“The Lottery” is a 1732 play by Henry Fielding, which consists of 19 songs. It is in a ballad opera form. This play first ran on 1 Jan 1732 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. This is a controversial story of a man who fell in love with a girl, and though nobody wins the lottery, it is interesting to see how the story rolls thereupon.
The theme and takeaway of this ballad are quite interesting, and additionally, on 1 February 1732, the play was altered to a new version, which many liked.
Plot – (Spoiler alert: the girls wins the lottery)
The story can be surmised in a few points. It is a story about a boy who falls in love with a girl. She claims to have won a lottery but instead, the reality is quite different from what it looks like prima facie. She makes the other guy run after the fortunes for her. This tries to mock the lottery system in London and those who support such a system.
This is an interesting ballad and became an instant hit with its first run. It has then been played nearly 14 times till 1740. Another play by Henry, i.e., The Modern Husband, turned Henry into an infamous personality. He earned around 1,000 pounds in the first run of the show.
Characters of the ballad
The characters and a little bit of additional summary will help you have a clear understanding.
- Jack Stocks
- Ticket renter
Lovemore is in love with Chloe and is wanting to marry her. But instead of marrying him, Chloe travels to London to win the lottery of 10,000 pounds. She meets a guy Jack who happens to be an imposter. He seeks her in marriage claiming that he is the winner of the lottery.
She believes him. However, it was revealed that he was not the winner. Later on, Lovemore finds Chloe and pursues to marry her. He offers 1,000 stocks to Jack to end her terms with Chloe and has no claim over her. Later they get married and live happily.
Additionally, in the subsequent years that followed, some more new characters were added to present it interestingly. The chemistry between Lovemore and Chloe was also enhanced. The audience very much appreciated this, and was made an instant hit till 1740.
This tries to bring to light the following things.
- That the lottery system is a scam, and though there are so many risks involved, people still support it.
- There is a mad race people have indulged into. They are crazy after money and hardly care about the source.
- People are always on the lookout for an easy way to earn money. This shows their reluctance to work hard.
- People are so blinded by the money that they could not differentiate between wrong and right, between real and pretentious. Chloe was so overwhelmed by the lottery that she believed Jack when he claimed to have won the lottery.5.
- It tried to show that gambling cannot benefit people, and there is a lot to lose in the line that you gain. 6.
- People have no regard for their relationship and feelings. Chloe did not even think twice before leaving Lovemore. However, Lovemore continued to pursue after her even when she was married.
About the author
Henry Fielding started his career in play in 1728. His first play, Love In Several Masks, could not become an instant hit. But it was just the start of his career. Later on, he produced plays like The Temple Beau, The Wedding-Day, etc. Several other plays have been liked by his audience and are still liked by many to date.
The lottery became an instant hit for him, along with another play, The Modern Husband. In total, Henry has written twenty-six plays, but only a few of them have been published. Now he is known for investing his time in writing novels, and he focused in that arena only.
He had been entirely under the limelight till 1740. In all his plays, gender played a vital role, and many people have appreciated this. The plays invoke libertine philosophy in some or other way. Now he has turned into a full-time novelist and hardly writes any plays.
In conclusion, this ballad has a unique and intriguing plot. All the characters have been beautifully described, and the takeaway is quite an eye-opener for all the gamblers out there. This shows the reality of life and how people are in a mad race after money. Gambling is not a recent phenomenon and is supported by many still.
However, this is nothing less than a fetish of a man, which drives him to money.