A Matter of Husbands Exercise
One-Act Plays: A Matter of Husbands by Ferenc Molnar Exercise: Questions and Answers Class 12 English

 Understanding the text 

Answer the following questions.

a. What favour does Earnest Young Woman ask from The Famous Actress?

➜ Earnest Young Woman is a straightforward, simple-minded woman. She adores her husband, but she learns that the Famous Actress has taken him away from her. As a result, she goes to the Actress and asks a favour to return her husband.


b. What, according to The Earnest Young Woman, are the indications that her husband has fallen in love with Famous Actress?

According to The Earnest Young Woman, The indications that her husband has fallen in love with Famous Actress includes sending flowers and a suspicious love letter. Her husband uses a messenger to send flowers to the Famous Actress. She learns about it from a florist who notifies her of the situation. One day, her husband forgets about the love letter on the table, in which he apologizes for not being able to see the Famous Actress and offers her ten thousand kisses.


c. Is Earnest Young Woman convinced by the argument of Famous Actress? How?

➜ Earnest Young Woman appears to be convinced based on the basic conversation between Earnest Young Woman and Famous Actress. The Famous Actress informs her that Earnest Young Woman’s husband has arrived and requests that she stage a fake relationship for her to be jealous and return her love. She informs her that many actors readily accept such offers to bring their families together.


d. Where is the Earnest Young Woman’s husband hiding himself as they are talking about him?

➜ The Earnest Young Woman’s spouse appears at the end of the play when the Famous Actress summons him from her personal chamber, according to the play. That suggests the Earnest Young Woman’s spouse is hiding in the Famous Actress’ room for the duration of the play. In fact, it reveals that the Famous Actress and Alfred are having an affair.


e. When do you feel that Famous Actress is really good at acting?

➜ When she tells the Earnest Young woman that her husband is playing a game on her to make her jealous so that she will change her attitude and will attempt to impress him by all means, I feel Famous Actress is really good at acting. She requests a lock of hair, which the Earnest Young Woman provides. She claims Alfred has it because she is afraid her fans will steal it and give it to him.


f. How do we come to know that Famous Actress and the husband of Earnest Young Woman are in love?

We come to know that the Famous Actress and the husband of Earnest Young Woman are in love in the final part of the play. Firstly, we believe that the Famous Actress has stolen the Earnest Young Woman’s husband during their heated discussion. Later, Alfred is called from the Famous Actress’ private room. Then it’s clear that the Earnest Young Woman has been fooled and her husband and the Famous Actress are in love.


g. Write down the plot of the play in a paragraph.

➜ Earnest Young Woman enters the famous actress’ drawing room at the start of the play and requests her to return her husband. Despite having met her husband, the famous actress responds that she has not taken him. She demands an explanation for why she is being blamed. According to the Earnest Young Woman, her husband has sent her flowers and written her a love letter asking for an apology. In front of the actress, she reads that specific letter. According to the famous actress, her husband devised this scheme to receive greater affection from her. Earnest Young Woman is convinced by her, who claims that such situations are typical among actresses. Many coworkers, even supervisors, approach her for favours to make their wives jealous. The earnest young woman recognizes her mistake and thanks to the actress for her help. Being delighted by her help,  She even kisses the Famous Actress. The Famous Actress calls Alfred from her boudoir(bedroom) as soon as the Earnest Young Woman exits the drawing-room.


 Reference to the Context 

a. Sketch the character of Famous Actress.

➜ The famous actress’ name in this play is Sara. She is a very famous and successful Hungarian stage actress. She is way smarter than Alfred and his wife and also very good at acting. In this play, she pretends she is acting in an affair with Alfred to make Earnest Young Woman jealous but she is in love with Alfred in reality for his money and personality. Also, The famous actress looks like a princess and Greek goddess and has the most talent of speech on the stage that none can beat her.


b. Shed light on the difference between an ordinary woman and an actress.

The difference between an ordinary woman and an actress is that the ordinary woman is nervous and can be easily fooled, whereas the actress is very smart.


The ordinary woman in “A Matter of Husband” is portrayed as a simple-minded and frightened person who was easily fooled by the actress’s fake story. She had arrived at the actress in tears, convinced that her husband was having an affair with her. However, the actress persuaded her to believe that her husband was attempting to reclaim his love for her by making her jealous. The ordinary woman believed her and got into the story without asking any questions.


