The Bald Soprano
by Eugene Ionesco
The Bald Soprano Versions of Reality 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.
Stage Direction: [The English clock strikes 17 strokes.]
Mrs. Smith: "There, it's nine o'clock." (1-2)
Right from the beginning the play starts questioning reality. The clock strikes seventeen times, which is already weird because it would seem to indicate that it's 17 o'clock. Then Mrs. Smith declares that it's, in fact, 9 o'clock. We talk about this more in our section on the theme of "Time," but we thought it was important to point out here because it's the first hint in the play that reality is distorted. Before this clock incident, everything seems pretty normal in the Smiths' living room. As soon as the crazy clock gets going, however, we're clued in to the fact that we're going to be in for a pretty weird evening.
Mrs. Smith: "We shall have to go to their [the Watsons] wedding, I suppose. […] How sad for her [Mrs. Watson] to be left a widow so young." (46-49)
The Smiths seem to be really confused about reality in general. They're completely convinced at one moment that the Watsons will soon be married, and in the next moment they think that Mr. Watson is already dead. It seems that in the world of The Bald Soprano reality is steadily shifting.
Mr. Smith: "Fortunately, they [the Watsons] had no children."
Mrs. Smith: "That was all they needed! Children! […]"
Mr. Smith: "She [Mrs. Watson] might very well remarry. […]"
Mr. Smith: "But who would take care of the children?" (50-53)
Here's more reality bending centered around those pesky Watsons. So, do they/did they have children or not? Once again, the Smiths' banter seems to warp the reality of the world outside their comfy living room.