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IF I WERE YOU
By– Douglas James
The intruder is a villainous scoundrel, a confirmed criminal who makes intriguing plans to dodge the police. He has evil intentions and crafty plans to achieve his aims. Cold blooded and cruel as he is, he does not hesitate from murdering innocent people for his selfish gains. But his wickedness cannot sustain him for long.
The intruder is a criminal who has been eluding the police ever since he killed a cop. Having no sense of remorse for the crime he has committed, he is further sinking in the mire of criminal activities. Over-confidence makes him feel that he has made a brilliant plan of murdering Gerrard and escaping the law by impersonating him. However, he is soon outwitted by Gerrard and he unsuspectingly walks into the latter’s trap. All his tall claims about his intelligence prove to be hollow. This heartless and hardened criminal meets a befitting end.
Gerrard, the protagonist of “If I Were You” is portrayed as a man of many virtues. He is endowed with a brilliant wit, a sharp mind, smart thinking, and a sense of humour. All these qualities, combined with a cool temperament enable him to handle even a life-threatening situation very successfully and easily.
Gerrard is associated with the theatre. He writes, acts and provides props for plays. He is a refined and a cultured man, who keeps his cool even in the most difficult situations. The sight of an intruder doesn’t ruffle him and he talks to him very courteously and pleasantly. His sense of humour irritates the intruder many times. Even when acting funny, he keeps his presence of mind and lays a trap for the intruder. Everything comes so naturally and spontaneously to him that the intruder walks into his trap unsuspectingly. Gerrard’s intelligence not only outwits the intruder and saves his own life, but also helps the police in nabbing a wanted criminal. In fact, Gerrard, with his unagitated, composed mind stands as a foil to the cruel and villainous intruder
Though the play deals with a criminal and a playwright caught unaware by him, there is a thread of humour in the very texture of the play. The humour is neither boisterous nor unnatural. It is refined and subtle. Gerrard’s cool-headedness and presence of mind make him come out with such witty and sarcastic remarks that the criminal feels irritated and the audience feels amused. When the intruder asks him to talk about himself, rather than panicking, he says he is happy to have a sympathetic audience. When the intruder proposes to live in his cottage, Gerrard, rather than being shocked, says, You have not been invited”. Talking about the intruder’s looks, Gerrard remarks, “You are not particularly decorative”. Such humour runs throughout the play and makes it a gripping and amusing drama.