M. Butterfly - Study Guide Act One, Scenes 1-4 Summary & Analysis

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“M. Butterfly” is an award-winning play by David Henry Hwang. The drama, inspired by Puccini's opera “Madame Butterfly”, is loosely based on events surrounding a 1986 espionage trial in which a former French diplomat and a Chinese opera singer carried on an affair for twenty years without the diplomat knowing that his mistress was actually a man.

Act One, Scene 1. The setting of “M. Butterfly” takes place in a Paris prison. The time period is simply listed as "the present," which based upon the publication of the play, can be discerned as the late 1980s. Flashbacks take place in the decade between 1960 and 1970 in Beijing, China. Flashbacks from 1966 to the present take place in Paris, France. The lights fade up in Scene 1 to reveal Rene Gallimard, age 65, wearing a bathrobe in his cell. The cell contains a wooden crate with a hot plate and kettle, and...

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This section contains 1,131 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the M. Butterfly Study Guide
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