Abstract

As an incomplete play, the scenes from The Emporium demonstrate Wilder's continued experimentation with character and metatheatricality. Through two distinctly different characters, Wilder explores the significance of the Everyman archetype and the purpose it serves in theater. John, the protagonist, represents Wilder's more traditional and familiar tendency to favor the Everyman in Everyone but still challenges the limitations of its archetype. In contrast, the Member of the Audience is by title inherently an Everyman and another of Wilder's uniquely metatheatrical figures existing in the space outside of his play-within-a-play structure. The Emporium offers new insights into how Wilder understood the Everyman as a character within metatheatricality and what it means to be the ideal audience for his theater.

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