The Bald Soprano
by Eugene Ionesco
The Bald Soprano Theme of Memory and the Past
The characters in the play have seriously awful memories. They can't remember whether friends are alive or dead. Sometimes they even forget what their own spouses look like. When they try to recount the past it often comes out as a nonsensical jumble. The play seems to be asking some pretty big questions about the reliability of memory. How do we know the past was real? Even though most people's memories aren't anywhere near as bad as the characters of The Bald Soprano, memory is still a pretty unreliable thing. It's pretty common for people who all saw the same thing at the same time to have completely different recollections of the event. With that in mind, how do we know for sure if anything that has happened has truly happened?
Questions About Memory and the Past
- What do think the play is saying about the reliability of memory in recalling the past?
- How do the characters' shifting ideas of the past affect the audience's perception of time in play?
- What larger meanings can be gleaned from the characters' shoddy memories?
- How would the play be different if the characters had really great memories?
Chew on This
The play puts forth the idea that the past is nonexistent.
The Bald Soprano satirizes the ability of memory to verify the past.