Eight Great Plays / LESSON 7
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Monna Vanna by Maurice Maeterlinck — a Literary and Philosophical Analysis

Ayn Rand called Monna Vanna “one of the greatest plays in all world literature.” Leonard Peikoff’s analysis includes such issues as: the relation of Monna Vanna’s plot-theme to that of Rand’s We the Living; the four crucial decisions that make up the progression of the play’s story; the play’s benevolent-universe theme, and Maeterlinck’s masterful twist in concretizing it; and the personal connection between Maeterlinck and Ayn Rand. Peikoff concludes with some stylistic observations on Maeterlinck, particularly his brilliant flair for drama and lines with a double meaning, and an anecdote about attempts to have Monna Vanna made as a movie.

Spoiler alert: The lesson assumes students have read the play.

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Lead Instructor

Leonard Peikoff
Leonard Peikoff

Ayn Rand’s foremost student and today’s leading expert on Objectivism.

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