Synopsis of Woody Allen's Play "God"

by Robert Godard

Woody Allen is a prolific writer, director, producer and actor who has made popular films such as "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan" and written several one-act plays. One of these plays is "God," a reflection on the existential questions that plague artists and the inability to ever find answers to them.

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Setting

"God" takes place in an abandoned Greek amphitheater. Though the location stays the same throughout the entire play, the time period of the play rapidly changes. The play alternates between ancient Greek times and modern-day Manhattan. These chaotic shifts are never fully clear to the viewer of the play, and the time period of the play is defined more by the characters present than by any transitional cues.

Characters

The play focuses on the writer Hepatitis and the actor Diabetes as they attempt to find an ending to their new play. As these two are zipped back and forth in time, they meet a whole cast of historical characters, including Groucho Marx, Blanche DuBois from "A Streetcar Named Desire" and the Greek god Zeus. Hepatitis and Diabetes ask these historical and fictional figures for advice.

Plot

Hepatitis and Diabetes can't seem to write a good ending for their new play. They go to the theater to try and find inspiration, where they are greeted by various historical characters. Each of these characters emerges briefly from the wings of the theater and provides their own unique take on the philosophical questions that the writers are attempting to answer in their play. These interactions occur rapid-fire, and there are sometimes several of these figures on stage at once.

Resolution

The play seeks to examine the frivolousness of certain questions, such as the concept of fate and what happens after death. Allen provides the audience with so many witty, yet contradictory, answers that it is impossible to draw any solid conclusions. Rather, the audience is meant to question their own beliefs about themselves, life and God. Ultimately, Diabetes and Hepatitis realize that their play cannot have an ending, or for that matter a beginning, as life is too complicated to map out with words.

About the Author

Robert Godard began writing in 2007 for various creative blogs and academic publications. He has been featured on multiple film blogs and has worked in the film industry. He attended Baltimore College, earning his B.A. in history.

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