The Bald Soprano
by Eugene Ionesco
The Bald Soprano Time Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used Donald M. Allen's translation.
The play continues to distort time with this first line. After the clock has already struck 17 times, Mrs. Smith declares that it's "nine o'clock." So, which is it? 17 o'clock or 9 o'clock? Is it just a really junky clock? Is Mrs. Smith just really confused? Or does she live in a world where time is so distorted that it doesn't even exist?
Mrs. Smith: "We shall have to go to go to their [the Watsons] wedding is suppose. […] How sad for her [Mrs. Watson] to be left a widow so young." (46-49)
The Smiths seem very confused about whether the Watsons are alive or dead or married or unmarried. Of course, maybe they're not confused at all. Perhaps, all of these things are true, were true, or will be in the future. In world of The Bald Soprano, time is so jumbled that it's practically nonexistent. To the Smiths, it could make sense that lots of different periods of time all exist in exactly the same moment.
Stage Direction: [The clock strikes as much as it likes.] (139)
Here's that crazy clock again. It's been striking willy-nilly all throughout the play, but now it's just doing whatever it wants. It seems like time has gone totally haywire by this point in the play. This is yet another clue that the idea of a linear progression of time just doesn't apply to the world of The Bald Soprano.
Stage Direction: [The striking of the clock underlines the speeches, more or less strongly, according to the case.] (143)