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November 17, 2005

The truth comes out

Schnitzler, Professor Bernhardi (Finish)

BERNH. I stood before your Reverance a physician, as pure in heart as ever any member of your calling performing a Church rite at the altar. No less pure in heart than you, who came to bring my patient the last religious consolations.

Professor Bernhardi makes the two men equal in with this dialog. He is showing that him and the Priest both have good intentions.

BERNH. And have perhaps never felt more strongly than in this hour, that something stands between us-a something which will not be denied, even under more pleasant conditions.

However, with the line above, he finally gets to the core of the problem. This conflict is somthing much deeper than simply the well-being of the patient who died. It's even something bigger than these two men. I think that this is really the reversal in the play. Up until this point the audience isn't totally sure who's right or wrong. Now they can see that no one is right and no one is wrong. It is a disagreement in religion that causes a conflict. Schnitzler did an excellent job of leading everything in a play up to a point, and then revealing the problem that still applies to many people today.

The difference is really shown in these next lines between the Priest and Bernhardi.

PRIEST. I know myself to bo free. My religion, Professor, bids me love even those who hate me.

BERNH. And mine, your Reverance, or what is planted in my breast in place of religion, bids me bring comprehension even where I am misunderstood.

Something that I don't understand however is the ending of the scene between the priest and the Bernhardi. After all of this tension throughout the dialog, the Priest suddenly reaches out his hand and seems to make peace before he leaves. It even leaves Bernhardi in a little shock. Does anyone know why he did this?

Posted by AndrewLoNigro at November 17, 2005 09:10 AM

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The reason he did this Andy is because he is a Priest and forgives. He is not suppossed to hold a grudge because that is not what God would want. I think that this shows alot of character of both the Priest and Bernhardi. I think that religion is a really touchy subject and when someone goes or says something about their religion they become offended and do something about it. I think the Priest want to also apologize for this case against him, he really never wanted it to get this far, well thats what i think.

Posted by: Denamarie at November 17, 2005 11:52 AM

I had just as much trouble figuring out how they got from being friendly to being mad at each other to leaving on good terms. Upon reading the selection closer, I followed it better. But, I am also confused about the end. I think they just sort of agree to disagree and realize that hating each other (as the Priest states he doesn't hate in one of the quotes you chose) won't solve anything.

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at November 17, 2005 12:35 PM

I like how someone else found this play to actually end up being pointless. Through tryin to read it, I was lost alot of the time, I knew that religion was playing a part in it also. I now realize it was Schnitzler's idea to write the play like this. I know that I was not alone now in looking for a point to the play.

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