ok first of all i swear i finished this last night and just noticed now that i saved it as a draft and i didnt publish it. my bad. i fully admit my mistake, that was stupid, haha.
so im going to go through what i wrote earlier and kind of add on some thoughts that i had today during seminar! hooray.
TIME TO TURN ON THE FRENCH KEYBOARD.
i admit now that i read césaire and walcott the night before, back to back, and there may be flaws in this blog post because i keep getting them mixed up. my brain is still kind of scrambled from a minor concussion i had last week, too. so bear with me, words are not easy to articulate for me right now!
disclaimers aside, i found that césaire and walcott’s plays were pretty similar in many aspects, but really different in others. they both end in the death of henri christophe, but i felt like the character of christophe was portrayed differently in each play. i definitely felt like christophe was more of a sympathetic character, especially since the play is titled the tragedy of king christophe whereas walcott’s play is titled just henri christophe. that was pretty interesting to me.
now that seamus kindly pointed out to me that christophe was pretty sympathetic in walcott’s play as well, i noticed that they portray him as sympathetic in different ways. for example, in césaire’s play, christophe is shown as this king that doesnt really know what hes doing but hes trying his best and he makes a mistake and then he kills himself. but in walcott’s, he is sympathetic because he makes a plan with pétion to kill the former king (which by the way, i am confused at, i expand this later) and he calls off the assassination but it happens anyway and hes full of regret, and he cant take that back.
compare this to what happens in carpentier, where christophe is shown as this ruthless tyrant that seized power and seized the chance to rule and doesnt care who gets taken away to prison, if they are not at the same level as him, they are his slaves now. or something. either way its a much more different perspective!
im also confused about one thing with walcott’s play though. where did dessalines come from?? i was under the impression that king henri christophe was the first king of haiti. did i miss something, was dessalines a white person or a black person i dont even know. was he actually the king? or was he a white general or a white king, i am so unclear on this please help me haha.
and why is dessalines totally unmentioned in every other text about the haitian revolution? is he a made up character or was he real? i must investigate.