Video Analysis of the play

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The second unit mainly deals with some important qualities and principles that we should keep in our social relationship. As an individual, we should try our best to co-exist with others. It will help us reach the heights of harmony.


Author: Percival Wilde – 1887-1953

  • Percival Wilde was an American author and playwright who wrote novels and numerous short stories and one-act plays. He also authored a textbook on the theatre arts. Wikipedia
  • Born: March 1, 1887, New York City, New York, United States
  • Died: September 19, 1953, New York City, New York, United States
  • Education: Columbia University
  • Books: Finger of God, Eight Comedies for Little Theatres, more
  • Movies: The Woman in Room 13

Wilde’s plays were especially popular in the Little Theatre Movement.

Aim: to study

  • plot construction
  • characterization
  • Acting and stage setting
  • Stage management of play


  • Study on the corrupting influence of money on people
  • Greed and its effects
  • The good gets reward and the bad gets punishment
  • How easily people forget their morals and values before money


The play takes place in a parlour of a little cottage where a family awaits the return of the head, Mr. Baldwin. Weather is reported – flash of lightening, dark sky (symbols of something not going to be good).


Mr. Robert Baldwin works in the bank of Mr. Gresham who is now in police custody for misappropriation of depositor’s money. He offers Mr. Baldwin, a truthful person, 100000/- dollars as bribe to say three words ‘I don’t remember” at the time of the trial which is going to take place the next day. The reaction to this offer from all other members of his family is the main plot of the play.

Action, Place and Time:

As a one act play, it follows Aristotle’s Poetics, respectively, unity of action, unity of place, and unity of time. Actual time of the story is the time taken to perform the play and the place is a visiting room of a little cottage. And it has a single action.

Characters:From everyday life

1. Mr. Robert Baldwin

Hero of the play – worked with Mr. Gresham, a banker who paid low salary for the last 35 years – a truthful, trustworthy and loyal person – gets an offer of 100,000/- as bribe from his employer, Mr. Gresham who is now in police custody – rejects it – later gets a good position from another bank – never changes mind at the influence of money – virtue gets rewarded – represents old generation of honourable persons.

2. Martha – Mrs. Robert Baldwin

A great support to her husband – changes her mind at prospect of getting a huge amount- money makes changes in her character – even persuades her husband to accept the bribe money offered by Mr. Gresham listing a good number of reasons.

3. Mr. John Gresham Baldwin & Ms. Evie

Children of Mrs. & Mr. Baldwin – in the beginning very stubborn against Mr. Gresham – later change mind – money influences them too – compel their father to accept the bribe money – find every possible excuses for it – no shame on being dishonest – money corrupts the youth very easily – represent present day generation.

3. Mr. John Gresham

Important character of the play but not comes to stage – everything reported about him – a banker in police custody for misappropriation of depositor’s money – offers 100000 dollars to Mr. Baldwin as bribe – confession of guilt before his trial begins – recognizes the virtue of Mr. Baldwin.

Significance of the Title:

Most perfect and suitable title – No special time for truth – the truth wins and bad gets punished – Every hour is the hour of truth.

Message:Ending of the play

Readers become aware of evil effects of money – money has a great influence on people but not on truthful – virtue gets rewarded – God Sees the Truth but Waits (Leo Tolstoy) is true with this story – God waits may be for the confession of the criminal or to test a truthful person to see how far he can be truthful – an apt ending – hero gets a better job – positive message – Bribe may be given better names such as compensation for low salary or a help to children, etc but truth will prevail in the end, it is sure.

Prepared by Thomas a a

Ghss kattoor, thrissur


5 thoughts on “+2 UNIT 2 LESSON 3 THE HOUR OF TRUTH Percial Wilde

  1. what was the association between mr.gresham and baldwin?
    why was evie frightened when gresham sent for her father?
    how did the members of baldwin family react to gresham’s request that baldwin should say “i don’t remember?

    • 1. Mr.Gresham is a banker and Mr. Robert Baldwin is his employee and an old friend who has been working in this bank for last 35 years.
      2. Miss. Evie was frightened because the newspapers said that her father had something in the wrecking of the bank. So she doubted her father.
      3. At first the family stood with Mr. Baldwin against Mr. Gresham, but at the prospect getting a huge amount of money, ie, hundred thousand dollars tempted all except Mr. Baldwin and they made many excuses to say yes to this request.

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