Imagery Interchange in John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, a Parable

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Imagery Interchange in John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, a Parable

FronteiraZ. Revista do Programa de Estudos Pós-Graduados em Literatura e Crítica Literária. ISSN 1983-4373
  • Doubt
  • John Patrick Shanley
  • A Parable
  • Contemporary American Drama
  • Studies Of The Imaginary
  • Teatro Norteamericano ContemporâNeo
  • Estudos Do ImagináRio


John Patrick Shanley’s play Doubt - a Parable (2004) revisits the world he knew as a child, which is the Bronx of the 1960’s. The story centers upon a Catholic Irish-Italian school community, and the plot relates to a doubt - that grows into belief, and ends up as certainty - on the part of Sister Aloysius, the principal of the school, who is persuaded that Father Flynn, the vicar, has been harassing the only Black student in the school. The play is an open-ended construct, allowing each reader/spectator to build their own interpretation of the facts implied. Shanley is more than the author of the play. He has also worked as the producer of the play on the stage and he turned the story into a movie screenplay, Doubt, and has worked as a director to the movie. In this paper we examine the strategies used by Shanley to keep the possibility of interpretation open as he translates his own work into different media, on the page and on the screen.

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