A Thousand Clowns Short Essay - Answer Key

Herb Gardner
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Short Essay Questions Key

1. Describe the opening scene as the play begins in Act 1, Part 1.

Before the curtain opens in Act 1, Part 1, the audience can hear <i>The Chuckles the Chipmunk</i> show. When the curtain rises, we see Murray's Manhattan apartment. It is dark and the only light the audience sees is the light cast from the television set. Nick is watching the television with no expression and then Murray enters from the kitchen.

2. Describe Murray.

Murray Burns is a man who uses humor as a defense and is the central character of <i>A Thousand Clowns</i>. Murray has taken in his nephew and is trying to prove that he is a responsible guardian.

3. Describe Murray's morning routine.

Murray wakes up in the morning making jokes, smokes a cigarette, calls the pre-recorded weather announcement, complains about his view outside, shouts at the neighbors, and utters wisecracks.

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