Literature and History: The Development of American Culture to 1865

Metacomet

Wyeth paints for Cooper's tales but close enough

Metamora! What an epic story! There are so many things that I enjoyed about this reading. Despite the fact that it is written for the stage, I found it easy to navigate and I really dug the pacing. There is so much to say about Metamora.
For one, it has notes of classic mythology and folk tradition. Young ruler, noble and proud who faces a invasion/betrayal by an empirical military force from the east. Does anyone else see light reflections of The Iliad in this?

And like Hector he’s a total badass. Escaping a hale of bullets, shooting down a panther, stabbing a traitor and bursting forth from a tomb? Stallone never did burst from a tomb. Metamora+1
Another thing I loved about this play was ye old plot twists, which always makes for great theater. Betrayal, hidden passages and even a long lost son revelation. I mean we really didnt get to know Sir Authur all that well but Walter being his son? Brilliant.

I already expressed this but the violence in this play is top notch. Metamore talks of ripping mens scalps off and stabbing is just rampant throught the play. You got a dead baby, a huband sacrificing his wife and Metamora’s final stand. “…may the wolf and the panther howl over your fleshless bones…” Greatest last words ever!
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4 responses

  1. I agree! This play was interesting because of the action and really just how great some lines were. It’s theme is somewhat familiar, but this is over shadowed by the intensity of the play itself. In my opinion, Metamora is one of the more powerful personalities that we’ve read about thus far. He fights for his land called “forebears.” As much as he feels glory for fighting, he knows also that he is fighting a loosing battle. This is shown through this line in the play: “The power of dreams has been on me, and the shadows of things that are to be have passed over me. When our fires are no longer red, on the high places of our fathers; when the bones of our kindred make fruitful the fields of the stranger, then will the stranger spare, for we will be too small for his eye to see.” In the end, the white people defeat the native American’s and Metamora too dies in battle. Its very sad to me that this happens because Metamora seemed to be a good hearted person after going through so much trouble trying to save the life of a white woman named “Oceana” and save her romance with Walter. All he and his fellow wampanoag people were doing was fighting for their land. This play was definitely epic to me, and another example of how ones pride can take on a mind of its own.

    November 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm

  2. chessicarose

    Metamora is a historically significant play because it displays the war of King Phillip and conquest of the Americas. It represents universal themes of tragedy, love, and betrayal. Metamora serves as an archetype for the noble hero who is doomed. It reminds me of the character Oedipus who is the hero as well as the victim of his own story. Metamora is a great play because in it we see the Natives point of view. However I do not feel the play would be as effective performed by an all-white cast. As a viewer I would find it harder to feel compassion for Metamora’s character. As a reader I feel the play evokes the feelings and ideas the author wanted to bring to the surface. Metamora was the piece that made everything fit for me. It helped me feel the native presence and showed me another view of native peoples. William Apess has also helped Covent a better understanding of Native perspectives opposite to what Explores have recorded. “Suppose each skin had its national crimes written upon it- which skin do you think would have the greatest?” (Apess: 1054). This to me captures the spirit of the oppressed and angry. It is a metaphor meant to expose the white race and have them look at themselves and their actions. Metamora forces its audience to do the same while using common themes that everyone can relate to.

    November 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm

  3. torotiffany1991

    While reading Metamora I do agree that the action and violence is all key but I can’t say I particularly enjoy these vivid details,yet I also agree with Jessica that the do contribute to the image that as readers we form.I am not a big fan of reading plays but I also found this was not difficult to navigate.It was heartbreaking for me to watch the fall of Metamora and his people.Although we being Americans know of the fall of this population , I still was on edge reading hoping for this man to revenge his home and his family.I felt a painful ironic twist how he could save the life of Oceana a white or pale face women,yet he was not able to be saved.It’s so unfair! He was a great noble character and it’s always upsetting to see him fighting for a lost case.Before his death he’s says”Embrace me Nahmeokee ’twas like the first you gave me in the days of our strength and joy.”so sweet and sad!Although this was surely not 100% facts just the thought that Native Americans did indeed face such deaths and lost on their own land is almost inconceivable.

    November 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm

  4. Let’s just say Metamora was a diva. I mean granted he was the equivalent to a superhero. I actually really enjoyed reading this play. I wish I could have been around to see it really acted out in person. But I was really intrigued by the intensity amongst the characters. Not so much interested in the gory violence, but in the romantic comedy aspect of it. I think this became such a well recognized play and was well written because of the competition at the time to write the best play. So of course you have the standard melodramatic play. There always has to be a villain and a superhero, along with lovers. Fitzarnold being a villain was rich and betraying, whereas Mordaunt (Oceana’s father) was a villain by forcing his daughter to marry and that he’s a regicide – killing royalty. But Oceana is in love with Walter (also a hero), and Metamora and Nahmeokee are also lovers. I mean this play really covers all bases to draw in any type of audience.

    December 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm

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