March 25, 2023

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Somerset Maugham’s “The Circle” published in Persian

TEHRAN – “The Circle: A Comedy in Three Acts” by English writer William Somerset Maugham has been published in Persian.

Ney is the publisher of the play first published in 1921. Nima Hazrati has translated it into Persian.

Is life a circle, a journey that keeps repeating itself? This seems to be the question the playwright is asking in this amusing play. Lady Kitty, who gave up a boring life with her titled husband to run away with a young adventurer, watches her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, about to do the same thing thirty years later.

Can Kitty convince the younger woman to stay with her husband and avoid all the sorrow, pain and heartaches she has suffered?

Late in the play, the author appears to answer his questions by saying that it is not our choices that make us unhappy; it is our character. 

It is not what we do; it is what we are that is decisive. People with weak, trivial natures will be unhappy, no matter who they are with, or what they are doing. 

Instead of improving their character, they will always long for that someone or something or someplace to make it all better. 

Those with stronger characters have a greater chance of happiness no matter what their choices have been.

The play, which caused some outrage among a small minority of playgoers at the time of the premiere, depicts a young married woman contemplating leaving her husband for another man, and looking to an elderly peer and his partner, who eloped thirty years earlier, for advice.

Photo: Front cover of the Persian edition of William Somerset Maugham’s play “The Circle”.


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