The Resource For Musicals

Sweeney Todd Forum

Reply to topic  [ 2 posts ] 
"And he was...naive." Let's over-analyse the line! 
Author Message
Off-Broadway Lead
Off-Broadway Lead
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:52 pm
Posts: 216
Post "And he was...naive." Let's over-analyse the line!

Does anybody have thoughts on the meaning of Sweeney's last line? I'd previously assumed that he was referring to his own unthinking trust in Mrs Lovett. If correct, it would mean he never really "learned his lesson" and got important self-knowledge a la the archetypal tragic 'hero'. Or was he... I don't know... naive to think he could set things to rights by doing terrible things? Naive to think that God/poetic justice wouldn't make him pay for his appropriation of His/its role? Naive to believe he had the power to reverse/diminish the hell and injustice that was his life? Naive to believe that he was standing up for the little guy, when he thoughtlessly abused and murdered a person (seemingly) lower on the social scale than himself? Or is it just the last, relatively unimportant word in a reprise whose other words are what gives the reprise meaning?

Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:17 am
Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer

Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:54 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Kent, United Kingdom
When Sweeney and Anthony first arrive in London (Sweeney after 15 years of being transported) Sweeney sings the same line.

'There was a barber and his wife,
And she was beautiful.
A foolish barber and his wife.
She was his reason and his life,
And she was beautiful,
And she was virtuous,
And he was... naive.

Then he goes on to talk about the Judge and how he coveted his wife, we find that Sweeney was sent away so that the judge could have his wicked way with Lucy.

As he repeats this line in the final scene, I think that he realised whilst serving his time that he should have been more aware of the Judge and his attentions to his wife...he was naive. Then at the end, the audience has seen that he has been so blinded by his thirst for revenge, he has completely missed the fact that his own wife is right there where he left her. Perhaps if he had not been so determined to kill the judge, he might have made a proper search for Lucy, although Mrs Lovett hasn't helped the matter. Her greed and jealousy helps mask the fact that she is still alive.
Maybe if Sweeney had not met her first, he would have found Lucy and there would have been a completely different story!

Well that's my opinion anyway. :wink:

Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:03 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 2 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.