The Panel Play
Panel & Characters
The Claybill
The Text - introduction
  Scene I
  Scene II
  Scene III
  Scene IV
  Scene V
  Scene VI

Nine Characters in Search of a Wake
The Panel & Characters

Issy, Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, Eve, the twins Shem and Shaun, Tristan & Isolde, Humpty Dumpty, Russian General, and Anna Livia Plurabelle, presented by the Narrator.  The Author hovers at upper left above double representation of Issy. 
photo by Ned Harris

Anna Livia Plurabelle, aka ALP, is the River Liffey which flows through Dublin, but also the wife of Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, the mother of twin sons, Shem and Shaun, and a daughter, Issy.  As the Liffey, she washes the filth of the city out to the ocean, from which she rises as mist to become rain and to resume the cycle of life.

Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, also HCE, the stuttering, hunchbacked tavern keeper of Chapelizod, is the husband of ALP and the father of her children.  Having wandered widely, leaving his progeny everywhere, he is Here Comes Everybody, representing civilization, tumult, and war.  The resentment of HCE as the intruder gives rise to rumors and scandal.  He is Everyman.

Humpty Dumpty, an aspect of HCE, embodies the fall of man.

Eve embodies the pervasive theme of original sin; she also reflects an aspect of ALP.

Tristan & Isolde, charracters of medieval legend and Wagnerian opera are also aspects of HCE, ALP, and other mythical and historical star-crossed lovers.

Shem & Shaun, the twin sons, are the principals in the Brother Battle.  They also reflect two aspects of the artist:  Shaun, as the Postman, delivers the message penned by his rother Shem

Issy, the daughter of the family (illicitly coveted by her father) personifies the young reflection of the mature Isolde and the matronly ALP.  Issy is a multiple personality whose best friend isher mirror image.

The Russian General reflects another aspect of HCE:  the Crimean War general  killed by Buckley, an Irish conscript.  This incident symbolizesthe recurring theme of the old supplanted by the young.

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