by-golding-the-cast.html

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituaries-sir-william-golding-1493005.html

Entered by Denise Gillman and Meaghan Yesford

Photo/Visual Research with citations

                                           

                                                                                   William Golding

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