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strawberriesandmilk



Part One: Use the following questions to mark up the text from the scene. 

1. How has the knight's understanding of faith shaped his essence?

2. What causes the knight to reevaluate his thinking and state "Everything I've said seems meaningless and unreal"?

3. Explain how this scene is an allusion to a sacrament (a rite that mediates grace).  

4. Explain the symbolic meaning of Death capturing Antonious' knight in the chess game?

5. What does Antonious' diction and actions reveal about his change in tone?

 

Part Two: Write an explication that responds to the following two questions:

1. What does the knight come to learn, accept, and understand in the "Strawberries and Milk" Scene? 

2. How does this knowledge affect the knight's attitude in the next scene when the knight joins death to continue the chess game?  

 

Strawberries and Milk


JOF has come out with his lyre, sits on a small, gaudy box and plucks at the  instrument, humming quietly, searching for his melody. JONS yawns and lies down.

 KNIGHT:  People are troubled by so much.

 MIA:  It's always better when one is two. Have you no one of your own?

 KNIGHT:  Yes, I think I had someone.

 MIA: And what is she doing now?

 KNIGHT:  I don't know.

 MIA:  You look so solemn. Was she your beloved?

 KNIGHT:  We were newly married and we played together. We laughed a great deal. I wrote songs to her eyes, to her nose, to her beautiful little ears. We went hunting together and at night we danced. The house was full of life ...

MIA:  Do you want some more strawberries?

KNIGHT (shakes his head) :Faith is a torment, did you know that? It is  like loving someone who is out there in the  darkness but never appears, no matter how loudly you call.

MIA:   I don't understand what you mean.

KNIGHT:  Everything I've said seems meaningless and unreal while I sit here with you and your husband.  How unimportant it all becomes suddenly.

He takes the bowl of milk in his hand and drinks deeply from it several times. Then he carefully puts it down and looks up, smiling.

MIA:  Now you don't look so solemn.

 

                                KNIGHT

I shall remember this moment. The silence, the twilight, the bowls of strawberries and milk,your faces in the evening light. Mikael sleeping, Jof with his lyre. I'll try to remember what we have talked about. I'll carry this memory between my hands as carefully as if it were a bowl filled to the brim with fresh milk.

He turns his face away and looks out towards the sea and the colorless gray sky.

KNIGHT:  And it will be an adequate sign -- it will be enough for me.


He rises, nods to the others and walks down towards the forest. JOF continues to play on his lyre. MIA stretches out on the grass.

The KNIGHT picks up his chess game and carries it towards the beach. It is quiet and deserted; the sea is still.

    

DEATH: I have been waiting for you.

 

KNIGHT: Pardon me. I was detained for a few moments.  Because I revealed my tactics to you, I'm in retreat. It's your move.

 

                                DEATH

                Why do you look so satisfied?

 

                                KNIGHT

                That's my secret.

 

                                DEATH

                Of course. Now I take your knight.

 

                                KNIGHT

                You did the right thing.

 

                                DEATH

                Have you tricked me?

 

                                KNIGHT

                Of course. You fell right in the trap. Check!

 

                                DEATH

                What are you laughing at?

 

                                KNIGHT

                Don't worry about my laughter; save your king instead.

 

                                DEATH

                You're rather arrogant.

 

                                KNIGHT

                Our game amuses me.

 

                                DEATH

                It's your move. Hurry up. I'm a little pressed

                for time.

 

                                KNIGHT

                I understand that you've a lot to do, but you

                can't get out of our game. It takes time.

 

DEATH is about to answer him but stops and leans over the board. The KNIGHT smiles.

 

                                DEATH

                Are you going to escort the juggler and his

                wife through the forest? Those whose names are

                Jof and Mia and who have a small son?

 

                                KNIGHT

                Why do you ask?

 

                                DEATH

                Oh, no reason at all.

 

The KNIGHT suddenly stops smiling. DEATH looks at him scornfully.

 

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