The Shrike - Act 1, Scene 1 Summary & Analysis

Joseph Kramm
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Act 1, Scene 1 Summary

The Shrike is Joseph Kramm's three-act play about hopelessness, desperation, and manipulation in the life of Jim Downs, a frustrated theater director, and the cunning power plays of his wife, Ann, who dominates her husband's vulnerabilities for her own gain.

The play opens in the psychiatric ward of a city hospital at 11:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. All the beds in the ward are filled and are tended to by the head nurse, Miss Hansen, and a student nurse, Miss Cardell. The doctor in the ward is a man named Dr. Kramer who is about thirty years old.

Miss Cardell attempts to retrieve cigarettes from a patient, Mr. Fleming, who repeatedly breaks the rule against cigarettes in the ward. Miss Hansen answers a phone call announcing the imminent arrival of a man who has attempted suicide. Miss Hansen arranges for a bed for the...

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This section contains 612 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Shrike Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Shrike from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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