The Hour of Truth (One-Act Play) by Percival Wilde

Percival Wilde’s play ‘The Hour of Truth’ is an intense psychological study of the corrupting influence of money on people. The play explores greed from diverse angles. All individuals are tempted by money at one point or other in life. Here the author particularly shows how easily people forget their moral values and principles when they are tempted by money. But at the end of the play the reader realizes that money only brings with it isolation, punishment, deception, frustration and endless shame.

Notes on ‘The Hour of Truth’ by Percival Wilde

Sample Questions

  1. “I’ve got only a few years to live, but I’ll live those as I’ve lived the rest of my life. I’ll go to my grave clean.”

    • Who is addressed in these lines? (1)
    • Who speaks these words? (1)
    • What do these words suggest about the character of the person? (4)
    • Comment on the expression “go to my grave clean.” (2)
  2. Character says it all. How far is this statement true with the character of Baldwin? Attempt a paragraph on the character of Baldwin. (5)
  3. Read the following excerpt from the play ‘The Hour of Truth’ and answer the questions that follow.

    “Look here. Governor, you have said nothing to the papers. If you say nothing more tomorrow, what does it amount to but sticking to your friend? It’s the square thing to do–he’d do as much for you.”

    • Who speaks these words? (1)
    • Who is addressed as ‘Governor’? (1)
    • What does the expression ‘square thing to do’ mean? (2)
  4. Read the following conversation taken from the play ‘The Hour of Truth.’

    John : You can imagine: rotten things. And I couldn’t contradict them.
    Baldwin : Why not, John?
    John : Because I didn’t know.
    Baldwin : Did you have to know? Wasn’t it enough that you knew your father?

    Imagine that you are going to direct this segment of the play for the English festival to be held in your school. Being the director, you have to explain the conversation to the actors. Report the details of the conversation to your actors in about 60 words.

  5. Rohan, a trainee journalist has jotted down the following points when he went to cover the fraud in Gresham’s Bank.
    • Financial fraud in the bank
    • MD Gresham arrested
    • Employees are clueless as to the real culprit
    • Baldwin, the close associate of the MD is the only witness
    • Depositors concerned

    Now, help him to prepare a news report on the financial fraud exposed in Gresham’s Bank.

  6. The Hour of Truth shows how an upright man resists the temptation of bribe. Prepare a speech to be delivered in the school· assembly about the topic “Honesty in Public Life”.
  7. Just like a traffic jam slows down the traffic, corruption slows down a country’s development. Prepare the script for a speech to be delivered on Gandhi Jayanthi on the topic “Corruption: Ways to counter it”.
  8. Martha: It doesn’t seem right to me to send an old friend to jail…

    Do you agree with Martha, based on the situation in the play ‘The Hour of Truth’? State your opinion with reasons.

  9. Your school has decided to stage the play “The Hour of Truth” by Percival Wilde in your schoo1. You are asked to introduce the play to the audience. Prepare a script for the introduction including details like theme, duration, cast and credit etc. (50 words).
  10. Comment on the contrasting characters of Gresham and Baldwin in about 60 words.

Plus Two English Notes and Question Papers of All Chapters