Finally, it was discovered that her husband was in the actress’s room. This demonstrates that the actress was clever, whereas the ordinary woman was fearful.


c. According to Famous Actress, men associated with theatre use the theatre actresses to make their estranged wives jealous so as to woo them back. Do you agree with her argument? Why? Why not?

➜ According to Famous Actress, men associated with theatre use the theatre actresses to make their estranged wives jealous so as to woo them back. No, I don’t agree with her argument because these are extremely unusual events. Her statement is so superficial that it has little to do with the reality of males who work in theatres. Men in the theatre, she claims, use the actresses to make their emotionally distant wives jealous to win them back. Earnest Young Woman suddenly accuses her of cheating in this scene. To avoid being held responsible, she fabricates a story about entire men affiliated with the theatre. A weak, simple-minded, and dumb wife is not something that every man affiliated with the theatre has. We find a simple-minded woman in Alfred’s situation. The Famous Actress is a clever woman who is involved with Earnest Young Woman’s husband Alfred in an illicit relationship.

The famous actress makes such a statement to make the earnest young woman believe her weaved story that she and Alfred don’t have an affair.


d. How does Famous Actress make a fool of Earnest Young Woman?

Famous Actress make a fool of  Earnest Young Woman by fabricating a story about men and actresses in the theatre. When the Famous Actress is blamed by Earnest Young Woman, she claims that she and her husband have an affair. She persuades Earnest Young Woman that her husband is playing with her to make her jealous so that she will return her affection. After hearing her viewpoints, the Earnest Young Woman recognizes her mistake and apologizes to her. Finally convinced and satisfied, she kisses the famous actress.


e. The conversation between the two women takes place on the stage of the theatre. What role does the theatre house as a part of setting play in A Matter for Husband?

➜ The theatre house has served as part of the setting to demonstrate the basic purpose of performers, which is to persuade the audience to believe in the illusion. The theatre’s atmosphere allowed for the creation of an illusion among the audience, as well as the exceptional performances of the actors. The theatre has provided both characters with a pleasant environment in which to have their intimate conversations, which should not be conducted in public. The theatre house has played a significant role in the presentation of the subject concern as part of the setting.


f. What do you think about the ending of the play?

➜ ‘A Matter of Husbands’ is an excellent play. It has a mysterious and twisting ending. The play’s last scene is both impressive and tragic. It is plainly demonstrated in this drama that clever people always take advantage of innocent, simple-minded people. According to the Famous Actress, the young woman becomes extremely delighted with her husband towards the end of the play since her husband wants to receive a lot of affection from her. The Famous Actress can simply deceive her in the performance. The Famous Actress and the Earnest Young Woman’s Husband live together without any problems. The play’s conclusion is romantic but ironic.


 Reference beyond the text 

a. Write a paragraph describing your favourite actor/actress.

➜ My favourite actor is Rajesh Hamal. He is one of the most versatile actors in the Nepali film industry. He is very talented and good looking. I have always been a fan of his ever since I saw his first movie, Yug Dekhi Yug Samma. Rajesh Hamal is simply the best actor in the world. He has so many abilities in acting and he always tries new things as an actor. You can give him any kind of role and he will do the best of him. He is a very simple, loving, smart, kind, fun and caring person. He is well known as the Superstar of the Nepali Film Industry. Rajesh Hamal has always enthralled his audience with amazing movies. He has a unique style. This is one of the main reasons why he is my favourite actor.


b. John Cassavetes says, “I’m very worried about the depiction of women on the screen. It’s gotten worse than ever and it’s related to their being either high- or low-class concubines . . . . There’s nothing to do with the dreams of women, or of woman as the dream, nothing to do with the quirky part of her, the wonder of her.” How do you assess Famous Actress in the light of Cassavetes’ argument about the portrayal of women?

➜ This famous quote by John Cassavetes is about how women are often portrayed in cinema. In a polygamous society, a concubine is a woman who lives with a man but has lower status than his wife or wives. John wants us to be conscious of contemporary society’s thinking when it comes to depicting women on film with this quote. Women on Screen are always associated with sex by the general public. They do not judge them in the same way that they evaluate males on screen. No one, according to John, recognizes the wonderful and quirky elements of women on screen and portrays them in a negative light.


Famous Actress is also portrayed as a concubine of Alfred, the Earnest Young Woman’s husband, in this play. In the play, they are having a secret affair. The Famous Actress is also depicted in a negative light in “The Matter of Husbands”, similar to Cassavetes’ argument in his famous quote. The negative side of the Famous Actress has been given more importance than the positive, quirky side of her in the play.