Shut Up Hannibal / Theatre

  • The play Custer concludes with an example that Breaks The Fourth Wall. Set in Purgatory more than a century after the Battle of Little Big Horn, it mostly consists of the souls of George Armstrong Custer and his subordinates arguing over who was to blame for their utter defeat and annihilation at the hands of the Sioux. The characters have been fighting over relatively minor matters when, without skipping a beat, Custer looks out at the audience and declares that while it's easy to criticize him, the audience members are at that moment sitting on land that they have been able to safely inhabit thanks to the very "manifest destiny" doctrine that Custer died for. The implication is, if you don't like it, go live somewhere else, but otherwise, you have no right to criticize me.
  • In Les MisÚrables, after being hounded by Javert for the entire play, Valjean issues a devastating one that also qualifies as Talking the Monster to Death.
    You are wrong, and always have been wrong. I'm a man, no worse than any man. You are free, and there are no conditions. No bargains or petitions. There's nothing that I blame you for. You've done your duty, nothing more. Valjean then gives Javert his home address and expects to see him again. He does, but not at his home, as shortly after their next (and final) encounter, Javert commits suicide by jumping into the Seine.