working-class couple - a carpenter and his wife.
MAEVE has outgrown her husband. She has discovered
Shakespeare and poetry, which she learns by heart and recites to
herself. MICHAEL is intimidated by her new persona. His impoverished
swearing sharply contrasts with Shakespeare's language. MAEVE wants
to find a job, get out of the house. MICHAEL's pride forbids her.
"I don't want people to think I can't support my family."
Each time she uses what he considers a long word
he beats her. After each act of violence he is filled with remorse
and she has to comfort him.
The cycle of beating and remorse seems never-ending.