Synopsis: Based on the Margaret Edson play, Vivian Bearing is a literal, hardnosed English professor who has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. During the story, she reflects on her reactions to the cycle the cancer takes, the treatments, and significant events in her life. The people that watch over her are Jason Posner, who only finds faith in being a doctor; Susie Monahan, a nurse with a human side that is the only one in the hospital that cares for Vivian's condition; and Dr. Kelekian, the head doctor who just wants results no matter what they are.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Mike Nichols
Production: HBO Video
  Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 11 wins & 19 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
99 min

metastatic ovarian cancer.

There is no stage five.

And l have to be very tough.

lt appears to be a matter,

as the saying goes...

of life and death.

l know all about life and death.

l am, after all,

a professor of 17th century poetry...

specializing in

the Holy Sonnets of John Donne...

which explore mortality

in greater depth...

than any body of work

in the English language.

And l know for a fact that l am tough.

A demanding professor.


Never one to turn from a challenge.

That is why l chose to study John Donne...

while a student

of the great E.M. Ashford.

Oh, yes.

Your essay on Holy Sonnet Vl...

is a melodrama with a veneer

of scholarship unworthy of you...

to say nothing of Donne. Do it again.

Begin with the text, Miss Bearing,

not with a feeling.

''Death be not proud

''Though some have called thee

mighty and dreadful, for

''Thou art not so''

You've missed the point of the poem...

because you've used

an edition of the text...

that is inauthentically punctuated.

-ln the Gardner edition--

-That edition was checked out--

-Miss Bearing?


You take this too lightly.

This is metaphysical poetry,

not the modern novel.

The standards of scholarship

and critical reading...

which one would apply to any other text

are simply insufficient.

The effort must be total

for the results to be meaningful.

Do you think that the punctuation

of the last line of this sonnet...

is merely an insignificant detail?

The sonnet begins with

a valiant struggle with death...

calling on all the forces

of intellect and drama...

to vanquish the enemy.

But it is ultimately about overcoming

the seemingly insuperable barriers...

separating life, death and eternal life.

ln the edition you chose,

this profoundly simple meaning...

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Margaret Edson

Margaret "Maggie" Edson (born July 4, 1961) is an American playwright. She is a recipient of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Wit. She has been a public school teacher since 1992. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Wit" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 10 Apr. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/wit_23558>.

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