Back to: JKBOSE Class 8th English Guide and Notes
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Children of all ages well as adults have been delighted and charmed by Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The author invented this story to amuse Alice, a ten-year-old girl. The little girl Alice in the story has a strange and wonderful dream which begins with her following a rabbit into its hole. She finds herself in a new world where she meets all kinds of unusual creatures who talk to her and lead her into a series of adventures. In this play, we see Alice attending a strange trial.
Alice– a little girl
King and Queen– the king and queen of hearts
White Rabbit– the rabbit Alice had followed
Mad Hatter– a hatter who is mad
March Hare– a crazy hare
Dormouse– a mouse who keeps falling asleep
Knave– a prisoner accused of stealing tarts
Cook– the Duchess’ cook who puts pepper into everything
Alice goes to the Strange Trial
Alice enters looking lost and bewildered. She says that everything is very strange. She remembers following a white rabbit and entering its hole. Then she saw a lot of odd creatures, talked to a King and a Queen and attended the Mad Tea Party. She remembers drinking a strange liquid which made her grow smaller. Then she ate a cake and began to grow larger again. She is very confused.
Some voices off stage say that the trial is beginning. Alice wonders what trial it is. Gryphon enters, takes Alice by the hand and hurries off to the trial.
The scene is set like a court scene. The King and Queen sit on thrones with the whole pack of cards around them. The knave stands before them in chains, with a soldier guarding him on each side. The White Rabbit stands near the King holding a trumpet and a scroll. Twelve creatures sit behind a long table. A large dish of tarts lies on the table. Alice enters dragged in by Gryphon.
Alice proudly tells Gryphon about these people. She begins with the King of Hearts, who is kind but stupid. He is the judge for the trial since he has a wig on. The Queen of Hearts loves to say ‘off with the heads’ if she doesn’t like you. The knave is a prisoner who has been caught for stealing. Two police officers are guarding him. The clever White Rabbit is Alice’s friend.
Alice goes up to the jury box and says that the creatures there are the jurors. They are busily writing their names on their slates afraid they should forget them before the end of the trial.
Alice picks up the dish of tarts and smells it. She says that these are the tarts which the knave must have stolen. She wishes they’d get the trial done and hand around the refreshments.
The White Rabbit reads out the accusation that the Knave of Hearts had stolen some tarts the Queen of Hearts had made. He calls the first witness.
The Mad Hatter enters with a teacup and a piece of bread in his hands. He begs the king’s pardon for bringing those in because he hadn’t quite finished his tea when he was sent for. The king says he should have finished it and asks when he began.
March Hare walks in arm-in-arm with Dormouse. Alice says she knows them- March Hare is crazy too and Dormouse can never keep awake.
Mad Hatter says they began on the fourteenth of March. March Hare says it was the fifteenth. Dormouse says it was the sixteenth. They sit down and Dormouse falls asleep. The king tells the jury to write that down and asks Mad Hatter to take off his hat. Mad Hatter says it isn’t his. The king exclaims it is stolen then and asks the jury to write that down too.
Mad Hatter says he’s a hatter, so he keeps hats to sell. The queen puts on spectacles and stares hard at the Hatter, who begins to fidget. She tells him to give her his evidence and not be nervous, or she will have him executed on the spot.
Hatter shifts from foot to foot, looks uneasily at the Queen and in his nervousness takes a bite of his teacup instead of the bread and butter. Dormouse tells Alice not to squeeze so much because he can hardly breathe. Alice says she can’t help it because she is growing. Dormouse goes to the other side.
The king tells Mad Hatter to give his evidence or be executed. Mad Hatter says he is a poor man and when he began his tea March Hare had said something but March Hare interrupts him and says he didn’t. Mad Hatter anxiously says that Dormouse had said something and then he cut some more bread and butter, but he can’t remember what he had said.
The king says he must remember or he will have him executed. Hatter drops the teacup and bread and butter and goes down on one knee, saying he is a poor man. The king says he is a very poor speaker. He tells him to stand down.
The king calls the next witness. Cook enters with a large pepper pot. Everyone begins to sneeze. Alice says that she is the Duchess’ cook who loves to put pepper into everything. The king asks her to give her evidence, but Cook says she won’t.
White Rabbit says the King must cross-examine the witness. He asks Cook what tarts are made off. She says pepper mostly. Dormouse sleepily says treacle. The Queen orders that he be beheaded. The court is in confusion. They chase Dormouse and throw him out of the court. In the general confusion Cook escapes.
Alice is Called as a Witness
They call the next witness. The king says that the queen must help him examine the next witness because his forehead aches. Alice is the next witness. She crosses over the jury box and the jury fall in all directions. She arranges them back. The king asks her what she knows about this business. She answers she knows nothing.
After debating whether that is important or unimportant, the king commands the court to be silent and says that according to rule 42 all persons more than a mile high must leave the court. Alice says she isn’t a mile high but the queen says she is nearly two miles high. She says she won’t go, and that the king just invented the rule.
The king says it is the oldest rule in the book. Alice says then it should be number one. The king then tells the jury to consider their verdict. White Rabbit says that there’s more evidence and gives the king a letter written by the prisoner. But it was not in the prisoner’s handwriting. The king says he must have imitated somebody’s handwriting.
The knave says he didn’t write it and can prove it because there was no name signed at the end. The king says that is worse because he should have signed his name like an honest man. The queen says this proves his guilt.
Alice says it proves nothing because they don’t know what it’s about. The king commands the white rabbit to read it. He reads the note and passes it to the king who turns the note upside down and reads it and says it’s the most important piece of evidence.
Alice grabs the note and tries to read it. She says there’s no meaning to it. The king says that’s better and tells the jury to consider their verdict. But the queen asks for the sentence first. Alice says that’s nonsense. The queen commands to behead her. Alice says nobody cares for them because they are nothing but a pack of cards.
The whole pack of cards and all the animals attack Alice. She screams and tries to beat them off. They run in different directions and disappear.
The stage lights dim and a girl enters and asks Alice to wake up because she had been sleeping for a long time. Alice wakes up and says she had a very curious dream and would tell her all about it. The curtain drops.
This is strange and wonderful story. Alice’s dream shows us how absurd our dreams can be and how far our imagination can take us. Alice journeys through this strange world in her dreams and meets many unusual characters. Her journey shows us the power of dreams and imagination.